General Question

janbb's avatar

How do I deal with split nails?

Asked by janbb (51211points) June 2nd, 2014

I have some finger nail splits that just don’t grow out or together. They grow and then break off where the nail is. Is there anything to do or product to use that will help?

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17 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

Are your nails somewhat brittle as well? I have applied A&D Ointment and used those teeny adhesive nail strippy things to lubricate the nails and keep them from splitting along the ridges. Probably surgical tape cut into teeny strips would work as well. I’m sorry, I don’t remember what the strippy things are called.
The A&D ointment is magic!

CWOTUS's avatar

I’d be interested to learn this, as well. My problem is hangnails that start to break from the edges and form as soon as my nails are more than 1/16” longer than the quick. It’s maddening.

I sometimes wonder, only half facetiously, how we ever managed to survive as a species until scissors, clippers and cuticle nippers were invented that could do the job reliably and painlessly (as a rule).

canidmajor's avatar

Some pretty good advice here. ;-)

janbb's avatar

They’re not really brittle.

@canidmajor What about our toenails? Teeth??

canidmajor's avatar

@janbb: Sure! ( In a younger day when I was doing serious pretzel Yoga every day for an hour…)

JLeslie's avatar

Can you explain it better? Is the split vertical? Or, they tear across horizontally?

Anyone who has trouble with brittle or splitting nails my advice is keep the side edge rounded, even if you want the top square-ish. Also, keep them painted. Never let the time between fresh paint go longer than a week. You can use simple clear. Do a minimum two coats.

Many people say taking biotin has helped their nails and hair tremendously. I also have read iron helps, but obviously be careful with iron, too much can be dangerous, so you would want to get it checked by a doctor before you take a lot. Simple test next time you happen to be at the doctor. If your doctor usually runs blood test, most likely you would know if your iron was low.

janbb's avatar


marinelife's avatar

I have found that taking 10 mg of biotin (10,000 mcg) daily heals the vertical splits. Sorry, it is a result of aging.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb I think try the biotin also. I have read 5 mg, but I haven’t read a lot about it. I know that is what my SIL takes daily.

Iron, and I forgot thyroid also. If the conjunctiva of your eye is very pale, or your tongue is very pale, or even if your tongue hurts (some people feel thirsty from it) that can be a sign of iron dificiency if you don’t know whether you are low or not.

gailcalled's avatar

I also have several age-related small vertical splits…from years of minor damage to the nail bed. I keep mine shorter than I used to and filed neatly. I am not a fan of polish myself.

The medical literature supports the use of biotin.

janbb's avatar

Luckily my thyroid and I do not communicate with each other so I don’t think that is what is bothering my nails. Aging – perhaps – although one split has been going on over 10 years!

Will check out the biotin. Thanks all for the tip.

gailcalled's avatar

Here are some commonsensical tips, including avoiding nail polish remover that contains acetone.

Good dietary sources of biotin include brewer’s yeast, nutritional (torula) yeast, whole grains, nuts, egg yolks, sardines, legumes, (liver), cauliflower, bananas, and mushrooms.

ibstubro's avatar

Ahh, the days when I bit my toenails recede from the days when my nails start to split.


kritiper's avatar

Eat lots of Jello.

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled I’m glad you listed some foods with biotin, I never have looked into that. Of course some of the sources are high cholesterol sources, which I try to avoid. I find it interesting that possibly watching my cholesterol has hurt me in other ways. I was just thinking about this early this morning and then saw your post about biotin. Egg yolks seem to have so many good things and it is one of the foods I try to avoid. I’m going to look up the actual biotin value in foods. I don’t get nail splits, and my nails grow relatively fast, but they do get vertical ridges.

I have always had my doubts about the acetone avoidance theory. My nails don’t seem to change whether I polish them weekly and use acetone weekly, or if I don’t polish them for weeks and months, which means I am not using acetone either.

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