Dawaai Blog

Don’t Bail on those Nails


Medically reviewed by Dr. Riaz Ali Shah.

Healthy nails are smooth and have a consistent color. Anything else affecting the growth or appearance of the fingernails or toenails may indicate an abnormality. A person’s nails can say a lot about the state of their health. Nail abnormalities, in most cases, are not serious and can be easily treated. In other cases, a health condition that may need medical attention and treatment might be the cause.

In this article, we will share a list of nail abnormalities along with their potential causes and also discuss how to take care of the nails and when to see a doctor.

Cracked Nail Causes

From infections to the normal side effects of aging, cracked nails have many causes. Women are also more likely than men to have cracked nails, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.

Here are some common causes:


As a person ages, fingernails will typically become thinner and more prone to cracking. Toenails will thicken.

Frequent exposure to water

If you perform a job that requires you to wash your hands frequently or submerge your hands in water, you may be at greater risk for nail cracking.

Frequent manicures and nail polish removal

Using acetone-based nail polish removers can weaken the fingernails and make them prone to breaking.

So can removing gel nail manicures because of the chemicals involved and need for the fingernails to soak in liquid nail polish remover. This may make the nails more vulnerable to injury.

Fungal infection

If you have existing cracks or injuries to the skin around your nails, fungus can invade the skin and lead to infection. Symptoms of a fungal nail infection include:

  • Cracking
  • Thickened nails
  • Slightly discolored nails, such as yellow, white, or brown nails

The toenails may be more vulnerable to fungal infections because of the warm, wet environment wearing shoes can create.

Nutritional deficiencies

The body uses various nutrients to grow healthy nails. Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiency causes of cracked nails.

The body also requires proteins and B vitamins to effectively build strong, healthy nails.


Psoriasis that affects the fingernails can cause nail changes that include nail cracking. People may experience other symptoms too, such as nail splitting, crumbling, or separation of the nail bed.

Thyroid disorder

The thyroid is responsible for maintaining a person’s metabolism as well as many functions for growing skin, hair, and nails. People with thyroid dysfunction can experience nail problems, including dry, cracked, and brittle nails.

The Takeaway

The nails serve as protection for the fingers and toes. Cracked and brittle nails can make it harder to complete daily activities, especially if you work with your hands. If cracked nails affect both your fingernails and toenails, a doctor may suspect a systemic condition or nutritional deficiencies. Fortunately, preventive tips and refraining from using your fingernails as multipurpose tools can help resolve most concerns related to cracked nails.

Guest Credits: Dr Shayan Imran



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