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What causes soft, peeling nails?

Last post Jun 01, 2004 7:47 PM by nanof4 . 15 replies.


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  • What causes soft, peeling nails?
    I've always had strong fingernails, but the last few weeks, three of mine have started being very soft and coming apart in layers. What's up with that?? I'm careful about what I eat and I take vitamins. Any ideas about what to do? Thanks for any advice!
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  • RE: What causes soft, peeling nails?
    Sorry - wish I could help but I'll sure be watching this post. My nails always peel off into layers and are so weak!
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  • RE: What causes soft, peeling nails?
    Let me know when you find out. I have never been able to grow long nails, but it has been getting worse lately. Something in the water! LOL
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  • RE: What causes soft, peeling nails?
    Household cleaners and solvents can be the culprit. Plus loss of oils in the nailbed and nailplates. If you use Jojoba oil and Vitamin E oil combined it should help. Also eating gelatin or you can get gelatin capsules to take helps also. PG
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  • RE: What causes soft, peeling nails?
    hi janey -please tell me more about your nails and what your skin on your hands look like -have you beeen talking medicine or hormones recently - do you use the pill - did you work with any new cleaning products etc? there could be several reasons maybe i can help.

    A lot of women have that problem and in my small nail studio i try to solve that.

    twinkle
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    You are welcome to visit my blog...http://cherryblossomtable.blogspot.com/
  • RE: What causes soft, peeling nails?
    Wow, thank you, Twinkle. I use natural progesterone cream a couple of weeks out of the month (I'm 48) and occasional Tri-Est drops (estrogen), but that's nothing new -- been doing that for a few years. I'm not on the pill (never was) and don't take any other medications.

    The skin on my hands is fine -- I do have a bad habit of chewing the skin around my nails, but that's nothing new, either.

    The only thing I can think of recentlyis that our dishwasher died a couple of months ago, and I've been doing dishes by hand, but I ALWAYS wear gloves. I haven't been using cleansers or anything any more than I ever did.

    I appreciate any insights you might have! Do nail strengthing polishes help? Should I be putting something on my hands at night?
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  • RE: What causes soft, peeling nails?
    here is what i found:

    Medical Treatments
    Over the counter treatment for brittle or soft nails include supplementation with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, niacin, calcium, and iron.

    Other therapy involves the intake of adequate nutrition, especially protein and the nutrients mentioned above, the use of gloves when washing dishes, and the avoidance of drying chemicals, such as nail polish remover. Treatment of an underlying medical condition, such as thyroid deficiency or poor circulation, may be necessary.

    Nutritional supplements that may be helpful
    Nutrition can affect the health of nails in a variety of ways. Iron deficiency may cause spoon-shaped nails.1 For years, some doctors have believed zinc deficiency causes white spots to appear on nails. In China, excessive selenium has been linked to nails actually falling out.2

    Biotin, a B vitamin, is known to strengthen hooves in animals. As a result, Swiss researchers investigated the use of biotin in strengthening brittle fingernails in humans, despite the fact that it remains unclear exactly how biotin affects nail structure. An uncontrolled trial of 2.5 mg biotin per day found improved firmness and hardness in almost all cases after an average treatment time of 5.5 months.3 In a controlled trial using 2.5 mg of biotin per day, women with brittle nails, who had their nail thickness measured before and at six to fifteen months after, found their nail thickness increased by 25%. As a result, splitting of nails was reduced. In an uncontrolled study of people who had been taking biotin for brittle nails in America, 63% showed improvement from taking biotin.4 Although the amount of research on the subject is quite limited and positive effects do not appear in all people, those people having brittle nails may want to consider a trial period of at least several months, using 2.5 mg per day of biotin.

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    You are welcome to visit my blog...http://cherryblossomtable.blogspot.com/
  • RE: What causes soft, peeling nails?
    Interesting! I think I'll try the biotin -- it's supposed to be good for hair, too, I think. I need to go to the health food store today anyway. I probably also need to have my thyroid checked -- I forgot to say that I do take thyroid hormones; maybe they're out of whack.

    Thank you so much, Twinkle!! If I lived in your area, I'd go to your salon. :o)
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  • RE: What causes soft, peeling nails?
    You might have to do nothing and it will go a way after 4 weeks - if it takes longer i would recommend biotin.

    There are some nice hand lotions available that have nail supporting ingredients.

    do not worry to much and wait a while. i have a few ladies whith the same problem at the moment - the usually get a french manicure but at the moment it won't work -could be hormonal or whatever but usually it outgrows after a short while.

    good luck

    twinkle
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    You are welcome to visit my blog...http://cherryblossomtable.blogspot.com/
  • RE: What causes soft, peeling nails?
    A dermatologist told me to wear cotten dermal gloves under the rubber gloves, cause your hands get wet from sweat without them, and I was pushing my cuticles back too far and breaking the seal, causing water to get under the nail.
    Debie
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  • RE: What causes soft, peeling nails?
    Janey - Was it you or LindaChicken that was telling about a lump in their throat???

    And if that was you....how did it turn out? And I'm thinking thyroid problems??? And that affects nails...

    Let us know about the lump in your throat thing, though, and what the Dr. had to say!
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  • RE: What causes soft, peeling nails?
    I have soft nails also...and my dad too...so for us it's in our gene's, now my mom has nails that are tough....don't know what to tell you. You might talk to your doctor..
    I always wish I could have tough nails, but alas I do not....AND I HAVE TRIED ALL THE STUFF OUT THERE..
    it does not help....
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    It's not how you start, it's how you end....so end strong!!

    Walk yourself strong!!

  • RE: What causes soft, peeling nails?
    Hi Janey, I seem to remember poking a hole in a vitamin E gelcap and putting them on my nails a LONG time ago. But it could have been a different vitamin. Sigh...
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  • RE: What causes soft, peeling nails?
    I was once told by a lady who does nails that a lot of nail polishes contain formaldehyde which will dry out the nails and make them peel in layers. She said you should always use a non-formaldehyde formula of nail polish, at least on the first coat.
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  • RE: What causes soft, peeling nails?
    I posted on the thread about lumps in the throat the other day, but mine turned out to be gastric reflux and not thyroid. But that was a great diagnosis, Creid!! :o) I do think I probably need to have my thyroid level checked.
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