How To Treat Peeling Nails

Cleaning nails

Long and healthy nails may seem a long ways off if your nails keep cracking, breaking, and peeling. If your nails keep peeling, you may be self-conscious about your hands. Here's how to treat peeling nails, restoring them to their former beauty:

  1. Don't use your nails as tools. Don't pick, poke, or scratch at anything with your nails. This can encourage the tips to break or peel.
  2. Wear gloves whenever possible. Many household chemicals, especially detergents and soaps, are harsh on your nails and can cause them to peel. Also wear gloves when gardening or doing other household tasks that may be hard on them.
  3. Don't bite them or pick at them. Biting your nails not only shortens them, but also damages them. Instead, carefully trim them after a hand soak or bath. Filing or shaping them correctly is also an important step to keep them from peeling. Keep them at a reasonable length; long nails are often unhealthy ones.
  4. Use nail polish. A coat of nail polish, even clear polish, can strengthen the nail and seal it together, keeping it from peeling. There are even types specially formulated to strengthen your nails. When the polish starts to chip, consider touching it up rather than using nail polish remover. If you must use polish remover, avoid types containing acetone, which dries out nails.
  5. Moisturize. Nails need moisturizer just like your skin. When moisturizing your hands, rub lotion into your nails. Reapply after washing your hands. This added moisture will keep your nails from peeling.
  6. Understand the role of diet. If your diet lacks protein and vitamins, your nails may become dry or brittle. If you suspect that your diet may be unbalanced and need help correcting it, consult a nutritional professional.
  7. Wait for them to grow out. Nails typically grow about 0.1mm per day, and there is not much that you can do to change that. Men's nails grow slower, while pregnant women's nails grow faster. You'll have to grow out the damaged section, which can take up to four months.

Growing long and beautiful nails can be a challenge, but it doesn't have to be. If you follow these tips, you'll have healthy nails in no time. In some cases, naturally weak nails may be hereditary. However, in most cases you can strengthen your nails and stop them from peeling if you know how to care for them properly.


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I realy disagree with the advices on #4. Wearing nails polish seam to "strengthen the nails and seal it together"; however, nails polish dry out your nails, which can cause nails to peel more and causing more cracks. Also, when nails polish chips off, remove old nails polish and clean the surface very well before apply another fresh nail polish coat. DO NOT, I repeat do not "touching up nails polish" because it only cause more yellow & dry/cracks the nails.

By Lang (Elaine) Ngo