why do my nails keep splitting on the sides

2. You text and type nonstop
You know that clickety-clack sound your nails make when you're firing off emails and texts? Well, you're damaging more than just the patience of the people around you. "If your nail is making contact with your keyboard or smartphone screen over and over, it could cause it to split, fracture, or fray at the edges," says Toombs. The fix: File or trim nails so that just a bit of white tip is left (but still below than the fleshy top of your finger). That will make it possible to text and type with just the pad of your finger. 3. You only apply hand lotion in the morning Photo by Getty Time for a dose of realityвyou have to reapply hand lotion every time you wash your hands. Water dries your skin out, and if the skin at and below your cuticles is dry, then the underlying nail matrix is, too. That means the nail it forms will be prone to splitting, breaking, and cracking, says Ellen Marmur, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai in New York City. The fix: Find a fast-absorbing lotion like Essie Spa Manicure Many Many Mani Intensive Hand Lotion ($9; ) and apply it throughout the day, paying special attention to the area above your matrix: from the cuticles all the way down to the second knuckle of your finger. 4. You leave polish on for way too long All nail polishes contain drying ingredients that sap moisture from the nail plate and weaken it, and that drying effect doesn't stop once the polish has hardened, Marmur says. Even five-free nail polishes, which skip the solvent toluene and the plasticizer dibutyl phthalate, along with other potentially irritating ingredients, can still leave nails high and dry (something has to make the polish dry once it's on your nail, right? ).

The fix: Toombs recommends taking polish off after five daysвwhen most formulas will start wearing down anyway. Then give nails a few days of downtime before hitting the paint again. MORE: 5. You prep with a base coat Here you are, thinking you're doing the right thing by never skipping your base coat, and it turns out you're wrong. Despite its name, base coat shouldn't be your first stepвif you put polish directly on naked nails, the chemicals (like solvents ethyl acetate or butyl acetate) can eventually eat away at the nail plate, making it weaker and more likely to break, Marmur says. The fix: It's the opposite of what happens in salons, but trust us, it works: Apply a little hand lotion to your nails before polishing. "The lotion will fill in microscopic gaps in the nail, like a primer, and hydrate it so it's not as susceptible to damage from what you put on after," Marmur says. Let it dry, wipe off any excess, and the polish will go on like normal. 6. You can't leave your cuticles alone Photo by Getty Back away from the cuticle snippers. These bits of skin at the base of the nail are essentially protective grout between your nail and skin, shielding your nail from water, bacteria, and anything else you touch. "Cutting the cuticle is like removing that groutвand then there's nothing left to prevent water from entering and causing an infection," says Dana Stern, MD, dermatologist and assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. The fix: Tame cuticles by gently pushing them back with a washcloth after you showerвno cutting allowed, ever. 7. You're supplement averse You might think beauty supplements are bunk, but there's real evidence behind biotin, a B vitamin that's widely lauded as a hair-and-nail strengthener, says Stern.

A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that taking 2. 5 mg of the B vitamin daily improved nail strength and reduced brittleness after six to nine months. While protein deficiency is rare, if your nails are peeling at the tips or showing lengthwise ridges (both signs of brittleness), biotin could help. The fix: Stern recommends a 2. 5 mg dose of biotin once a day to reduce brittleness. Just keep in mind that takes several months to see results, and be sure to talk to your doctor before you start taking it. 8. You're not picky enough about polish remover If gasoline and grain alcohol had a liquid lovechild, we imagine it would smell like nail polish remover. So it's not shocking that polish strippers aren't exactly health tonics for your nails. Acetone in traditional remover strips the natural oils in your nails along with the polish, leaving you with brittle nails. "Even in non-acetone removers, the solvents can be very drying," adds Toombs. The fix: Shop around for a soy-based, acetone-free option like Priti NYC Soy Nail Polish Remover ($13; ), with oils that leave nails moisturized. MORE: i have a problem in regards to my thumbnail. my nails are strongeand healthy and i have no real problems with them other then my thumb nails once they reach a certain length (just to the tip of my finger) they start to split in one spot at the sides. i try to leave them but the get snagged on things and keep spliting then if i dont cut them as they spilt my nail rips and it is rather sore and painfull. i dont know why it does this as before i was able to grow my thumbnails long now i cant. it is a horizontal split not a vertical one. can you please help?

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