Nail cracking is a common and unfortunately very troublesome ailment. Extensive cracks are not just a cosmetic defect, but they can be extremely painful and hinder daily functioning. There are many causes of this ailment. Determining the specific cause is essential, as it determines the approach to eliminate the problem. Why do nails crack? What action to take after noticing damage? How to prevent it?
Cracking nails – most common causes
Brittle, fragile, and cracking nails are nails that are weakened for some reason. The cause of this phenomenon can be trivial and does not require consultation with a specialist, but it can also indicate more serious injuries and diseases. Therefore, if you notice this problem, do not trivialize it! Here are the factors responsible for nail cracking.
1. Mechanical injury
This is definitely the most common cause of nail cracking. The nail plate can be damaged by events such as:
- strong impact;
- biting nails;
- forcibly removing nail polish, especially UV gel nail polish and gel styling.
2. Improper nail styling
- incorrect, too intense nail filing, especially the side edges;
- lack of reinforcement for long nails;
- incorrect reinforcement of long nails, especially on the so-called stress line, which is the most stressed and thus most prone to breakage;
- incorrect construction of extended nails.
Using any chemicals, e.g., those used daily for household cleaning, should be done in protective gloves. Regular contact with such products with hand skin and nails will result in their damage.
4. Vitamin and mineral deficiency
The most common cause of a deficiency of essential nutrients for the proper functioning of the body is an unbalanced diet, poor in vegetables and fruits, which are a valuable source of vitamins and minerals.
5. Health ailments
Nail cracking is one of the symptoms of many diseases, such as:
- fungal infection;
- hormonal disorders;
- thyroid diseases.
If you undoubtedly exclude mechanical injuries as the cause of nail cracking, consider consulting a doctor and undergoing the necessary tests.
Types of nail cracks and their cause
Did you know that the way a nail cracks can tell you a lot about the cause? If you exclude mechanical injury (including too intense edge filing) and observe that not one, but several nails crack across the plate, the cause may be diseases such as the aforementioned fungal infection and psoriasis, as well as an improper diet and related nutrient deficiencies.
On the other hand, damage to the nail matrix, whose treatment is unfortunately long-term, may be responsible for the nails cracking lengthwise. Nail reconstruction can take up to 12 months.
Cracked nail – who to turn to for help?
If nail cracking is accompanied by other ailments, such as pain or discomfort in the nail plate area, inflammation, deformation, colour change, see a primary care physician who will guide you further. A visit to a dermatologist or podologist may be necessary, who will diagnose the nail disease and suggest appropriate treatment.
If, on the other hand, a cracked nail is the result of, for example, an impact and you do not observe other alarming symptoms, make an appointment with a nail stylist or try to rebuild the nail yourself using professional styling products, like Semilac builder gel or Semilac Extend 5in1 815 Delicate Mocca UV Gel Polish 7ml. There is so many colours of Semilac Extend 5in1 that you can choose from.
However, remember that you can only do this if the crack is not deep, there is no wound, severe pain, etc.
What to do with a cracked nail?
There are several ways to save a broken nail at home if you have the right equipment and accessories. Choose a method based on your skills and the depth of the crack. Remember that home remedies are dedicated only to healthy nails that have been damaged, not those undergoing a disease process.
Strengthening the nail and cracks with gel, acrylic gel, or a building UV Gel Polish Base
If the crack is small, strengthening the plate with a building base may be sufficient. A strong base 5-in-1 gel polish with a beige shade Semilac Extend 5in1 810 Casual Beige UV Gel Polish 7ml will work perfectly.
You can also extend nails with its help by up to 1 cm! Another great solution is the base for UV gel nail polishes Semilac Dream Long Base 7ml with fiber fibers and vitamin E.
Gently file the nail shape and work on the cuticles. Then matte and degrease the surface, apply primer,
base, and cure in the lamp.
The next step is to apply a small portion of gel to the crack. Spread it with a brush so that its edges are thin and smooth.
In the place of the crack, a slightly thicker layer should remain. Harden in the lamp and gently smooth with a file.
Finally, apply a thin layer of gel to the entire nail. You can also perform the procedure using acrylic gel.
Reconstruction with acrylic gel
Cut off the cracked tip with scissors. Then proceed as above – determine the shape, work on the cuticles, matte and degrease the nail surface, apply primer, base, and cure in the lamp. Apply a small portion of acrylic gel in place of the cut nail fragment and rebuild it, giving the desired shape, and cure. Level the surface and build the entire nail with acrylic gel.
Cutting and extending
If you have time and desire, you can simply completely cut off the cracked nails and extend them. The advantage of this solution is that nothing really limits you, you can create any manicure!
How to prevent nails from cracking and breaking?
It's not an easy task, as nails, both on hands and feet, are exposed to various injuries. However, this does not mean that you have to rely on fate! Follow a few rules, and accidents involving nails, even if they occur, will not have such severe consequences:
- take care of a balanced diet – provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals, if necessary – after consulting a doctor and undergoing tests – supplement them;
- protect and care for nails – proper care is essential, so use strengthening nail conditioners in the form of nail polish like Semilac Nail Power Therapy 5in1 Recovery Nude Nail Conditioner 7 ml and oils like Semilac Moisturising Nail and Cuticle Oil 11 ml, wear protective gloves for housework;
- carry out cosmetic treatments wisely – correctly performed nail styling, UV gel nail polish or builder hard gel, does not damage the nail plate, just like proper nail polish and gel removal;
- keep short nails – short-cut nails are very fashionable and look great, and what's equally important – they are less prone to injuries. However, if you like long styles, remember to solidly reinforce the stress line;
- get regular check-ups – by undergoing preventive examinations, it is easier to detect ailments at an early stage of their development. Consequently, the likelihood of effective treatment is higher, and the damage done to the body is smaller.
Implementing healthy habits is neither difficult nor time-consuming, but it will quickly bring tangible benefits!
Nail damage occurs at the least expected moment. If this moment happens just before an important outing, it is frustrating and can spoil the mood. Fortunately, you already know proven ways to remedy this! However, if your nails have been weak and brittle for a long time, be sure to consult a specialist who will diagnose the problem and suggest the most effective therapy, thanks to which the condition and appearance of the nails will improve quickly!