Split Nails: What Causes Split Nails and How You Can Avoid and Fix Splitting Nails

Guide to Splitting Nails: Find Out What Causes Split Nails, and how to treat splitting nails.

Split nails are a common occurrence for many of us. While sometimes they are caused naturally, cracked nails are often preventable. In this article, we will explore this condition, its causes, and how to prevent and treat splitting nails.

What are Split Nails?

Split nails, or splitting nails, is the term attributed to a crack in a fingernail or toenail. Such a crack in the nail can take many forms. It can be horizontal, vertical, and even split the nail into two.

What Causes Split Nails?

Splitting nails has several causes. Diseases, infections, injuries, picking or biting, and moisture can all lead to cracked nails. Skin cancers, kidney disease, liver disease, and thyroid disease are some of the illnesses that can all result in splitting nails.

Psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune condition, often results in nail cracks. Additionally, yeast, bacterial, and fungal infections in the nail bed frequently alter the texture of the nails, leading to cracked nails. Perhaps more obviously, any sort of injury to or irritation, including picking or biting the nails, of the nail bed or tip can result in cracked nails.

splitting nails
Finally, moist environments commonly cause nails to weaken and become brittle, as well as their surrounding skin to soften. Consequently, splitting nails is a common condition for those whose hands are exposed to moisture repeatedly or for prolonged periods of time. Using nail polish, washing your hands, and washing the dishes can all cause splitting nails.

How to Avoid Cracked Nails

There are some actions you can take and refrain from to prevent cracked nails. They include maintaining nail cleanliness and health. To avoid excessive and prolonged moisture exposure, do not keep your feet or hands in the water for extended periods of time. Still, limited amounts of moisture are beneficial for preventing splitting nails.

Accordingly, use a moisturizer on your nails and cuticles. It is important that you refrain from irritating your nails. As such, do not bite, pick, rip, or pull your nails or their surrounding areas. If you are currently using nail polish remover, stop using it. Nail polish remover is a recipe for trouble when it comes to cracked nails. If you would like to use nail products, nail hardening agents are ideal. Finally, with your doctor’s consent, taking supplements such as biotin can be beneficial for the prevention of cracked nails.

split nails

How to Fix Split Nails at Home

Split nails treatment primarily consists of home remedies, which restore and improve the appearance of the damaged nail. To treat splitting nails, there are a variety of non-medical options, including using glue, a fake nail, and a gel and silk wrap.


You can reattach the split nail with glue. To do so, apply a small amount of adhesive glue to one edge of the cracked nail. Gently squeeze both ends of the cracked nail together and hold for about 20 seconds. After the glue dries, you can paint over the nail to restore the color of the nail.

False Nails

Another option is to simply wear false nails, in place of the cracked nails. You can purchase false nails at most health stores or in the nail care section at many supermarkets. Once you have the appropriately sized false nail, simply apply it to the area with cracked nails.

treat splitting nails

Gel and Silk Wrap

Cut a nail-sized piece of silk wrap. Apply a light coat of gel to the wrap and place it over the area of the cracked nail. Hold the silk wrap down for about 20 seconds. After the gel is fully absorbed, polish the newly covered area to improve its appearance.

Medical Treatments

For more severe cases, there are medical options to treat splitting nails. Medical cracked nails treatment includes taking medication to regulate psoriasis. Doing so can mitigate the extent of the damage to the nails. Finally, antifungals and antibiotics can be prescribed to those with acute infections from yeast, fungi, or bacteria to limit additional nail damage.

Split Nails: When to See a Doctor

At-home split nails treatment is not always the right solution. Sometimes cracked nails can be severe enough to warrant a doctor’s visit. If your nails are painful, blue, purple, ingrown, or distorted, contact your physician immediately. Similarly, if you see horizontal ridges on or white beneath your nail, or if your split extends into your nail bed, do not attempt to treat these symptoms on your own. Your condition may warrant more professional split nails treatment.

Bottom Line

Split nails occur frequently and can be attributed to a variety of causes. Fortunately, there are a variety of home remedies to treat splitting nails on your own. For more severe cases, see your doctor for further treatment.

Related Articles in Nail Care