Question: Why Are My Fingernails Splitting Lengthwise?

A.

Some changes in nails can be a sign of an underlying health problem, but the lengthwise nail ridging you describe is usually not one.

The nails may separate at the tips in thin layers, peeling like layers of an onion, a condition called onychoschizia.

If the nails are ridged and brittle, they may split lengthwise.

Why do my nails split vertically?

Trauma or injury may cause a split nail. There are many common causes of nail splitting, the medical term for which is onychoschizia. A split can occur across the nail, or it could split the nail vertically. Fingers and fingernails are easy to injure.

How do I stop my nails from splitting vertically?

Keep the nails trimmed short to reduce worsening of nail splitting. Soak the nails in water daily, 15 minutes at a time, to increase the water content (hydration) of the nails. Apply moisturizers (emollients), such as petroleum jelly or Cetaphil®, to improve nail hydration.

What is the best treatment for splitting nails?

If you want to strengthen your nails, there are several easy and inexpensive options: Moisturize. Try a dedicated nail oil or a hand lotion with alpha hydroxy acid or lanolin. If nails are soft but brittle, they may be too moist so cut back on the moisturizer.

What causes nail ridges and splitting?

Causes and symptoms of ridges in fingernails

So a skin condition such as eczema may lead to fingernail ridges. Skin dryness can also cause these ridges. If your body is low in protein, calcium, zinc, or vitamin A, a deficiency can sometimes be revealed by ridges in your fingernails.