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Everything You Need To Know About Split Nails

Dr. Kline & Green Team
7 February 2020
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Split nails and cracked nails are very common, and can happen to anyone. Ensuring the health of your nails can help you prevent them from occurring. But if you are already dealing with a split nail, here’s a bit more information to answer any questions you have.

Can a split nail grow back together?

This depends on how severe the split nail is. If it is extensive, getting close to or all the way to the nail bed, then it isn’t possible. That’s when you need to visit your doctor. If you have minor nail splitting, as long as you take better care of your nails, then as they grow, they will heal and be healthy again.

How do I stop my nails from splitting vertically?

Vertically splitting nails is a condition known as Onychorrhexis. It’s commonly caused by overexposure, through constantly washing and drying hands, whether just through daily life or frequent manicures, making them dry and brittle. Try to limit the amount of time you soak your nails in water, don’t bite or pick your nails, use less nail polish remover, and if necessary, use nail hardening products. But remember nail polish will only dry your nails out even more. Instead use a nail product that will hydrate as well as harden the nail plate.

How do I stop my toenails from splitting?

Split nails rarely occur with toenails, but it does occasionally happen, and it’s for the same reason as with fingernails. Don’t pick at them, don’t keep them in water too long, and use a moisturizer or other hydrating and strengthening product. Split toenails can result from constant pressure inside your shoe. Runners or other athletes often have problems with their nails and this is referred to as “athletes nail”.  Women who wear stiletto heels are also traumatizing their toenails so please give your feet a rest whenever possible.

You want to keep those nails from drying out, but washing them or putting them in water is not the answer. Other factors that may cause split nails are what’s in your diet, and what sort of stress or trauma is present in your life. The direct stress is also a leading factor for split fingernails. Be conscientious and do not use your fragile nails to open anything- take the time to grab a pair of scissors or whatever tool is necessary. Remember your nails are not tools.

How do you repair a split nail?

There are a multitude of techniques suggested for repairing split nails. There are silk nail wraps, nail glue, and even a method using a tea bag, but that’s only to help fix it cosmetically. This temporary fix will not help the nail issue long-term and could even make the problem worse. Trim the nail if you need to, and make sure it won’t be a hindrance to your daily activities. Use a band-aid or even wear gloves when doing chores so the split nail will not get caught on any clothing etc.  Once the nail begins to grow out and become more  manageable, be extra cautious with the split nails.  Apply a hydrating nail product several times a day and soon your nail will be restored.

How do you treat a split nail?

In order to improve the health of your nails, you have to look at your diet, as well as moisturize, and protect your hands. This is something you should be doing every day to make sure that your nails are strong, and prevent split nails from occurring in the future. Make sure to check if there are any signs of infection or damage to the nail bed, as this can be a significant issue.

What are you lacking when your nails split?

If you have splitting nails, you could be lacking some essential vitamins in your diet. A deficiency of B vitamins, such as biotin, can cause split nails. If you eat a normal, healthy diet, then you shouldn’t be deficient in biotin, but it can happen.

Mineral deficiencies such as iron can also have a big effect on your health. Besides causing brittle nails, iron deficiency can also cause other things like fatigue and dizziness.

What is the best product for splitting nails?

There are a lot of great offerings of products to help treat split nails. Doctors Kline + Green have two products targeted for this: CLEAR + RESTORE™ to help repair cracked or brittle nails, and HYDRATE, which is a topical moisturizing gel specifically designed for nails.

Why do my nails keep splitting?

A key factor in split nails is that they are extremely dry, so you need to work on hydrating and moisturizing your nails. You should have a good daily hand cream, keep your nails trimmed to a healthy length, and wear gloves whenever you are encountering harsh chemicals. Another factor that can lead to split nails is whether you are biting your nails, which can lead to split edges or vulnerable nail beds.

Why is my nail splitting down the middle?

Nails can split down the middle for a variety of reasons. Usually it happens because your nails are too dry and weak, possibly from lack of moisture or Keratin. You could be putting your nails through too much by constantly painting them, and nail polish remover can really dry out your nails. Try to go without polish for a week or two to regain the moisture level.

Other possible reasons are your diet, stress, or maybe you wash your hands too frequently. Usually nail splitting isn’t something to worry about too much, but if it goes from cuticle to nail bed, it can be a serious issue.

Learn more about Nail Health

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