Millions of people throughout the world suffer from peeling nails, a condition causing the different layers of the fingernails to peel or flake off. While the causes of peeling fingernails can range from health concerns and genetics to lifestyle habits and fingernail exposure to trauma, the resulting impact of this form of nail dystrophy is often the same:
Peeling nails are painful
If you’ve ever had a hangnail or cut your fingernails too short, you know how sensitive your fingernails can be. Now imagine dealing with this kind of pain on a daily basis – that’s what people with peeling nails a. The sharp, biting pain that can occur when the layers of the fingernail plate dry out and separate casts a burden on multitudes of otherwise healthy, hygienic individuals. If you’re suffering from peeling nails, you know the obstacles associated with your nail pain. Unfortunately, pain is only one of the problems associated with unhealthy fingernails.
Peeling nails are unsightly
One of the most common reasons people seek help for their peeling nails is that they are tired of looking down and seeing the toll that they’ve taken on the appearance of their hands. Peeling nails are not attractive and can detract from the beauty of a person’s hands, leaving them forced to hide their hands at work or among friends. Unsightly fingernails can dampen the confidence of a the person dealing with them and foster an unnecessary sense of self-consciousness that often results in nail care tips for peeling, fragile nails their choosing to isolate themselves from social situations. The long-term negative impact of negative nails plagues countless individuals who want nothing more than to free themselves from their nail dystrophy. Luckily, there are ways to go about neutralizing the impact of peeling nails.
Fighting Peeling Fingernails
Just when you think you have your fingernails really looking good, you may experience peeling nails. An increase in nail care may help to avoid this problem.
Shaping and filing should be routinely done to your fingernails, to maintain their health. Whenever you cut your fingernails, use a good nail file on them, rather than the cheaper ones you can find in a pack of 12 at your local drug store. Four-sided nail files work much better. They have four different textures that will each help in strengthening your nails.
How Should Peeling Fingernails Be Trimmed
Your nails should be trimmed so that they’re not too short, and then shaped. The roughest side of the file works well on your nail tips, and helps you to shape them.
To get rid of that peeling problem, gently go over your nails with the other three sides of your file. You’ll be working on the entire nail, rather than the tip only. With the second roughest side of your file, do each nail in a back and forth motion several times. This will make shavings, and remind you to go slowly so you don’t remove too much nail.
Going to the third roughest side, using this will also yield shavings, though not as many as before. Be sure you spend an adequate amount of time for each nail. Using the softest part of your four-sided file will leave your nails with a shiny, natural finish. If you follow this plan once or twice each week, you won’t see peeling nails anymore.
What Causes Peeling Fingernails
Peeling fingernails can be caused by a variety of reasons. They include overexposure to water, exposure to certain chemicals, infections and skin diseases. When your body produces less moisture and oil, your nails will be more prone to peeling or breaking. Using nail products too often can also dry out your fingernails.
You extend your hand in greeting as you meet someone new and you inwardly cringe at the sight of your nails. They are peeling, flaking, and a bit yellow in color. You probably have an idea as to why you have peeling nails like this, but if you are not sure of the reasons, they are:
- Exposure to water or chemicals – hands and nails that are constantly exposed to extremes, including water or irritating chemicals, will usually degrade quickly. The cells that hold the nails together don’t do well when they are forced to shift from wet to dry constantly, or if they absorb a lot of different and harmful compounds. Simply wearing rubber gloves and a good moisturizer will prevent such damage;
- Your diet is bad – when you don’t get enough nutrients or water (or decaffeinated fluids), it will show up right away in the nails. This leads to peeling nails, discolored nails, and even easily torn and broken nails. Using dietary supplements, getting plenty of fluids, and coating the nails with vitamin treatments are the easiest solutions; or
- The environment is to blame – the dry heat of winter weather, the humidity and intense heat of mid-summer, and the various seasonal changes can cause the nails to react badly. Any time that the skin changes because of environment or weather, the nails can change too.
If you’re suffering from peeling nails – there’s good news. There are both home remedies and prescription treatments you can implement in your daily routine to reverse the effects of your nail damage. Keeping the fingernails trimmed and well-maintained is a good start, but sometimes it’s not enough.
Treating Peeling Fingernails
- Keeping your nails trimmed a bit closer to the end of the finger can give them a better chance to grow stronger, without peeling. You may have to sacrifice long, natural nails for a time, until yours become more healthy.
- Re-hydration is important in healthy fingernails. Peeling nails can be dealt with by using vitamin E and jojoba oil every day. The small molecules of jojoba oil can easily penetrate your nail’s surface plate, taking vitamin E molecules inside with them.
- Lactic acid or Alpha-hydroxy acid are useful for moisturizing fingernails, too. Bedtime is a good time to apply them. You may opt to wear cotton gloves after treatments, to keep all the moisturizers in contact with the nails.
- Eating a balanced, nutritious diet is important for the health of all parts of your body, including your fingernails. You should have a protein-rich diet for rigid, stronger nails. Eating omega-3 acids in the form of fish twice a week is also helpful.
- You probably don’t get all the vitamins your body needs in your daily diet, so take a multivitamin each day. This will help to restore your peeling nails. Vitamin B-7, or biotin, is also helpful for strengthening nails.
- Wearing rubber gloves when you’re cleaning around the house or washing dishes can help to avoid contact with harmful chemicals and excessive immersion of fingernails in water. All of these actions can help you avoid any more peeling fingernails.
Though peeling nails cannot be remedied overnight, simply because the lost cells have to have time to re-grow, the treatments outlined above will be the most productive and useful. Try to identify exactly what is causing the nails to peel and react, and then use the remedies that are the most likely to override the problems. It also helps to moisturize the nails and skin to prevent cells from peeling and flaking as well.
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