What Causes Dry Nails, Nail Stains, and Splits? And How to Treat Them?

How to treat unhealthy nails: find out the causes of unhealthy nails, and how to restore your nail health!

What Causes Unhealthy Nails? 

Nails that are healthy look smooth, and they have no stains or splits. On the contrary, unhealthy nails will look discolored, they will have chronic cracks and splits, and will seem dull. What causes these problems and do they have a solution? Here are the answers!

Why are Your Nails Cracked?

Dry, dull, and brittle nails can be caused by either medical problems or daily routines, and the following are possible reasons why you have unhealthy looking nails:

Iron Deficiency

When your body does not get enough iron, your red blood cell level will become lower than normal. This in turn causes fragile and brittle nails.  When tissues do not receive enough iron, they are affected. Pale skin and pale nails could indicate iron deficiency, which can be treated by iron or b12 supplements.


It is no secret that when we age, our body doesn't quite look the same as when we were young. As we get older, our nails get old along with us, and you can expect your age to affect your nails; they will likely lose their youthful shine and appear cracked.

Dry Nails


Problems with the thyroid gland cause a myriad of problems, such as weight gain, depression, and brittle nails as well. In such a condition, you will experience low thyroid activity, a condition that must be dealt with medically.

Use of Harsh Nail Products

Aside from medical conditions, your nail-care routine also has a great effect on the appearance of your nails. Applying nail polish, removing it with a chemical nail polish remover, and using glues and acrylics all have an unhealthy effect on your nails. Using strong nail products causes dry and brittle nails yellowing, and dullness, so your nail care routine is one of the leading causes of nail problems.

Frequent Water Exposure

Putting your nails underwater over and over will cause them to split. If you often wash dishes by hand, need to wash your hands often because of your line of work, or simply like to have your hands nice and clean, it can lead to the formation of ridges and cracks on otherwise healthy nails.

Fungal infection

When you look at your nails, how do they look? Do your nails have cracks? Is the skin around your nails injured? If so, you may a nail fungal infection. When fungus invades the nail and skin structure, it causes infection, which in turn affects the appearance of nails. Nail fungus causes thickened nails, nail cracking, and also discoloration of the nails. If your nails appear yellowish, brown, or white – it could be a sign of a fungal infection. You should go to a dermatologist and use a nail care kit to treat the problem.


Another medical condition that affects the appearance of nails is Psoriasis. This skin disease affects fingernails, and they become cracked and split. Separation of the nail bed is also a symptom of Psoriasis, so you should visit the doctor to find out if that is what is causing your nail issues.

Nail Stains

How to Treat Nails?

If your nails have changed color and they begin to crack and split, here is what you should do to restore their healthy appearance:

First of all, visit your doctor

If your nails appear unhealthy, it could be caused by an underlying medical condition. To make sure that you are healthy on the inside and on the outside, visit your doctor and tell him/her about the symptoms you are experiencing. Show your doctor your nails, and let him know if you are also experiencing fatigue, loss of appetite, depression, or any other symptom. Then, your doctor will likely order blood tests to check your general health and find out if you have a medical condition that is affecting your health. With the test results in hand, your doctor will be able to describe you with medication or supplements to improve your health, which will also help improve your nail health.

Avoid harsh nail products

If you want to make your nails look healthy, even, and spotless, you should try to avoid nail products that contain harmful ingredients – especially formaldehyde and toluene. Once you spot using harsh products, your nails will slowly recover, and you will begin to see a new, shinier nail growing. However, if you have stopped using harmful materials but you do not see an improvement within 6 months, you should go see your doctor.

what causes dry nails

Protect your hands

For those of you who often do house chores, you should protect your hands with gloves; using cleaning products while doing the dishes or cleaning your home exposes your nails to harmful materials that will make them crack and split. So, before you start cleaning, put on gloves to protect your nails. You can find comfortable and gentle cleaning gloves that will help protect your hands and nail from cleaning products and prevent nail health issues.

Nourish your nails

Along with avoiding or at the very least limiting your use of harmful nail products, you should also nourish your nails to make them stronger and healthier. If you wash your hands often, use a moisturizer several times a day that will prevent your hands and nails from drying. Also, use nourishing products that contain ingredients that promote nail health: minerals, Vitamin E, natural oils, shea butter, Vitamin A, and other natural ingredients will make your nails healthier than ever. Sticking to a nail-care regimen whenever you have the time will help you get rid of nail stains, fill in ridges, and strengthen your nails in a healthy, natural way.

If you notice changes in your nails, it could be caused by medical issues or exposure to less than healthy materials. You can make your nails grow stronger and shinier by finding and sticking to a nail care routine and making sure that you are in good health. A natural nail care kit can nourish your nails and heal them from the nail beds to the tips. Start using products that do not contain chemicals, and you will see visible results quickly.  Also, you should visit your doctor and if all is well, protect and nourish your hands and nails with natural products that will restore their strength and shine.  

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