Splitting Nails

Splitting Nails

Q: My nails are always SPLITTING. What’s wrong with them and how can I stop it?

A: Onychoschisis or lamellar dystrophy, is a condition that causes horizontal splits within the nail plate. Nail splitting is often seen together with onychorrhexis – long-wise (longitudinal) splitting or ridging of the nail plate – and these 2 diseases together are called “brittle nail syndrome.” Caused by the following:

  • Frequent wetting and drying of the hands. Common among house cleaners, nurses, and hairdressers.
  • Exposure to nail cosmetics (hardeners, polish, polish removers/solvents), gel nail procedures, and occupational exposure to various chemicals.
  • Injury (trauma)
  • Medical problems, including gland (endocrine system) diseases, tuberculosis, Sjögren syndrome, and malnutrition.
  • Skin diseases, such as lichen planus and psoriasis, as well as taking oral medications made from vitamin A.


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