Nails are key parts of the body. Besides their contribution to the overall beauty of the body, they play more important roles in protecting the delicate tips of toes and fingers. The nail plate normally grows straight and upward over the nail bed.
Just like any other body parts, nails are plagued with several problems which include curved toenail, nail fungus, as well as toenail injury. Another common problem of the nail is peeling nails.
Nail is made of a tough protein called keratin. Hence, the nail is normally very strong. However, thin layers of the nail may begin to peel due to several problems such as underlying health issues and external trauma.
Causes Of Peeling Nails
- Iron deficiency: The leading cause of peeling nails is the deficiency of iron in the body.
- Dehydration: This can be as a result of taking insufficient water or consumption of non-caffeinated beverages.
- Underactive thyroid: this will result in insufficient production of hormones vital for the overall wellbeing of the body.
- Kidney disease: a problem to the kidney causes a variety of other issues that could manifest as yellow nails or peeling nails.
- A disease of the lung: lung problems may also manifest as peeling nails.
External Causes Of Peeling Nails
- Too much exposure to water: excessive washing of the hands and frequent washing of dishes and clothes are some of the external causes of peeling nails. Frequent soaking of nails in water is a key cause of many nail problems hence must be curtailed.
- Harsh removal of nail polish: nail polish should be removed with solvent. Peeling the nail polish off will result in peeling nails.
- Using the nail as a picking tool: picking or opening things with the nail exposes it to several damages such as breakage and peeling of the nail.
- Harsh chemicals: exposing the nail to harsh nail polishes and solvents contribute to peeling nails.
- Too much buffing of nails
Note: external effects may take a few months to become visible because it depends on the growth of nails.
Treatment of Peeling nails
- Consuming iron-rich foods: since iron deficiency is the leading cause of peeling nails, paying attention to the consumption of iron-rich foods is vital. Spinach, red meat, legumes (e.g. peas and beans), shellfish, organ meat (e.g. liver), and pumpkin seeds are some of the food rich in iron.
- Taking iron supplements: iron supplements can be taken to make up for any observed iron deficiency. This iron source is particularly good because it can be easily accessed by the body.
- Keep nails well-trimmed: keeping long nails exposes the nail to several challenges. It increases the tendency of using the nail as a tool thereafter causing problems such as breakage and chirping of the nail as well as peeling nails.
- Keep nails moisturized: nails should not be too dry hence use oils such as coconut oil to moisturize them.
- Treat underlying health conditions: lung disease, kidney disease, dehydration, and underactive thyroid are internal health problems that could manifest as peeling nails. For mild dehydration, taking water regularly will correct this while intravenous fluid will be needed in case of severe dehydration. You should work closely with an expert on the treatment of other health issues.
Prevention Of Peeling Nails
Prevention is always better than cure, according to popular knowledge, hence paying attention to the prevention of peeling nails is more important. Some of the things to do to prevent peeling nails include:
- Pay attention to general body wellbeing: the body works as a system or unit; a problem to a part no matter how little it seems could cause far-reaching effects. Therefore, the first step toward the prevention of peeling nails is to focus on proper care of the whole body. Eat a balanced diet, embrace proper body care, and live a healthy lifestyle.
- Keep nails short and well moisturized
- Carefully choose nail polish: some nail polish contains harsh chemicals that weaken the nail hence causing the external thin layer of the nail to peel. Ensure that the nail polish you choose is totally safe.
- Wear gloves if you have to put your hands in water for long
- Avoid using the nail as a tool to pick or open things
Peeling nails reflect several problems including underlying health issues and external trauma. They are mostly treatable at home. Proper attention must be paid to the overall wellbeing of the body since peeling nails are mostly caused by internal problems such as iron deficiency and dehydration. Simple things such as taking more water and eating iron-rich food will correct most of the problems. If you think it is caused by health issues, consult an expert for the treatment of the health issue.