Last reviewed by Editorial Team on August 13th, 2018.
What are peeling fingernails?
In the majority of cases, our fingernails peel because we are constantly exposing ourselves to harmful conditions. However, when we do not eat healthy and our diet lacks the necessary fruits and vegetables, not to mention water, this immediately shows in our fingernails. You need to try and identify the cause of peeling, as in some situations, it might be enough to start eating healthier and take better care of your nails. On the other hand, peeling fingernails can benefit sometimes from medical attention.
Whether the fingernail peels because of an outside or inside factor, that matters a lot. The fingernails, just like our hair, are the best way to identify if someone is healthy enough or not. On the other hand, occupational damage can lead to peeling fingernails and heavy usage will have to be reconsidered. According to the latest statistics, it seems that almost 20% of the global population has peeling fingernails. If the toenails are affected as well, then you most likely need to seek out medical treatment.
Causes of peeling fingernails
These are the most common causes of peeling fingernails:
- Doing chores inside or outside the house, without any protective gloves. Whether you do work in the garden, lift heavy things inside the home or scrub the floors, the process it the same. Your nails will be chipped and then they will peel more easily
- Chemical exposure – When people work with chemical substances, they should use protective equipment. Whether you find yourself using harsh chemicals against pests, strong paints for the house or powerful chlorine-based cleansing agents, you need to protect your fingernails from serious damage
- Water exposure – In the past, women who did a lot of hand washing, always had peeling fingernails. Today, thanks to modern technology we can avoid overexposure to water, as keeping our hands in soapy water for too long can cause our nails to brittle and peel
- Poor diet habits – If our diet lacks fruits, vegetables and even meat, then our nails cannot get the nutrients they need to keep healthy. Change your diet to include more healthy proteins, amino acids and the entire range of B vitamins
- Secondary infections – Whether we are talking about viral, fungal or bacterial infections, these can lead to nail damage, among other things
- Skin problems – For example, in the case of psoriasis, the symptoms can be transmitted to the hands and soon you will have peeling fingernails
- Weather – It seems that both the cold and the dry season favor peeling fingernails
- Medication – Depending on the medication that you take, there can be side-effects such as fingernails becoming brittle and peeling
- Nail treatments – Whether you decide to have a gel manicure or get acrylic nails, you should know that, once they are removed, you stand a very good chance of your fingernails peeling
The treatment for peeling fingernails depends tremendously on the original cause of the problem. Let’s see a few treatment suggestions and changes that you can make in order to have healthy fingernails.
- Wear protective hand-gloves when you do heavy work outside or inside the house
- Keep your fingernails trimmed, as you will reduce the risk of them being chipped and then peeled
- Use the proper protective hand-gloves when you expose yourself to harsh chemicals and be sure to use a moisturizing cream to protect your skin as well
- Avoid to keep your hands in water for prolonged periods of time, or, if you must, be sure to use gloves once more
- Eat healthy and make sure that your diet includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. If your diet does not provide all the vitamins that you need, consider taking vitamin B supplements as these can be very good for your nails
- Treat secondary infections with anti-fungal, anti-viral or anti-bacterial oral or topical medication. Do not let it spread to your fingernails and be sure to take the treatment for as long as it is prescribed
- Use topical creams with active ingredients recommended for various skin conditions, including psoriasis
- Wear gloves when the cold season comes in and be sure to use a moisturizing cream for both the cold and dry season. Also, there are special treatments that you can apply to the fingernails in order to make them stronger during cold and dry seasons
- Be sure to search for alternate medication that does not have similar side-effects or, if you have no alternative, take supplements to keep the fingernails as healthy as possible
- Use nail strengtheners and moisturizers before and after nail treatments
Collection of photos, images and pictures of peeling fingernails…