How to Heal Fingernails That Break

Proper care of your nails prevents them from breaking.

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Fingernails are made of keratin, which is a form of protein that protects the nails. Onychoschizia refers to fingernails that are prone to crack and split or that are weak and brittle. Nails may develop problems due to inadequate nutrition or from various diseases. However, most problems result from external factors. Normal daily activities can cause damage to fingernails, but taking precautions can prevent this from occurring.

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Wear gloves to protect your nails from excessive water, soap and cleaning products when doing chores.


Moisturize your nails with nail oil, lotion, petroleum jelly, castor oil or olive oil after washing your hands and whenever your nails feel dry.


Avoid picking at your cuticles, pushing them back or having them removed. They protect your nails.


Clean beneath your nails regularly so they don't get infected with bacteria.


Use nail polish remover without acetone. Don’t scratch off nail polish.


Limit nail polish remover use to no more than once a week. It dries your nails, making it more likely they will break.


Avoid biting your nails. This is counterproductive to your desire to have healthy nails.


Consume foods rich in calcium and zinc like milk and eggs.


File your nails to smooth out ragged edges.


Use a nail hardener to give your nails an extra layer of protection.


Keep your nails short if they are prone to breaking.


Cut your nails after bathing or showering. Cutting dry nails causes nails to crack.


Massage and buff your nails daily.

ReferencesAmerican Osteopathic College of Dermatology: Brittle Splitting NailsMayo Clinic: How to Keep Your Fingernails Healthy and Strong"Readers Digest": 14 Tips for Strong and Healthy NailsPhoto Credit Jupiterimages/ ImagesRead Next:

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