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Re: splitting fingernails

Re: splitting fingernails

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Posted by Marti on November 02, 2000 at 22:17:05:

In Reply to: splitting fingernails posted by J. Fryer on November 02, 2000 at 10:29:48:

: I would like to hear from a MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL who knowes why nails split and what to do about it. I have bought over the counter so called cures for it with no results. This information is for my wife, age 65. Our primary care doctor told us "if you find out why let me know for I have the same problem."

I am not a medical professional, I am a 33 year veteran of the nail industry, and it takes a nail professional to understand why natural nails split and peel. To begin with, there are several different terms used to describe nails that split down the vertical center and look like 2 sections of nail. A vertical split can be hereditary, caused by damage to the matrix or due to brittle nail syndrome. If the fingernail is splitting into layers and peeling, it is simply from a lack of natural oil and moisture in the nail plate and is a result of: aging, being over-exposed to solvents (including household cleaning solutions), overexposure to water, and many other chemical and health issues. The nail bed releases a continual tidal flow of oil and moisture that transmits up through the nail plate layers. This oil and moisture are vital to nail plate flexibility and is the cement that holds the nail plate layers together. These nail plate layers are 'born' in the matrix as round, plump cells. The longer the matrix, the more nail plate cells it can produce. As these cells move forward, they lose their inner material and become flat, translucent and hard. The closer they get to the free edge, the harder and more compact they become. As we age, our bodies produce less oil and moisture; hence the thinner skin, the wrinkles and the thin, peeling, split and ridged fingernails. In order to prevent split, peeling nails, or to improve ones that have already begun to split and peel, one needs to replenish the lowered oil levels in the plate. The best nail and cuticle oil will contain Jojoba oil and Vitamin E as two of the main ingredients. The jojoba oil has a very tiny molecule that can penetrate the layers of the nail plate and pull the larger moleculed vitamin E in behind it. Vitamin E is an excellent therapy for free-radicals that are the major culprit in the aging process -- even in the nail plate. As the oil levels are replenished, it will help to 'trap' moisture and to seal it into the nail palte layers. These same oils are excellent for skin as well and can be found in many skin lotions. You can purchase a nail and cuticle oil called BOTANICAL OIL at Sally Beauty Supply. It contains jojoba, vitamin E and other conditioning and moisturizing oils. Have your wife refrain from wearing polish of any kind -- even clear. Nail polish contains solvent that allow it to dry and give it it's inherrant 'shine' and toughness. These same solvents can be very drying to aged nails, and can actually contribute to the problem. Have her wear gloves whenever she uses household cleaning agents or has her hands in water. Water acts as a sponge and will actually draw moisture from the skin and nails. If you have ever experienced 'pruny' skin from overexposure to water, you have actually experienced a LOSS of skin moisture rather than the popular belief that the 'pruny' effect is from an absorbtion of water. The Botanical Oil will cost less than $8.00 for a 1oz bottle that is enough to last for many months. All it takes is one drop massaged into each nail at least twice per day -- more if she has her hands in water a lot. Give it about 2 months, and her nails should improve dramatically. If youwant to know more abotu fingernails, visit The site isn't finished yet, but it contains a lot of information.

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