According to a report from University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, approximately 20 percent of the American population has brittle nails. Also known as brittle nail syndrome (BNS), this condition is characterized by splitting or peeling of nails into layers. Oftentimes, the cause on "why are my nails splitting" is external, especially if it affects only your fingernails. On the other hand, BNS that affects both fingernails and toenails could be due to health conditions. Keep reading to find out what the culprit could be in your condition.

Deficiency in Iron

Iron plays a crucial role in your body. When it comes to your nails, iron is helpful too because it forms hemoglobin, a type of molecule that transports oxygen-rich red blood cells to your nail matrix. Low in iron leads to brittle nails, causing nail splitting. What's more, it could lead to poor appetite, pale skin, and headaches.

How to solve it: Boosting your iron levels is the best way to address this condition. Add iron-rich foods in your diet such as seafood, beans, pork, and dark leafy greens. Taking iron supplements could also be helpful in increasing your iron levels. Make sure you get a blood test first to make sure that it is iron deficiency,

Too Much Moisture

Moisturizing your nails and skin are important. However, too much moisture could make them crack. In fact, the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology revealed that majority of splitting nails cases are due to moisture, which weakens and softens your nails, thereby causing them to peel.

How to solve it: Keep your fingernails protected, especially during extreme weather. If possible, wear gloves when your hands will be immersed in water like doing the laundry or washing the dishes. Don’t forget to apply lotion afterwards to maintain sufficient moisture on your hands.

Exposure to Chemicals

Another answer to the question “why are my nails splitting?” is because of the chemicals that your hands come in contact with. Things such as household cleaners, colored nail polish, and nail polish removers may seem harmless, but could do the worst things on your nails. The chemicals contained in them could cause nail damage; hence splitting and breakage.

How to solve it: As much as possible, limit your exposure to these types of products. Schedule your interaction with cleaning tools and time your manicure and pedicure well. You can also apply clear nail polish once a week for added protection and don’t forget to moisturize, especially after contact with chemicals.

Trauma on Nails

Do you often bite your nails? Or use them to remove staple wires? Surely, you mean no harm, but these acts can cause trauma on your nails and make them brittle. At the same time, it could cause nail injuries and make them easier to split even when doing normal activities.

How to solve it: The first thing you need to do is to never use your nails for prying and scraping. There are tools dedicated for that, so make sure to take advantage of it. Besides, keep your nails short at all times. Filing your nails into a rounded shape using an emery board could prevent your nails from splitting as well.

Nonstop Texting and Typing

You rarely get a manicure and often wear gloves when doing household chores. Then “Why are my nails splitting”, you might ask. Believe it or not, the clicking sound you make every time you type or text could be the reason why your nails are splitting. This could even lead to fracture or fray on the edges since your nails are always in contact with a hard surface.

How to solve it: It would be better to avoid texting and typing, which seems hard to be removed from your system. Then the best you can do is to either trim or file your nails and keep it short. Let your fingers do the typing to keep your cuticles strong.

Uses of Cuticle Snippers

Can’t leave your cuticles snippers behind? Then it’s not surprising if your nails are brittle as well. Cuticles, which are located at the base of your nail, play a major role in protecting your nails against bacteria, water, and anything you touch. Therefore, removing your cuticles equates to removing that nail protection, which leads to brittle and splitting nails.

How to solve it: Instead of cutting them, gently push the cuticles back using a washcloth. Make sure you do this after shower.

Blame It on the Acetone

Acetone is among the popular ingredients in removing your nail polish. Although effective, acetone strips the natural oils found in your nails and make them dry, thereby must be on the list of "why are my nails splitting".

How to solve it: Go for acetone-free nail polish removers to avoid drying of your nails. There are also soy-based polish removers or those that have oils to keep your nails moisturized, especially after getting soaked in nail polish. Otherwise, this leads you back to a no-manicure policy to protect your nails against products with chemicals.

Lack of Nutrients

What you eat plays a vital role in your body. This means that everything that goes inside could have an impact on your body, including nails. When it comes to nutrients, one vitamin stands out: biotin.

One study showed that taking 2.5mg biotin supplementation every day could reduce your nail’s brittleness, prevent peeling, and improve your nail strength after approximately six to nine months.

How to solve it: A 2.5mg dose of biotin every day could help a lot in boosting your nails’ strength and health, and reduce any form of brittleness or damage. Nonetheless, it may take time before you see the results, so be patient. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor if taking biotin supplementation is safe, considering your present medical condition.

Who says you have to endure the hassle and discomfort brought by splitting nails? Take note of these causes and apply the corresponding treatment options recommended.


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