Divided or scaly nails are a common problem, which occurs in about 20 percent of people. Often these problems are caused by external factors, such as chemicals and detergents that cause dryness or frequent exposure to moisture, which can weaken the nails and make them cracked and scaly. However, if these symptoms occur in both fingernails and toenails, there may be more at stake than mere environmental factors. Divided and scaly nails may be symptoms of poor nutrition or an underlying health problem, so if you have problems with both nails should seek medical advice.
One of the most common reasons for brittle nails is repeated exposure to moisture. The nails probably soften and separate, break or flake off when you expose to water and dried frequently on a daily basis. Wear rubber gloves during tasks like washing dishes, mopping the floor or other domestic activities in which you must put your hands in the water.
Avoid harsh chemicals
Contact with harsh chemicals can cause dry and brittle nails. Use rubber gloves when you use detergents and avoid nail polish remover containing acetone or formaldehyde. The frequent manicures can be harmful because the nail polish and other nail products contain chemicals that can dry.
Using a hand cream containing lanolin, vitamin E or alpha hydroxy several times a day, is another remedy for desquamated and divided nails. Be sure to rub on and under the nails to moisturize the nail bed. If you have extremely dry or brittle nails, you can do an intensive treatment to cover hands with a heavy cream or Vaseline and then put on cotton gloves and wait for treatment penetrates all night.
Vitamins and minerals
Divided and scaly nails can be improved by increasing the intake of certain vitamins and minerals. Often, the first signs of malnutrition are dull, dry and brittle nails. Vitamins, minerals and nutrients are distributed in the body systematically, with the organs and vital processes that are prioritized. Therefore, if these nutrients are scarce, hair and nails are the areas that get less amount of them. Among the essential nutrients for healthy hair and nails are vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, copper, zinc, iron and protein. These nutrients are better absorbed by the body when consumed in natural foods, but supplements can be used as an alternative.