Posted by: Layla | 2012-05-21

horrific peeling of nails

Hi doc

For a number of years now I have the ugliest hands on earth, due to the state of my nails. They peel in thick layers until it is just a thin very sensitive layer left, very painful if I brush it against something. It would be better if they chipped or broke but they just peel and peel and peel, unable to get any length or become stronog. I don''t know what to do. I take the most expensive supplements, I try to keep them dry by washing dishes with gloves etc, I apply hand and nail cream daily and I try to resist the temptation to peel them myself, very hard tho as they look so awful with a visible layer which needs to be pulled off.

What am I doing wrong? I buy nail strengtheners for R100 a bottle and take anything which says ''for hair skin and nails''. My hair is thick and healthy and my skin had severe acne for years but is much better now. I cannot apply nail polish as it sits in the ridges/on the different peeling layers and looks frightful. Not one of my nails has a totally flat surface, all of them are splitting and peeling, sometimes peeling halfway down the nail towards the cuticle. If there is a vitamin or mineral my body is in desperate need of, what is it? I take calcium and magnesium, keep my hands out of water, never wear false nails and apply the most expensive nail therapies. Still, they peel daily. They are a total eyesore and because of them, for years I stand with my hands bend my back. Winter is my favourite season as I get to wear gloves. But pls I can''t go on hiding my hands frm ppl, as I have done for years now. How can I get nails which won''t peel and will get some length?

What is my body lacking?

thanks hoep to hear fmr you

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc


I strongly suggest that you consult a dermatologist for an examination and treatment. It is possible that you have a very difficult yeast infection of your nailbeds, which needs specialist care.


Dr Anrich

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: BMJ | 2012-05-21

Dear Layla

I read your post with interest. I am a nail technitian and this is problem I see often. Your case does seem much more severe than most, so I would just check the medical advise.

Firstly, I must tell you that the nail hardners you are buying may be contributing to your problem. Most nail hardners contain formaldyhide which dries out your nails and makes them harder, but more prone to peeling. Make sure you choose one without formaldyhide in it. Secondly, you need a nail serum. it acts as ''water'' for dehydrated nails and plumps your nails, stopping the peeling. In your case I would also recommend a nail strenghtner that is also a sealer - sealing the top layers in together. Only apply one layer per day until day 5, then remove with acetone free nailpolish remover and then start again. It takes about 3 months for your nail to grow from cuticle to tip, so be patient and continue with the regime, you will eventually see the results. You can check around for those kinds of products - I am not sure what all is available on the marker. I can recommend LCN. But that is only available in certain Salons. If you want, you can post the area where you live and I can recommend a salon where you can find it.

Hope you get sorted.

Reply to BMJ

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