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Split fingernails: Can they be prevented?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/split-fingernails/AN01861
- With Mayo Clinic dermatologist
Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.read biographyclose window
Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.
Dr. Lawrence Gibson likens bad health information on the Internet to food poisoning.
Consumers, he says, need to be aware and will find reliable information at MayoClinic.com.
Dr. Gibson, a Covington, Ky., native, has been with Mayo Clinic since 1986 and is board certified in dermatology, dermatopathology and immunodermatology. He is a professor of dermatology at Mayo Medical School and a consultant in the Department of Dermatology.
Dr. Gibson has served as the fellowship director for dermatopathology and as chair of the Laboratory Division in the Department of Dermatology. He is especially interested in inflammatory disorders of the skin, including vasculitis, and in lymphoma affecting the skin.
"Electronic information has become a staple in the diet of a health conscious society," he says. "It's important to avoid misinformation and provide a credible source for health information. Using this analogy, it's critical to avoid 'indigestion' or, worse yet, 'food poisoning' by the ingestion of tainted information."
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Nail care (4)
- Nail biting: Does it cause long-term damage?
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Split fingernails: Can they be prevented?
Is it possible to prevent split fingernails?
from Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.
Treating your nails gently can help prevent split fingernails. Consider these simple tips:
- Keep your fingernails dry. Repeated or prolonged contact with water can contribute to split fingernails. Wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when washing dishes, cleaning or using harsh chemicals, and avoid long soaks in the tub.
- Practice good nail hygiene. Keep your fingernails neatly trimmed, and round the tips in a gentle curve. When you use hand lotion, rub the lotion into your fingernails and cuticles, too. Don't bite your fingernails, pick at your cuticles, or use your fingernails to pick, poke or pry things.
- Avoid harsh nail care products. Limit manicures. Between visits, touch up nail polish as needed — don't remove it. If you must use nail polish remover, avoid those that contain acetone.
- Repair split fingernails quickly. Repair splits or tears with nail glue or clear polish to keep the problem from getting worse.
If your best efforts to prevent split fingernails don't seem to help, ask your doctor or dermatologist for additional suggestions. Some research suggests that the nutritional supplement biotin might help strengthen weak or brittle fingernails.Next question
Acrylic nails: Can they harm natural nails?
- Nails. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/nails/nails. Accessed Sept. 9, 2011.
- Brittle splitting nails. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/brittle_splitting.html. Accessed Sept. 9, 2011.
- Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..00034-1&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&sid=1202987289&uniqId=280881613-3#4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..00034-1--s0035. Accessed Sept. 9, 2011.
- Biotin. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed Sept. 9, 2011.
- Chang RM, et al. Treating cosmetically induced nail problems. Dermatologic Therapy. 2007;20:54.
- Farran L, et al. The effect of humidity on the fracture properties of human fingernails. The Journal of Experimental Biology. 2008;211:3677.