I was alarmed when I relocked this question, and suddenly all of your
Clarification of Question entries popped up! As I know that this is by
way of being a test question, I dont mind telling you that, in the
future, I will always make sure that I check for Clarifications before
posting an answer.
In researching your question, much of what I found related to
fingernails. While you did not specifically mention problems with your
fingernails, almost all of the advice and treatments would be equally
applicable to either finger or toenails. As I read through various
sites, certain causes and treatments were mentioned repeatedly.
Among the causes: polishing (which you already knew), acetone polish
removers, lack of moisture and nutrition issues were most often viewed
to be the culprits. Surprisingly, a lack of calcium, minerals and/or
essential fatty acids (and not vitamins), were seen as probable areas
of nutritional deficiency.
Treatments included moisturizing the nails, a vacation from polish,
non-acetone removers, mineral supplements, milk, and various nail
products. I will first present you with excerpts from some of the
sources that I have found, and then mention a few products which may
Repeated hand washing without moisturizing can cause nails to become
weak and peel, as can wearing nail polish constantly. Occasionally
poor nutrition can be the problem, says Chicago dermatologist Marianne
ODonoghue, but peeling nails are usually genetic.
The single most important way to keep nails from peeling is to
moisturize, ODonoghue says. Keeping a pump of lotion near the sink
will make you more likely to use it every time you wash, says New York
manicurist Deborah Lippmann. And once a day is not enough, says
ODonoghue, I tell my patients to apply half a teaspoon of ointment
to their nails five times a day.
If moisturizing doesnt make a difference, consider a vacation from
polish. You werent born with polish on your nails, says New York
manicurist Ji Baek. Give your nails a chance to breathe, and let them
go bare for a while.
If, after a polish break and moisturizing, peeling, split nails
persist, you might have a nutritional problem. Make sure youre
getting at least the recommended daily allowance of protein and
vitamin A, and consider taking Biotin, a vitamin available at health
food stores, says ODonoghue. Contrary to popular belief, says San
Francisco dermatologist Kathleen Welsh, eating copious quantities of
gelatin wont improve nail condition.
Problems? Solution. An editorial
Choose a non-acetone polish remover. Although acetone polish-removers
are faster, they can dry the nail bed, which can exacerbate, or cause
Try to use nail polish remover that is acetone free, this however can
still dry the nails so try to use no more than once a week.
If your nails are peeling, this means your nails are dry. Do not file
on the peeling areas, filing around the area is fine. Do not file more
than is necessary as this can weaken the nail, remember to always file
in one direction. Contrary to popular belief, Nails are often more
healthy covered to protect them from the elements. Remember to apply
base coat however before using nail polish.
Belle Mani (Beautiful Hands): Hints & Tips
Caring For Your Feet
By Anna Dakin, Nail Technician
Rx for Ridged/Peeling Nails
Medical experts say that ridged nails may indicate a minor mineral
deficiency or nothing at all. To find out where you stand, look at
your nails. If one or two fingernails are ridged, chances are the
ridging came from an injury.
First lets look at zinc. Experts suggest 30mg a day as a supplement,
but since many people report digestive distress from taking this
supplement, you may wish to break it into 10mg three times a day,
taken with meals. As an alternative, munching on a tablespoon of
high-zinc pumpkin seeds each day may provide enough zinc to help nails
heal. Buy unsalted pumpkin seeds and enjoy them raw, or roast them in
a nonstick saute pan over high heat until fragrant and lightly
As for calcium, when you buy a supplement look for "elemental
calcium" on the label, which indicates how much calcium in the product
your body will absorb. If you see "USP" on the label it means that the
standards for absorption have been met. Some experts recommend calcium
citrate because it is easy to absorb and also easy on the digestive
system. It is often combined with calcium lactate which offers a
higher amount of elemental calcium than citrate; and calcium phosphate
which contains phosphorous and vitamin D for better calcium
absorption. If this is all too confusing, take this page to the
pharmacy or natural foods store with you, and while youre looking
over the calcium supplements, be sure to pick one that also contains
You may also wish to adjust your diet to augment your mineral intake
with such high calcium-magnesium-iron foods as dark leafy greens. In
addition, although ridged and peeling nails usually indicate a minor
mineral imbalance, be sure to mention recurring problems to your
health care professional. And while it will take months for you to
grow new, strong, beautiful, un-ridged nails, you can smooth out the
old ones this very day. Heres how.
Regular manicures can help revitalize your nails natural moisture,
which can help prevent and cure ridged and peeling nails. Begin by
energizing the nail surface with a vigorous scrubbing , using a brush
and warm, soapy water. You can do this step in the shower or bath.
Next, rub in a commerical cuticle oil, plain olive oil, or your
favorite hand lotion. Massage and moisturize your cuticles, nail beds,
and fingers it feels great
For twice-daily maintenance, be sure to
rub an oil or lotion into your hands, cuticles, and nails, to preserve
your smooth and healthy look.
Rx for Ridged/Peeling Nails
While the following article deals primarily with hands and
fingernails, the advice would be equally applicable to toenails.
Another reason for problematic nails can be a lack of essential fatty
acids, or EFAs, which are healthy fats, such as flaxseed oil, borage
oil and evening primrose oil. "Take one tablespoon of EFAs daily, and
after four months, your nails will be noticeably glossier and more
Hands On, by Monica Emerich
This advice was echoed in another source that I came across, a page of
tips on all aspects of nail care:
Consume EFA-rich foods such as cold water fish (salmon, herring,
halibut & mackerel), seeds & zinc-rich foods such as whole grains, egg
yolk, seafood & meat.
And the ever-popular Idiots Guides weighs in on the subject with
manicure tips and hints, and some advice directed at your problem.
They advocate a balanced diet rich in calcium (Drink your milk!) and
lots of water.
They also have some very useful and interesting suggestions regarding
moisturizing your nails:
Rub Chap Stick, or a heavy lanolin-based product such as Bag Balm, on
clean nails (these are available at most pharmacies and drug stores).
Your nails, like your skin, become damaged under harsh elements and
sometimes need a little extra care. A thick moisturizer will work
How to Give Yourself a Great Manicure
As you might imagine, the internet is rife with offerings of all sorts
of products for nail care. You can probably find anything you might
need at your local pharmacy, but here are a couple of products that
I found a very favorable Epinions review of a product by Avon called
This product is made to strengthen and mend brittle; peeling nails
and it works wonders. The strengthener comes in a .4 fl oz blue bottle
and can be purchased through Avon or any Avon representative. Regular
price is $6.00 but some catalogs will have them on sale.
The entire review may be read here:
Here is a product that claims to be used and recommended by
dermatologists, and comes with a money-back guarantee:
NailTiques, a line of various nail products, many of which are aimed
at peeling or brittle nails.
As I have always been afflicted with fragile fingernails, I found this
to be an interesting issue to research for you. I hope that you will
find a solution here, and that you will soon have beautiful sparkly
toes whenever you decide to show them off!
Should you require clarification of any of the above information,
please do not hesitate to ask.
peeling toenail OR toenails polish OR "nail polish"
+"peeling nails" +polish