Nails are a lot more complicated than you think. What you see on the surface has actually been in the works for quite a while. So if you’re not looking after them from the inside out, it’s likely to lead to your nails splitting and peeling.
Brittle splitting nails is a common condition marked by thin or weak fingernails or toenails that are prone to splitting, chipping, pealing and breaking. This condition is also known as onychoschizia and it can occur if nails are either dry and brittle from too little moisture or soft and brittle from too much moisture.
More than 20 percent of the population has brittle nails. Brittle splitting nails most commonly affect women. The condition is also more common in older adults. This is due to the fact that nails grow more slowly as people age. The nails of older people have also undergone more exposure to sun and other conditions that cause brittle splitting nails.
Patients who have trouble with brittle splitting nails should consult a dermatologist about the best way to treat this condition. Brittle splitting nails are often treated by applying lotions that contain alpha hydroxy acids or lanolin. These substances can be applied to nails both before and after wetting the hands. Agents with urea or lactic acid are also effective at treating dryness. Taking a multivitamin with zinc, iron and biotin may increase the strength of nails. Olive oil is also an inexpensive treatment.
In addition, people can take other steps to prevent their nails from become split. It is best to avoid allowing the nails to repeatedly become wet and dry. Cotton-lined rubber gloves can protect the nails by keeping them dry during household chores, such as dishwashing. The gloves will also protect the nails from exposure to harsh cleaning products. People with an occupation that involves frequent wetting and drying of the nails will benefit from wearing gloves at the workplace.