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Protect peeling nails

Protect peeling nails

Breaking a nail is annoying enough, but when you find them peeling, what do you do?

Your fingertips are made from a fibrous protein called keratin, which you may have heard of when it comes to your hair - but it also helps form the main structure of your nails. There are multiple layers in nails which, when flaky, can make them look thin and become weak so they split. This is a medical process known as onychoschizia, and is most commonly found in women.

Peeling nails can be caused by trauma or direct damage, such as contact with hot water or other prolonged water exposure. Other reasons are overusing the nails, or picking off varnish or false nails to leave a vulnerable base.

Ageing also plays a part, as a previous study found that dysfunctional blood circulation and the growing effects of UV rays might be making an impact.

There are more serious aspects to take into account though, as health experts have noted that brittle, frail nails might be an indication of anaemia or low thyroid function - it's best to get a professional opinion if you’re concerned.

If it’s nothing serious, you can manage peeling nails at home with these tips:

Eat more iron

If it is anaemia, it means you're lacking iron in your diet. There's no harm in upping your intake anyway to be safe and rebuild your nails' strength, so try tucking into more spinach, lean meats, white beans and baked potatoes - skin on!

Soak in olive oil

The nourishing properties of oil will moisturise your nails and leave them feeling smooth, silky and hydrated.

Glove up

You should wear gloves while cleaning or doing anything that may cause damage to your hands and nails. Washing up and polishing/spraying surfaces are the worst culprits.

Avoid varnish

Where there's nail colour, there'll eventually be flaking and you'll want to take it off, but the harshness of nail polish remover will be no good for your nails. Keep them clean and make the only thing you apply is a coat of strengthener.

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