My fingernails were very strong and long for the first 50 years of my life, people assumed they were acrylic when I had a manicure. I could go 5 years without a single one breaking or chipping.
My toenails were ugly, thick and yellow. About 3 years ago I went to a podiatrist and we tried a few things, cutting them short, appearex (biotin), some sort of prescription nail lacquer and then finally lamisil. The lamisil did the trick, all but two of my toenails cleared up and look good.
1. Could the lamisil have made my fingernails thin? If they get about 1/8 inch long (past the free edge) they eventually break. I can bend them down toward the inside when they get that long. OUCH.
2. The ring fingernail on my right hand is my worst problem. It is thin and has vertical ridges and has a split in the middle of the nail 1/4 inch long from the free edge down to the cuticle. Everytime I think it's grown out, I snag it on something and it splits again. It doesn't hurt anymore (at first it hurt a lot) but it snags on everything (hair, sweaters, etc).
I take a lot of vitimans now and have been taking biotin again for about 6 months. My nails are still thin. What can I do to make them thicker? How can I protect this split fingernail until it grows out? Or will it always be split like this?
To begin with, your age has caught up with you where your nails are concerned. As we age, the nail plate will thin out to a certain degree because the Matrix does not develop the same amount of nail plate cells, or they are smaller and therefore thinner. The ridging you see on some of your nails is actually the rails and grooves upon which the nail plate rides forward. When the nail plate thins out and becomes naturally drier, the rails and grooves become apparent on the nail plate as ridging. Sometimes, the nail plate becomes so thin that it will split and break vertically by following one of the ridges.
Biotin is good, but it will not replace the lost natural oils and moisture in the nail plate that is lost due to the aging process. You can apply a good quality nail and cuticle oil that contains jojoba and vitamin E, such as Solar Oil by CND or Botanical Oil. Botanical Oil is available in the nail department of Sally Beauty Supply and Solar Oil is available through Ulta cosmetic outlets nationwide. Drink plenty of water as well - at least 8eight 8oz glasses a day. Wear gloves whenever having your hands in water or when using any type of household cleaning solution as these will just compound the problem.
Having nails applied won't stop the splitting and the overlay will make your nails even weaker because of the way the technician files the natural nail during prep for the overlay. If you ever decide to remove the nails, you will find that they are even thinner than before. Artificial nails are not a cure for what ails dried out, splitting or peeling nails. They are only a stop-gap measure.