A split nail will occur for several issues including wear and tear, nutrient deficiency, physical injury, or stress. You are also more prone to split nails if you work in an industry that requires heavy handwork. While split nails are inevitable, there are things you can do to prevent them from happening frequently.
What Causes Split Nails?
Your nails are made of layers of a protein called keratin that sits atop a bed in which they grow from just below the cuticle. Split nails will occur when any of these three areas are disturbed, injured, or exposed.
A most common reason for a split nail is an injury. Hitting your nail, snagging the fingernail tip, closing them indoors, or striking hard surfaces can all cause injuries that split the nail or cause ridges. You may also weaken your nails from wearing acrylic nails which can lead to an injury.
- Skin Conditions
Did you know that skin conditions also affect your nails? In fact, eight out of ten people with psoriasis will experience issues with their nails including splits, lifts, thickening, ridges, and pits.
When there is an underlying disease like kidney, liver, thyroid, and skin cancer, a person’s nails will show tell-tale signs that often include split nails, discoloration, and changes in its shape.
- Anxious Habits
Do you bite or pick at your nails? Habitual biting or picking are symptoms of anxiety which affect the nails long-term. Continual picking will cause splits, breaks, skin bleeds, and infection.
Whether you are forced to wash your hands incessantly at work or regularly find yourself doing dishes, long-term exposure to moisture will wreak havoc on your fingernails as it weakens the skin around the nail. Humidity will also make your nails become fragile, bendable, and split.
Exposure to bacteria, fungus, or yeast to the bed area will affect the nail’s texture considerably and cause infections that lead to splits, weakening, and breaks. An anti-fungal formula will help.
- Nutritional Deficiency
Proper nutrition is vital to beautiful, healthy nails. Signs that you have a vitamin and mineral deficiency include discoloration in the nail bed’s pigment, brittleness, rigidness, and splits.
Split Nail Prevention Tips
While you can’t repair a split nail, you can take measures to prevent them from happening in the future.
- Keep your hands healthy and clean. A biotin-friendly revitalizing hand soap will help.
- Never expose your hands and feet to water for long periods.
- Always moisturize your nails and use a cuticle oil extract.
- Avoid biting or picking your nails. It will help if you use a nail hardening product.
- Do not use nail polish remover as it is too harsh on the nail’s texture.
- Avoid pulling off hangnails as it will further damage your nail and skin around it.
- Take a nutritional supplement that contains Biotin, Silica, and L-Cysteine.
While most nail splits are minor in nature and will heal on their own or with over-the-counter products, there are some split nail symptoms that require you to see a medical professional. Signs that you will need to look for include bluish, purplish, or whitish discoloration, horizontal ridges, and a misshapen nail.