If You Have Peeling Nails, Here’s What It Could Mean

It could be your lifestyle, or there could be something going on deeper in your body.

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peeling nailsChanita Chokchaikul/Shutterstock

Why pay attention to your nails?

Nail problems seem like a pretty benign thing to worry about, but this isn't only about "OMG I broke a nail": Brittle nails can be a sign that something's going wrong in your body, and peeling nails are a symptom of that brittleness. Though, other times, your lifestyle could be damaging them from the outside in. Read on to find out when to worry and how to protect your fingernails.

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peeling nailsPhoto Credit: Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock

You're getting up there in years

Your hair and skin aren't the only things that change as you age. As you get older, your nails naturally get more brittle and change in texture, leaving them vulnerable to peeling. "We get wrinkles in our skin, and we get wrinkles in our nails," says Chris G Adigun, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. "Each peak and each valley is a weak area that is prone to splitting." Are they changing appearance in other ways? Find out what the colour of your bare nails says about your health.

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peeling nailsJacob Lund/Shutterstock

You use cleaning products regularly

Cleaning products can strip your nails of moisture and healthy oils, which can lead to peeling if you're using them regularly for your job. If you can't escape the chemicals themselves, fight the effects by being diligent with moisturizers, suggests Dr. Adigun. She recommends an oil- or emollient-based moisturizer, which give a heavier dose of hydration.

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