Cracked nails are a common problem that can affect both your appearance and your health. Cracked nails can be caused by various factors, such as aging, frequent exposure to water, harsh nail products, fungal infections, nutritional deficiencies, psoriasis, or thyroid disorders. Depending on the cause, you may also experience other symptoms, such as nail splitting, peeling, discoloration, or thickening. Fortunately, there are some ways to treat and prevent cracked nails and improve your nail health.
How to Treat Cracked Nails
The treatment for cracked nails depends on the underlying cause. For example:
If you have a fungal infection, you may need to use antifungal treatments that are painted on the nail like nail polish or taken as pills .
If you have psoriasis, you may need to use topical or oral medications that reduce inflammation and slow down the growth of skin cells.
If you have a thyroid disorder, you may need to take hormone replacement therapy to regulate your metabolism and improve your nail growth.
If you have a nutritional deficiency, you may need to take supplements or eat more foods that contain iron, protein, or B vitamins.
In some cases, you can also use fingernail glue (typically used to attach fake nails or tips) to reattach the broken part of your nail. To do this:
Wash your nail with clean, warm water and dry with a clean towel.
Soak the nail in warm water so it softens.
Apply a small amount of glue to the broken part of the nail and press it gently against the remaining part of the nail.
Hold it in place for a few seconds until the glue dries.
File and shape the nail as desired.
How to Prevent Cracked Nails
The best way to prevent cracked nails is to protect them from damage and keep them hydrated. Here are some tips:
Avoid using harsh nail products that contain toluene or formaldehyde, which can weaken and dry out your nails. Instead, use gentle nail polish removers and moisturizing nail polishes.
Avoid removing gel nail manicures frequently, as this can damage your nails with chemicals and soaking. If you do get gel manicures, make sure to use a base coat that protects your nails from the gel.
Avoid biting or picking at your nails or cuticles, which can cause cracks and infections.
Avoid exposing your nails to water for long periods of time, which can soften and split your nails. Wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when washing dishes or doing other wet work. Dry your hands thoroughly after washing them.
Apply a moisturizer or oil to your nails and cuticles every day, especially after they have been wet. This can help prevent dryness and cracking. You can use creams, lotions, ointments, or natural oils like olive oil or coconut oil.
Clip and file your nails when they are wet, as this can prevent splitting and snagging. Use a gentle file and avoid filing back and forth. Keep your nails short and rounded.
Eat a balanced diet that provides enough nutrients for healthy nail growth. Include foods that are rich in iron (such as red meat, spinach, beans), protein (such as eggs, fish, nuts), and B vitamins (such as whole grains, dairy products, bananas).
Take a biotin supplement if you have brittle nails. Biotin is a B vitamin that can help strengthen your nails. However, do not take it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Cracked nails are not only unsightly but also potentially harmful to your health. They can be caused by various factors that affect your nail growth and quality. By identifying the cause of your cracked nails and following some simple tips to treat and prevent them, you can improve your nail health and appearance. 06063cd7f5