How often do your valued clients complain about cracks in nails at your beauty salon or office? Depending on the real cause, cracking or splitting can be described in slightly varying ways.
- Nail splitting (onychoschizia) can occur at its edges when the layers of the nail plate virtually split into two leaving some kind of thin space in between
- Anyone can experience and get vertical or horizontal split nails
- Cracking can affect the whole nail layer where a thin line forms along the vertical tiny ridges occurring on toe or fingernail
Cracking or splitting can be embarrassing and a shameful thing. But why does it occur? Read on to learn more about remedies, treatments, cracked nail repair and what to do if they are splitting.
Causes or reasons splitting toe and fingernails
What causes this problem? We have insightful causes to help you learn more about cracking or splitting. While some causes directly lead to them cracking a few factors may cause this problem indirectly. Let us discuss the various possible causes
Trauma can result from repeated injury to your hands or the fingers themselves. Some of the common ways of trauma from physical injury include:
- A hard blow
- Habitual nail-biting
- Picking at them l with another nail or some cruel tools
- Scratching using sharp tools
- Getting used to opening lids using them
- Ground digging especially for kids or children
Nail trauma normally leads to painful experiences, especially during handling or washing. Common signs include:
- Throbbing pain
- Cracking or splitting
- In severe damage cases, they can separate from its bed
- Abnormal color (dark) or hematoma
- The toenails may sometimes become thickened
Exposure to harsh chemicals or care products
Bearing in mind the permeability or ability to quickly absorb, exposing them to chemicals or products with damaging potential can cause splitting.
These chemicals or products include household cleaners, nail polish including polish removers.
Another cause of splitting nails both on fingers and toes is lichen planus. There is a possibility of lichen planus to develop on one part of the body or multiple areas including (in the mouth or on arms or nails or genitals, etc.)
Symptoms may vary greatly according to the areas or part of the body that is affected. If the skin is involved some of the signs or symptoms include:
- Plaques or patches on the skin
- Redness irritation
- Formation of bumps
- Pain in the genitals
- Tiny dots in mouth
Besides splitting, thinning of the nails can occur. If your finger or toenails are affected you are equally at risk to lose them too.
The cause of lichen planus is not clear. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, however, below are some reasons thought to bring about its occurrence.
- Certain medications such as those prescribed for patients with High Blood Pressure (HBP)
- The material used in teeth filling
- Hepatitis C
Studies have shown there is a close connection between manifestations in fingernails symptomatic of a problem with thyroid function. One of these is paronychia-hypothyroidism. According to Dr. Peter Osborne, classic features drawn after a diagnosis include:
- Vertical white ridges on the fingernails
- Rough cuticles
Besides splitting, hypothyroidism can lead to thinning brittle nails which are also a fairly considerable problem.
Although this is a rare ailment, a severe vitamin deficiency is sometimes indicated by this splitting or cracking.
Spots on nails or small well-demarcated lines in them is one of the possible sign of s vitamin deficiency.
NOTE: Vitamin deficiency can be a problem for toddlers, children, and adults.
Weak or brittle nails
Having weakened nails can easily lead to them
On the other hand, brittle ones can also be another risk factor for splitting. People whose are brittle often exhibit some of these signs.
- Peeling nails (esp. at the nail tip edges
- Nails snapping easily with little force exerted
- Slow growth
Common causes include medical reasons, malnutrition, very dry thin nails, infections or conditions such as Sjögren syndrome.
Though they require a certain percentage of moisture content, wetting them frequently makes them become weaker thus prone to cracking especially if they are longer than normal. People with naturally thinner ones tend to suffer more since this condition allows them to become soft.
Wetting through washing frequently is another reason why people end up with peeling nails.
Fungal (yeast) infections can change their texture, color or shape. If texture or shape is interfered with, splitting may occur with time if there is little done to cure such infections.
Other infections or illness causing this splitting or cracking problems include:
- Severe bacterial infections
- Viral warts
- Heart valve
- Kidney disease
Although a nail manicure is viewed as a basic care routine, how you do it could result in cracking.
As a risk factor for them splitting, psoriasis can produce varied symptoms depending on severity the condition. For instance, if you have this condition your nail growth could be suppressed, change the texture, color, cause inflammation or sometimes result in the separation of their bed from the fingers.
Furthermore, nail psoriasis can easily lead to infections that would worsen the symptoms.
Dry and cracked
Dryness in finger or toenails can lead to serious splitting especially if they are breaking often than not. Exposure to water, harsh chemicals and your regimen type can easily rob of that little moisture leading to cracked fingernails.
How to fix dry cracked ones
If there are signs of infection such as redness or streaks of red lines in the fingernails, seek the right treatment after seeing your dermatologist.
Other great treatment tips for cracking cases include:
- Hydrate with natural oils. Some of the best products to do the job include Shea butter, Jojoba oil, avocado oil, etc.
- Immediately after washing, ensure you clip them especially if they are tough but have brittleness
- You can alternatively use a hand cream for dry skin
- Use protective gloves while working or if you have to do a lot of handling
- Preventive tips such as trimming do help a lot. Ensure you leave a curving shape
- Limit use of nail polish remover if you want to stop them from cracking in the future
Split toenails causes
Most of the above factors we have looked at can cause splitting toenails. However, just to remind of the common culprits; illness and fungal infections, severe Iron or Biotin deficiency, trauma, exposure to harsh environmental conditions are reportedly leading causes.
Treatment for cracked or split nails
Treatment on one hand may be provided as a professional service depending on what really causes nail splitting or cracking.
On the other hand, there are a good number of things to do if there is something like a risk factor that leads to the problem. These include getting a cure for each specific reason:
- Seeing a nutritionist for a possible vitamin deficiency tests or diagnosis
- Your nutritionist or healthcare provider will give you further details on what you can do with your diet in terms of foods you should target and consume in the right amounts
- Sometimes vitamin supplements such as Gelatin capsules are a great deal
- Avoiding the known triggers such as solvents or chemicals with potentially damaging ingredients
- Keeping them dry
- Healthy eating is another general but tip for good looking ones
- Addressing medical causes such as thyroid problems
The best treatment and repair
Do you want the best methods or treatments to get rid of the problems leading or causing nails splitting? First, acknowledge you have a problem then see a dermatologist or nutritionist help you identify it.
Some of the best ways of treating splitting case have a foundation built on repair which includes the following.
1. Nail strengthener
Strengthening, like any other beauty practice, is as good or more or less nurturing your skin. Something note-worthy in this method of treatment that makes it exceptional is keeping the qualities of nails as natural as possible.
Use of strengthener is one of the super nail treatment for cracking or splitting. This method offers a perfect condition for those individuals with soft, fragile or rather weakened nails. The condition includes the physical protection and growth factor.
Before you go to request a nail strengthener, build a good foundation regarding the quality, composition or formulation. Even though, here are tips to guide you on how to get the best out of strengthening them.
- Know in and out your type of toe or fingernails. (Take your overall health into consideration or where possible, consult an expert before treatment)
- Do you have a medical condition that may be leading to your nail problem to develop?
- Some products used in treatment or manicure can potentially produce allergic reactions
- Allergic reactions and medications can, therefore, favor or affect efforts treatments negatively
- Strengtheners should be used every day for best results to surface
CAUTION: If a strengthener formulation is inappropriate for your specific needs, you may end up with brittle nails.
2. Keep your fingers off the culprits
If there is no perfect cure for this condition of yours yet the cause is avoidable, in one way or the other that is simple and simply the best help for the splitting or cracking.
3. Avoid certain nail treatments
Hardening products with dehydrating ingredients can potentially worsen their condition given that its formulation cannot fit the specific qualities of your nails. This would eventually lead them to even splitting further.
Hardening products with Acrylate are often recommended for splitting cases. However, according to Skinsight Web site, acrylate can potentially cause an allergic reaction in the skin.
Remedies or how to naturally heal them
The splitting and cracking can create a stumbling block to realizing your beauty in cosmetics. You have not lost all so don’t worry if you are still young. You can slowly but progressively reach the other end by repair and restring what your nails has seemingly lost.
Top remedy help for cracked nails include:
- Apple cider vinegar application especially when there are signs of fungal infection
- Tea tree oils especially when combined with Lavender oil or some herbal oils can help deal with inflammation due to bacterial entry
- Stop wearing flip-flops and prioritize first in hydration
- Stop nail biting
- Step up your efforts on personal hygiene
- Limit or give up yourself to home manicures
Unfortunately, you necessarily need to go back to the drawing board and this for sure requires patience since they take approximately 3 months to regrow from the cuticle to reach your fingertips.
Bad effects of cracking or splitting
Besides other abnormalities in nail formation, splitting or cracking can lead to the following.
Cracking and splitting can give certain infections can give an easy lee-way to an infection. One of the infections seen as a result of splitting is Paronychia nail infection.
2. Loss of nails
Loss of the affected one can be beyond repair or permanent loss depending on the causes of splitting such as nail bed injury that is not recoverable.
3. Chronic illness
This is usually associated with nail psoriasis or paronychia infection.
Damaged nails after cracking? Here is what to consider
Split ones can become damaged if you do nothing about it. One of the conditions that can worsen the splitting is psoriasis, infection and continued exposure to chemicals.
- Damaged nail repair on prescription treatments. This is normally costly but achievable if done timely before they are badly damaged
- Damaged ones can sometimes be removed if they become less worthy of any cosmetic significance
Both nail cracking and splitting can be a challenge to not only to those investing in cosmetics but also clients themselves.