What Are the Causes of Peeling Fingernails?

What Are the Causes of Peeling Fingernails?

Our incredible bodies have ways of telling us when something is wrong. Sometimes we listen, often we don’t and simply chalk it up to age or stress. One of these messages from our body comes in the form of peeling nails. Is this something we should be taking note of?

Why Are My Nails Peeling?

There are many reasons for peeling nails; most are benign and can be fixed with a change in diet, a lifestyle adjustment or some supplements. Others point to a more serious issue.

Overexposure and Environment

Our nails are more fragile than we think and tend to absorb the various chemicals and compounds that they are subjected to. If your hands and nails are continuously exposed to harsh chemicals or even everyday cleaning products, they will start to flake, peel and chip. Using gloves and a good hand cream will do the trick.

Our nails, like our skin, will also respond to humidity and weather changes and if these are too severe, peeling, brittle nails will result.


Onychoschizia (peeling, brittle nails) can also come about as a result of anaemia. Low iron levels result in weakness, fatigue and shortness of breath, and also show in the nails. As our nails take a little while to grow, we may only see the result of low iron in our nails months after it becomes a problem. A good supplement, as well as an improved diet, will work wonders here.

In addition, dehydration will cause similar effects over time, so make sure that you regularly drink clean, filtered water throughout the day.

Thyroid Issues

Rough cuticles, ridges and splitting nails are a hallmark of hypothyroidism – an underactive thyroid. Weight gain, depression, constipation and weak muscles are the unfortunate results of an underactive thyroid and therefore this condition needs immediate medical attention.

Other illnesses which manifest themselves in discoloured, peeling or thickening nails include kidney disease, lupus, melanoma, fungal infections and diabetes.

If you are concerned about flaking or peeling nails, then it’s worth a visit to Dr Sanua. A qualified and dedicated homoeopath, his focus is always on finding the underlying problem in order to properly treat the symptom.



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