What Are the Causes of Peeling Fingernails?

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Finger and toe nails are composed of layers of keratin. The oils and natural moisture in the skin around the nails hold these layers together. A number of factors can interrupt the distribution of moisturizers to nails, drying them and allowing them to peel.

Chemicals

  • Overuse of common household products, such as soaps and cleaning solutions, can dry out the nail. Some nail products, especially those containing formaldehyde, can also have this effect.

Aging

  • The natural process of aging can cause skin in many areas of the body, including the nails, to become dry.

Diet

  • Maintaining a healthy diet promotes good functioning of the skin around and under the nails, keeping them supple and preventing peeling.

Water

  • Frequent exposure to water, such as long baths or repeated hand washing, can cause loss of the moisture and oils that flow to the nail.

Medical Conditions

  • Respiratory, heart and endocrine disorders are among the medical conditions that can affect nails. This is not a common cause of nail peeling, and a medical professional must diagnose these conditions.

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References

  • Photo Credit "espejo" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: A6U571N (Agustín Ruiz) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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