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How to cure split and peeling finger nails?

Answered by
Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia


Practicing since :2002

Answered : 4168 Questions

Posted on Fri, 8 Aug 2014 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: how to cure split and peeling finger nails?
Answered by Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia 15 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Diet + multivitamin supplement with Biotin

Detailed Answer:

Welcome and thanks for posting your query to forum.

I can understand your concern for the splitting and peeling finger nails.

After analyzing the query and correlating with your age let me reassure you that the splitting and peeling finger nails is a simple part of aging process.

To tell you medically- Our nails are basically made up of proteins along with multiple of minerals and vitamins are necessary as an co-factor in normal maintenance of both these structures.

Many time after the age of 50-60 years there is less absorption of all these vitamins, minerals and proteins due to less absorptive capacity by our intestine due to aging process.

As I can see you are 80 years so it appears to be simple age related event only.

Many time it can be due to internal health problem or any systemic illness too, but I can not find any relevant information for the same.

I humbly request you to kindly elaborate any of your health issues (if any).

Despite taking your age factor as main concern I suggest you to kindly go for complete blood counts including Hb, TLC, DLC, ESR, serum ferritin, total proteins and other relevant investigations. This will tell us the exact status of your health condition.

A well-balanced diet will correct and prevent the deficiency. Improve your diet with following:

1. Eat at least 3-4 different fruits saplings per day. Every fruit is good but you can make a combination of sour with sweet fruits such as oranges, papaya and other of seasonal fruits.

2. Pulses are good source of proteins. So everyday have a small bowel full of mixed pulses. Add green leafy vegetables additionally in the pulses which contain lot of iron and vitamins in it.

3. Sprouts are the best source of fibers, minerals especially iron, vitamins and proteins too. so add it at-least alternate day if you can not make in every-day's part of meal.

4. Over night soaked and peeled almonds will give you good vitamin E which is good for the hair growth.

5. Milk and milk products should be included in every-day's schedule.

6.Do light exercises, reduce your work stress as all these have bit impact on skin so also on scalp skin.

7.Stop any substance abuse such as smoking and alcohol if any!!

In my patients with your kind of problem I prefer a tablet containing Acetylcysteine, Calcium Pantothenate, Selenium, Zinc, Biotin, Copper as active ingredients.

You start with multivitamin tablets once or twice per day after meals. Additionally take iron supplementation daily to replenish iron reserve.

Your condition will take few months to improve to its best. So have patience and go for best diet.

I hope these informations will help you. If you have further queries I will be happy to help.

"Wish you good health"


Dr Sanjay Kumar Kanodia
MD (Dermatology)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia 11 minutes later
I am taking the following meds: Losartan/Hct 50.-12.52 @1pr day
Metoprolol succer 25mg @1pr day

Escitalopram (Lexapro) 25mg 1pr day

Calcium,Magnesium, and zinc w/D3 @1per day
Calcium 600
I stopped Biotin 5,000 mcg ,having taken it for 6 months with no effect on
my nails. (new hair growth came in thicker and with my natural color)
I also take Calcium carbonaate 600mg @1per day. I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you. XXXX
You advise me to take -- pulses-- as part of my diet. I do not know what it is. Please advise.XXXX

Answered by Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia 18 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Iron + other minerals intake regularly

Detailed Answer:
Dear Madam,

Welcome again to the forum and thanks a lot for your swift follow up.

After getting the information regarding your general health and medications let me guide you further.

I suggest you to first go for complete blood counts including Hb, TLC, DLC, ESR, serum ferritin, total proteins. All these investigations are routine investigations and will help you otherwise also regarding your general health.

I can see that you are on certain nutritive supplements. But there is no Acetylcysteine, Calcium Pantothenate, Selenium, Zinc, Biotin, Copper in nay of these tablets. An iron supplementation is also must for god health of your nails.

I can get that your hair growth improved but not nails after taking biotin. To tell you medically- Hair grows three times faster than nails and therefore the effect on nails is delayed. Post 60 years the absorption of nutitie material is bit less so the effect on nail is more delayed.

I suggest you to ask your family physician to guide you for the tablet containing above nutrients.

An additional information is that to not to take the suggested tablet with milk or milk product as the calcium in milk delays and hampers the absorption of iron and other related minerals. Accordingly these iron and multivitamin tablet should not be taken with calcium tablets as can cause impaired absorption.

In all my patients I guide them to have the best diet multiple times a day.

I reassure you that the things will get better provided a long term measure is done regularly.

I hope these informations will help you. If you have further queries I will be happy to help.

"Wish you good health"


Dr Sanjay Kumar Kanodia
MD (Dermatology)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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