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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What is the cause of fingernails splitting in layers from tip towards the cuticle?

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Dr. Kalpana Pathak

Dermatologist

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 2015 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 4 Feb 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: I would like to know, please, the cause of fingernails splitting in layers from tip towards the cuticle
Thank you

XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 35 minutes later
Hi XXXXXXX,
Welcome to XXXXXXX
You seem to be having brittle nail syndrome ( fragilitas unguium). It manifests itself as nail plate splitting in layers( onychoschizia) and/ or longitudinal ridging( onychorrhexis).

There could be many causes like-
1)Frequent wetting and drying of the hands
2)Use of nail cosmetics (hardeners, polish, removers) and occupational exposure to various chemicals (alkalis, acids, cement, solvents etc)
3)Injury (trauma) may also play a role in the development of brittle nails.
4)Brittle nails may occur due to medical problems, including endocrine diseases, tuberculosis and malnutrition and skin diseases, such as lichen planus and psoriasis.

However in your case, it seems to be due to your age. With increased age, finger nails become friable and dry as the natural oils tend to dry out hence leading to increased propensity of fragile splitting nails.

To treat the same-
1)Avoid using harsh soaps and do not wet hands frequently.
2)Use XXXXXXX butter, olive oil, almond oil etc to keep your hands and nails well moisturised. Apply these three to four times in a day.
3)Do not use nail polish, hardeners etc
4)wear gloves while washing clothes or utensils or doing any other harsh work
5)You can also take nail supplements XXXXXXX in biotin to strengthen nails.
6) take nutritious diet XXXXXXX in protein vitamins and minerals.

Hope I have answered your query. Should there be further queries, I would be happy to oblige. Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Mohammed Kappan
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kalpana Pathak 5 hours later
Thank you very much for your help.
XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 2 minutes later
Hi XXXXXXX,
Hope you would follow my general recommendations to prevent your nails from splitting!
Wish you a healthy recovery. Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Mohammed Kappan
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kalpana Pathak 20 minutes later
Does a painful throat, neck, back of neck, ears, collar-bone area indIcate a virus where I have to wait for healing OR an infection for which I should go to my G.P. for antibiotics? I'd be grateful to know.

XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 13 minutes later
Hi XXXXXXX,
The pain in throat neck and ears could be due to some infection for which you might require antibiotics. So for the same, a prescription from GP is mandatory.
As general care-
Do warm saline gargles
Drink plenty of warm water, XXXXXXX tea or ginger tea to soothe throat
Take steam inhalations
Take paracetamol to relieve pain.

Wish you a speedy recovery. Take care.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Mohammed Kappan
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