16 answers

Split Thumbnail Problem

I keep my nails short, yet still have a problem with both my thumbnails splitting down the middle. They get caught on things and tear which is painful. I think it started after a manicure, but I'm not sure if those things are related. I've had this problem for a few years and now I finally have a place to ask someone what to do! Have any of you with this problem found a way to get your nails to grow in one piece again?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi E.,

I'm 57, but have had the same problem with my nails for years. The best thing I have tried is Sally Hansen's nail repair for severe problem nails. I have never really worn nail polish, but finally had to resort to it. I was out of the country for six months recently, which meant I wasn't doing dishes, etc., and using this treatment coupled with not using my hands so much for daily tasks, healed a couple of the splits. (Which led me to think that using gloves for doing dishes would be a good idea.) However, an elderly woman I know recently started taking a supplement from GNC called Hair Skin & Nails, and it's pretty miraculous how her nails have healed. I haven't tried it yet, only because I take so many other supplements, and already have some stomach issues from that. Silica is the mineral you want, if you take something internally.

1 mom found this helpful

Calcium deficiency causes weak brittle nails with verticle ridges. I don't know about nail rips.
Nails grow beautifully when you take pre natal vitamins!

I would take a vit, A, B, and C supplements also because many people are defeicent in these water soluable vitamins that the body doesn't store.

More Answers

Hi E., I was a manicurist for many years and saw this problem several times. It's usually due to an injury to the nail bed or even more often that particular finger. The growth of the nail comes from beyond where you can see, and the actual portion of the fingernail that we can see is dead. Therefore, an injury to the finger can effect the manner in which the nail grows. People who were nail biters for years and years tend to have problems with bumpy, damaged nails even after they stot biting them. Sometimes diet and/or vitamin deficiency does effect nail growth, but you would probably see a problem in all of your nails, and you would also most likely have unhealthy hair. I've also seen this problem correct itself. I would try, like someone else mentioned, a small patch of a silk wrap to keep it from splitting.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear E.,
I'm sorry to hear about your nail problem.
Strangely enough, certain things about your nails can signal certain things, such as ridges either horizonally or vertically. It can mean that you have a deficiency of some type...or even a fungal infection.
I have two recommendations and both will sound strange. I'm not going to get into my experience with fingernails, but let's just say....I have lots of it.
Vicks Vapo-Rub massaged into your nail and cuticle will actually help with fungal infection and help oil the nail up so it's not so brittle. Do it for a few days and keep a band aid over it while you're doing things that you do that tend to cause a snag.
The other thing is to wash really well with an antibacterial soap and dry your nail throroughly.
Cut a tea bag more or less in the shape of your nail...but allow a little room along the cuticle and edges. Put a coat of clear polish on your nail and immediately apply the tea bag. Gently pat down to make sure that it sticks and there are no air bubbles. After it's dry, apply a couple more coats of clear polish, allowing to dry in between. If there are any rough edges at the tip of your nail, you can gently file it off after everything has set.
The tea bag becomes pretty invisible and if it feels a little rough, you can file the surface of the nail to try to smoothe it. But unless you intend to wear colored polish, it's not really necessary.
This can be done with super glue also, but I wouldn't recommend it unless it's just for a temporary fix for a broken nail if you're going to a wedding or special event or something.
The nice thing about the clear polish and tea bag is that they can easily be taken off with nail polish remover to let your nails breathe once in a while.
I don't want to offend anyone, but I never had a single problem until I made the mistake of getting some acrylics at a nail salon. I know many women who do it all the time, but it completely ruined my otherwise healthy nails.
They're back to normal now...thank goodness. But it took a long time.

Try the tea bags and hopefully each time you change them, you'll start to see new growth and eventually be able to just trim the bad parts off little by little.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi E.,

I'm 57, but have had the same problem with my nails for years. The best thing I have tried is Sally Hansen's nail repair for severe problem nails. I have never really worn nail polish, but finally had to resort to it. I was out of the country for six months recently, which meant I wasn't doing dishes, etc., and using this treatment coupled with not using my hands so much for daily tasks, healed a couple of the splits. (Which led me to think that using gloves for doing dishes would be a good idea.) However, an elderly woman I know recently started taking a supplement from GNC called Hair Skin & Nails, and it's pretty miraculous how her nails have healed. I haven't tried it yet, only because I take so many other supplements, and already have some stomach issues from that. Silica is the mineral you want, if you take something internally.

1 mom found this helpful

First see a dermatologist to be sure you do not have an infection or injury to your nail. Second, take a good multivitamin. Doesn't have to be expensive - Costo has good multi vitamins. Lastly, an old boyfriend of mine had a father with a nail problem. Weak, cracked, fungal etc. THe dermotologist tried everything - nothing helped. Then he dated a manicurist. She recommended Mane 'N Tail Hoofmaker Hand and Nail Therapy (made by Straight Arrow Products - available at Walgreens). It is a protein rich moisturizer. He had nothing to lose so he used it every day. It took 6 over mo. but his nails cleared up ( his were really bad)! There was nothing wrong with my nails except they broke off all the time and were a bit weak. I used it too and withing a few months my nails were so much stronger! I put it on at bedtime so it would sink in undisturbed all night. It is not an instant fix, it will take several months but it is good stuff. You have to keep your nails natural ( no polish etc) in order for it to work. You will need too keep bandaids on them for awhile so you don't keep cathing them on things. I still use it. GOod luck!

1 mom found this helpful

From what i have read about split toe nails the only way to stop the split is to have a podiatrist (maybe dermatologist? for fingernail) pull the nail. The nail can then regrow without the split. I think they expand from the base to the tip so the split continues as the nail pushes out. Check with a dermatologist.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi E.

Sounds like there could be a nutritional deficiency in your diet? there is a great site called bellaonline. It's an alternative medicine website and is packed with interesting articles. there are two on in regards to nail health of which I found to be VERY interesting as you may as well...
Apparently when it comes to nails, much can be told about the body's state of health.. it's good reading.. check it out.. best of luck..

S.
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art51111.asp
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art5634.asp

1 mom found this helpful

This may sound weird but it worked for me. When my nail split and kept catching on everything, my mom used clear nail polish (because I wouldn't agree to Crazy Glue), and thin(really thin) piece of silk. She wrapped it over the tip, since that was where the problem was. She put many coats on and this gave the nail strength. I think I eventually agreed to some Crazy Glue, as I have seen her use it on her own nails for decades when they crack.

If really worried, take it to the dr. to be sure it's not an infection that keeps it from healing.

Good luck,
Stephanie

1 mom found this helpful

I, too, used to have very brittle nails, until I started taking a supplement called Isotonix OPC3. It's a powerfull antioxidant, in liquid form(add water to powder), so most of it is absorbed within 5 minutes. The main ingrediants are grape seed extract, red wine extract, pine bark extract (pycnogenol), billberry extract, and citrus extract (bioflavanoids). Anitoxidants are natural cell protectors, neutralizing free radicals, which are naturally occuring. Studies have shown OPCs to be up to 20 times more powerful than vitamin C and 50 times more powerful than vitamin E in neutralizing free radicals. Isotonix OPC-3 contains the only isotonic form of Pycnogenol® in the world. Pycnogenol is a natural plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, and the most clinically researched and potent bioflavonoid. Since taking this supplement, I have been more healthy overall than I have been since my 20s. Any my hair and nails have never looked better, even compared to when I was pregnant. My nails are very strong, and grow fast. Take a look at the link.

http://www.marketamerica.com/lynnettebenard/index.cfm?act...

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