It is possible to diagnose your internal health by the condition of your nails. Nails that are discolored, flaky, or have ridges are common among people who frequently get professional manicures or clean their homes. Nails that peel can cause more than just inconvenience.
Lisa Nyanda-Manalo, MD., a board-certified dermatologist, said, “A lot of people don’t realize how important understanding changes to the body are, and something as simple as a nail change could identify potential problems going on internally.”
Here are eight things dermatologists say cause peeling nails and how to avoid them.
Excessive Chemical Exposure
The most common thing to look at, especially in someone who is young and healthy and has no other known health problems, is what they’re doing to their nails. Cleaning products and soaps are designed to remove grease and oil, but they also remove natural oils from your skin and nails. Working with chemical solvents or strong soaps can dry the nail and cause flakes.
Insufficient Or Excessive Moisture
Despite what you may think, your nails contain moisture, so they require the right amount to stay healthy and strong. Dr. Curtiss says that soaking hands excessively can strip away water or natural oils from your skin and nails, causing them to dry out and become brittle.
Nyanda said, “You don’t want to ignore possible internal issues, such as anemia.” It is common for patients to have nails peeling due to iron-deficiency anemia. See your primary care doctor or dermatologist if you have a history of anemia, nail changes, and other symptoms like fatigue.” Your physician will perform blood tests to determine if you lack essential nutrients such as iron.
Dr. Curtiss says certain medicines, such as chemotherapy or Accutane, can dry out nails, make them brittle, or even peel them off. In that case, your doctor should let you know. You can ask your doctor if peeling nails is a side effect if you take any prescriptions.
Peeling Nails: When To See A Doctor
Dr. Nyanda recommends seeking medical attention if changes to the nail are not resolving after removing possible causes. When your nails peel even after pausing manicures, wearing gloves while cleaning, moisturizing, and eating a healthy diet, see your doctor to find out what’s wrong. They’ll examine your nails, review your medical history, and order lab tests.