What Can I Do About Peeling Nails?

10/03/2012 | By | More

Question:
This is not a hair question, but its bothering me a lot. My nails grow long and thick, but they seem to start to peel when they get to a certain length. How can I stop this from happening?splitting nails peeling nails breaking nails can be a problem

Answer:
There are many reasons that a woman might begin to experience peeling of the top layers of her nails when they get past her fingertip.

  • Chemical Reactions. Protect your nails from harsh soap, water and chemicals by using rubber gloves when you wash dishes or do household chores.
  • Medication/Medical Reasons. Check with your doctor if you are on prescription medication… sometimes medication is the root cause of peeling, splitting fingernails (hyperthyroidism and anemia are common examples). If a medical condition requires treatment with drugs, perhaps your doctor can come up with an alternative.
  • Nutritional Deficiencies.  In our hurry hurry society, cooking and eating nutritious meals has given way to speed. Try eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Aim for a salad a day and two pieces of FRESH fruit (not juice or canned fruits). Make sure to eat dark green leafy vegetables for appropriate calcium intake, or drink calcium fortified rice or soy milk. Take a daily multivitamin if changing your eating habits immediately is a major challenge.
  • Protein Deficiency.  Protein has gotten a bad rap over the past few years, and many women are afraid of eating meat because of it. That’s fine, but make sure your daily protein intake is sufficient by substituting vegetable protein foods such as beans, tofu, tempeh, nuts (in moderation due to the high calorie count), seeds, and whole grains. Protein shakes are also a great way to augment your protein intake without adding a lot of calories.
  • Fungal Infection. Nails are often the victim of yeast or other fungus.  A bad infection will make your nails turn brown or black and fall off, however a less severe  infection may be the cause of splitting and peeling nails. Remove all fingernail polish and coat your nails morning and evening with an over the counter anti-fungal cream. Check with your pharmacist for a recommendation.
  • Dry Nails.  Frequently exposing your hands to soap and water is great for sanitary reasons, but may contribute to peeling nails by removing natural moisture and oils. Simply use a moisturizing hand cream after washing your hands, and at night before bed massage your nails with Vitamin E, coconut oil, mango butter or Shea butter.

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Category: Growing, Questions/Answers

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Blogger, writer, relationships/dating expert, fitness trainer and natural hair enthusiast since 1997. Sharing information from grandmomma, books and scientific journals, as well as my personal discoveries and experiences with natural hair as we journey from relaxers, flat irons and weaves together.

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