Split nails become increasingly common as people age, especially for women as they approach menopause. The hormonal changes that go along with this transition can cause nails to become more brittle and prone to splitting, likely because of the hormonal influence on both calcium absorption and hydration in the body. While these hormonal changes are unavoidable, many of the symptoms they cause, such as split fingernails, are manageable. These vitamins and simple remedies will help keep your fingernails whole and healthy.
A poor diet is a very common contributing cause of broken and split fingernails, so vitamins are crucial for keeping nails healthy; they should be consumed primarily in foods as part of a healthy diet, but extra doses can be found in supplements.
Although it is often referred to as vitamin H, biotin is part of the B group and can significantly help reduce split fingernails. While low levels of biotin do not seem to cause any nail problems, introducing and extra boost of it - through food or supplements - has been shown to improve the health and strength of dry and brittle nails.
Also known as retinol, this is an essential nutrient for nail strength and the prevention of split nails, as well as for hair and skin, as it encourages tissue regeneration. It is also vital in the body's absorption and proper use of iron, another component of strong and healthy nails.
This nutrient helps the blood transport oxygen to different parts of the body, which is crucial for its well-functioning. This is incredibly helpful for nails, too, as deficient blood flow will affect extremities before other parts of the body. Vitamin E has also been shown to improve many different types of nail problems, from splitting to weak and discolored nails.
There are some simple tips that can help treat and prevent nail splitting, as well:
Using lotion. Keeping nails moisturized can have a much greater effect than many people believe. Lotion should be massaged into the nails, preferably after a shower or any other exposure to water, as it makes easier for the nails to absorb the lotion. This keeps nails healthy and supple.
Wearing gloves. Gloves protect nails and keep them healthy in situations where they could be exposed to conditions that would dry them out and cause splitting, such as extreme cold in the winter or long exposure to water.
Avoiding overuse. Nails should also not be overused for difficult tasks such as opening stubborn containers, and they should not be picked at. Both actions cause structural damage, which weakens the nail and makes it more likely to split and crack.
With these vitamins and remedies, your split fingernails will be able to heal and grow even stronger than they were before. For more ways to help your nails, read about these brittle fingernail treatments.
- National Librabry of Medicine U.S. (2015). Nail abnormalities. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003247.htm
- Szyszkowska, B. et al. (2014). The influence of selected ingredients of dietary supplements on skin condition. Advances in Dermatology and Allergology, 31(3), 174-181. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4112259/