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Why is my Toenail Cracked?

Dr. Kline & Green Team
10 February 2020
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Are you having an issue with the health of your toenails? Because they are seen a lot less than your fingernails, most people don’t give enough attention to the health of their toenails. However, if the health of your toenails is overlooked, there can be issues, like cracking, splitting and brittle nails. Other issues such as toenail fungus can occur since it develops over time and initially you may not even realize that you have the issue. Depending on what the problem is, there can be a variety of reasons why it’s happening.

Why is my toenail cracked?

The first, and most important issue that causes cracked toenails is frequent exposure to both wet and dry conditions. In any situation, too much can be harmful. Spending a lot of time submerged in water can have a negative effect on your toenails, and if you spend too much time in extremely dry conditions, then your nails won’t be getting the moisture they need to stay healthy. Another factor can be if you use a lot of harsh products like nail polish remover. These reasons all cause your nails to become weak and brittle, which can then promote cracking. If the cracked toenail has previously experienced trauma, such as being hit in an accident, this can definitely make it difficult for the nail to grow back the same way. This trauma can affect the nail bed in ways that you might not notice until later on. If you have serious toenail damage issues such as a broken nail, then a podiatrist may be able to help to avoid further damage to your nails.

There are also some medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and thyroid issues, that are known to cause cracked toenails. It’s important to pay attention to any changes in your nails because it can also be a side effect of a bigger issue. If you suspect that your nail issues may be caused by an underlying medical complaint then you should seek medical advice.

Vitamin deficiency can also become a problem. If you have a bad diet and aren’t getting enough nutrients and vitamins, this could possibly cause weak toenails as well. For example, it is well known that iron deficiency is one of the causes of brittle nails. Ultimately it is important to ensure that you are getting the right balance of vitamins, since a lack of certain vitamins can cause general health problems and affect your immune system.

Another common cause of nail problems are fungal infections. These are usually easy to spot as there are other obvious symptoms, like thickening and discoloration of the toenail. Most of these situations have simple fixes. If you are concerned it’s a more serious issue, then it’s best to check with a doctor.

Why are my toenails splitting vertically?

Toenails becoming weaker and splitting is a more common occurrence as you age. A sign of this is ridges or depressions in your nails, which can in turn lead to split nails. So, in older individuals nails brittleness can be expected. In other cases, split toenails can be caused by using harsh products, your diet, or a health issue, similar to having cracked nails. Onychorrhexis is the term for brittle fingernails or toenails with breakage. You can experience this on one nail, or all of them. Many of the reasons for cracked toenails are the same for fingernails that start splitting vertically. Before they start splitting or cracking, you should notice a weakness of your toenails. They are probably thinner and softer, and most of the time the texture is off as well.

If your toenails are splitting vertically, this can be a bigger issue than horizontally splitting nails because it can damage your nail bed. If you start to notice splitting and it’s not too serious, with care and attention, you can improve the health of your toenails on your own. But if it gets bad, then definitely schedule an appointment with a doctor. In some cases, cracked or splitting toenails are simply caused by genetics, particularly when there is a crack down the middle of the nail. In this case, be diligent and take care of your toenails, keep them trimmed, and apply a specialty product for dry, cracked nails two to three times per day. We have seen phenomenal results with consistent use of Doctors Kline + Green Hydrate.

What can you do about cracked and splitting toenails?

Toenail health can get bad very quickly. If you don’t give enough attention to your nail health and keep managing them, then things like ingrown or clubbed toenails can occur. These situations can be severe, requiring treatment and possibly surgery. But no need to worry. With daily care, this is avoidable.

Many people use nail strengthening products in order to improve the health of their toenails. And, many nail polish lines have a nail strengthening product available however they also usually contain formaldehyde or other dehydrating chemicals.

Fortunately, Doctors Kline + Green now offer a product without harmful ingredients that specifically address nail issues. Try their Hydrate Nail Strengthener, or Clear + Restore that works on repairing damaged nails. By paying attention to the health of your toenails and when tending to them daily, you can maintain healthy, great looking nails!

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