What Causes Horizontal and Vertical Split Nails?

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Horizontal and vertical split nails are common hand problems that can occur due to a number of different reasons. When the nail splits, it can cause pain, bleeding, and difficulty with everyday activities.

If you have a split nail, it is important to seek medical attention so that the underlying cause can be treated. There are a number of different treatments that can be effective in treating a split nail, so it is important to work with your doctor to find the best option for you.

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem.


What Is a Nail Splitting?

What causes fingernails to split down the middle? About 20 percent of the population dealt with horizontal or vertical split nails.

Nail splitting is also known as onychoschizia, onychoschisis, or lamellar dystrophy, this condition causes horizontal nail splits. There is another form of a nail split, which occur when nails are splitting vertically.

Onychorrhexis is a condition when your nail split down the middle (longitudinal) or Vertical split nails.

When people suffer from both horizontal and vertical nail splits, this is a condition known as “brittle nail syndrome.”

Usually, the symptoms of onychoschizia are having brittle, soft, and thin splitting nails. Nail splitting is a typical situation that Mostly occurs among women and elders.

Common Horizontal and Vertical Split Nails Causes.

Nail splitting is often caused by repeated trauma or pressure applied to the nail. Fingernails and toenails are made of a protein called keratin. Weakness and splitting of the nail may also be caused by various nutritional problems and lack of vitamins, minerals, and proteins. There are more reasons for weak, brittle nails such as exposure to chemicals, nail cosmetics, lack of moisture, or on the other hand repetitive wetting of hands and nails.Vertical Split Nails Causes

Trauma – Injury or trauma can damage the nail bed and matrix. Both horizontal and vertical nail splits can occur as a result of hits, injuries or severe pressure to the nail.

Repetitive wetting & drying hands – repetitive washing and drying are a known cause of having dry, soft, splitting nails. Therefore, onychoschizia is a very common situation among those who work with water, such as nurses, cleaners, and hairdressers.

Nail cosmetics – some nail products such as acetone-based nail polish removers can be the reason for dry and split nails, some hardeners and nail polishes can also be the cause.

Exposure to chemicals – exposure to salts, solvents, alkalis, and acids which can often be found in our household cleaning products, can damage our nails.

Nutritional problems – Lack of proteins and minerals such as iron can often be the cause of having onychoschizia. Also, insufficiency of valuable vitamins such as vitamin C and folic acid can be the reason for your nail condition.

Health problems – Dry and brittle nails can occasionally occur in those who suffer from Health issues such as fungal infection, hypothyroidism, Psoriasis, diabetes and more.

What Is the Difference Between Horizontal and Vertical Split Nails?

While horizontal nail splitting mostly describes side cracks and splits,

A Vertical nail split describes a longitudinal split to the nail, which is often indicated by damage to the root of the

nail. These kinds of nail splits are usually harder to fix.

How to Prevent Nails from Breaking and Splitting?

There are several ways to prevent your nail from splitting. For example, using a moisturizing cream and wearing protective gloves can really help maintain strong nails.

Use Gloves

Use rubber gloves to protect your hands and nails while cleaning, doing laundry, washing dishes, and other activities that may expose your nails to water or chemicals (such as cleaning products) for a long period of time.

Maintain length

Take good care of your nails. Keep your nails shaped and cut. Maintaining a suitable length for daily use is one of the most important things in preventing nail splitting.vertical split nails causes

Use moisturizing cream

It is essential to keep your hands and nails in good shape. Applying moisturizing cream daily to your nails and cuticle will help you prevent dryness and nail splitting.

Nail friendly polishes

Some nail polishes and hardeners may contain some harmful ingredients (chemicals) which may damage your nail plate. Those nail polishes can dry out the nail by absorbing moisture. Prefer using polishes containing nylon fibers and try to avoid polishes with strong chemicals. Try to remove your nail polish every 5 days and let your nails rest about 2-3 days before applying nail polish again.

Avoid nail biting

Nail-biting can cause damage to your nails, try and get a professional manicure or gel overlay.

Good nutrition for strong nails

Eating foods that are rich in biotin such as bananas, egg yolks, fish, milk products and whole grains can help strengthen your nails.

Nail extensions

If you are a nail extension lover, you should try using dipping powders instead of Traditional acrylics they are odorless, long-lasting and more gentle on the nails.

How to Fix Splitting Nails at Home?

The first step on how to fix splitting nails is knowing the reason your nails split, understanding what is causing the nail to split, can be helpful in determining which treatment will be the best one for you. So how to fix vertical split nail and horizontal split nail?

Step 1: Preparing the nail.

Apply nail polish remover on a cotton ball and remove your nail polish and make sure your nail is clean. The best way to remove nail polish is to put the soaked cotton ball on your nail, let it rest for 10 seconds, and then wipe it off (do not rub it back and forth to avoid staining).

Step 2: Teabag

For this repair, we will use a tea bag as a patch. Cut the top of a teabag, you can dispose the tea leaves (we won’t be using them). Then, cut the tea bag to fit the shape of your nail (check if fits on both sides of the nail).

Step 3: Base coat

Apply a thin layer of base coat to your nail, then use the teabag patch you shaped and apply it to your nail (when the base coat is wet), make sure the tea bag covers the nail split. Use your finger to smoothen the tea bag and check there are no air bubbles. Let it dry for 5-7 minutes.

Step 4: Clear nail polish layer.

Apply one layer of clear nail polish on top of the teabag. Then wait for it to dry for 10 minutes.

Step 5: File & finish

Use a nail file to remove any excess tea bag paper. Then apply another layer of clear nail polish and wait for it to dry. After the nail polish is dry, you can apply your nail polish color regularly.

Tip: For those who dont like the tea bag opthion, another great option is the Orly Nail Rescue Kit it is affordable, very easy to use and it works!

When Should I See a Doctor?

The answer is simple. whenever you feel pain or discomfort, visit your doctor.

If you’re experiencing one of these symptoms, you might have a severe nail split case and you should visit a doctor:

  • Your nail split all the way up to the nail bed
  • Horizontal ridges
  • If you’re noticed nail discoloration or having purple white or blue nails
  • If it’s painful to touch
  • Distorted and deformed nails

This won’t cure your nail-splitting problem. This fix is only a temporary cosmetic fix.

Those are the things that can help you cure your nails:

  • Use a moisturizer daily after washing hands
  • Use gloves when working with chemicals
  • Avoid long exposure to water
  • Strengthen your nails by maintaining good nutrition
  • See your doctor

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