why are my nails peeling

Why Are My Nails Peeling?

Nails that peel are not only disturbing, but also pretty inconvenient. This is especially true when you consider just how much you need to use your fingers or even your toes without being bothered by the cosmetics or structure of your nails. The question you may find yourself asking is, “Why are my nails peeling?”

According to the experts at, some of the many reasons nails on both fingers and toes begin to peel include a type of trauma that a nail has endured. Other reasons are health conditions or even sicknesses that affect the structural integrity of the nail. When fingernails begin to split, it is important to invest in the best nail clippers.

In this article, we will go over the many possible reasons that toe nails could have to peel. After answering the question “Why are my nails peeling?” we’ll move on to some tips and tricks on how to keep your nails healthy. We’ll conclude with providing the best toenail clippers for the job of treating toenails that are prone to peeling. To avoid other situations like how to get rid of thickening toe nails, you should read our specific article on that topic. Let’s get started!

Reasons Behind Nails Peeling

It is a little known fact that nails are actually like the body’s bulletin board for how healthy the body is. If your body has a nutritional issue or even some kind of sickness, your nails can often show you the first signs of the issue. One of these signs is the peeling of the different layers of nails. 

The first step to any kind of treatment, even for peeling nails, is to understand the reason behind it. Otherwise, there can be no accurate or long-term resolution to the issue. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the reasons behind nails peeling in the list below: 


This may sound odd given the fact that our hands and feet are famous for solving lots of problems throughout our daily lives; however, it is true that your fingers and your toes can be overused. Specifically, repeated friction to your fingers and toe nails can cause the nails to be damaged and peeled. 

Contact With Water

Too much contact with hot water can actually dry your fingernails and toenails out. The nail will actually expand to accommodate the temperature and moisture, then shrink, losing a lot of it’s own moisture in the process. This can cause peeling. 

False Nails

Whether you use acrylic nails or other types of false nail extensions, these can contribute to peeling. Often the glue that is used to adhere the stick-on nails does more harm than good, especially when taking the false nails off. They can partially remove a layer of the nail, causing peeling. 

Incorrectly Removing Nail Polish

Nail polish is a fun way to accessorize, but unfortunately, it has to come off sooner or later. If you make a habit of picking at nail polish or even trying to peel it away instead of using nail polish remover, chances are, you are actually peeling away part of the nail itself, too. 


Trauma can look like any activity that causes your nails to come under an intense pressure, however brief. Stubbing your toe in just the right way to apply pressure to the nail, or even using your nails to roughly open or pick at something can lead to peeling. 

Vitamin Deficiency

As previously mentioned, sometimes all it takes to cause issues in the nails is a lack of good vitamins. Without vitamins, just about every kind of tissue in the body will suffer, and this includes nails. Layers of the nail can begin to die before their time, causing peeling. 

Iron Deficiency

Sometimes a lack of iron is the chief culprit when it comes to seeing signs of peeling in the nail. It is one of the main types of minerals that the body needs to keep functioning well, and if you’re low on iron, your nails are usually one of the first parts of the body to show it. Read this article to know what are the best foods for nail growth


Keeping nails looking clean and shiny is an admirable goal. Unfortunately, when that means buffing your nails often, it can typically cause peeling. This is especially true when it comes to buffing one’s nails incorrectly, going against the “grain” or direction of the nail’s growth. 

Exposure to Chemicals

Both finger and toenails can be exposed to harmful chemicals, even in the most basic daily tasks. For example, when one washes dishes, or even uses certain products to clean the foot or an area that the foot is exposed to, nails can become dry too quickly as a result. Remember, dryness leads to peeling!

Thyroid Problems

Many people throughout the United States have thyroid diseases. This can lead to problems in every type of cell that builds up the human body, and that includes the nails. Nails can become brittle, and eventually start peeling, too, if a thyroid disease is present. 

Certain medications

As helpful as medicine may be to treat one issue in the body, some actually can show up in harmful ways with your nails. For example, chemotherapy that is undergone in cancer patients can cause peeling in the nail. Additionally, prescription medication like Accutane can show up in the same way. 

Poor Kidney Health

Kidneys are the filtration system of the body. Unfortunately that filtration system is affected by disease in more than 30 million US adults! If kidneys are suffering, one of the symptoms in addition to fatigue and frequent urination could be changes in the nail, such as peeling. 

A Sign of Aging

When a person ages, they are likely to experience slower nail growth. When nails grow more gradually, they often die unevenly, causing peeling nails. A great way to resolve this is to keep the length of nails under tight control; it is a good reason to invest in nail clippers for seniors!

Now that we have examined the many different causes of nail peeling, it is time to understand how to resolve the issue. 

Tips on How to Treat Peeling Nails

Why are my nails peeling

Treating peeling nails is not incredibly difficult once you realize what is causing the problem. However, it is important that you use the right solution in order to get the best results! Let’s take a look at those potential solutions below:

Eat Iron-Rich Foods

One of the ways to supplement an iron deficiency if this is the cause of one’s peeling nails is simply by changing one’s diet. Try eating lean meats, baked potato (including the iron-rich skin!) or even spinach. Doctors can likely recommend iron supplements, too. 

Gently Remove Artificial Nails

As mentioned above, one of the most common causes of peeling nails is artificial nails that are yanked off recklessly, pulled away on accident, or even removed without the proper tools. Do not scrape or pull artificial nails; instead, use a professional toenail clipped to trim around the nail coating and pull it carefully.

Buff Correctly

Do not buff your nails too often. When you do try buffing your nails, make sure you don’t use any kind of motion that goes back and forth. This thins out the plate of your nail, leading to peeling. Instead, buff in one direction only. 

Moisturize Properly

It is imperative that you tend to the moisture of your nails. For example, use nail moisturizer or even a moisturizing lotion after exposure to water. In fact, applying lotion every night before bed is a great way to tend to peeling nails. 

Apply Clear Polish

Using a layer of clear nail polish is a great way to add strength to the plate of your nails. With this strength, your nails can actually risk peeling much less. Additionally, be sure to check the bottle for nylon fibers, which are very helpful.

Take off Nail Polish Carefully

If you do wear toenail polish or fingernail polish often, try to cut down on the frequency of use. Also make sure that when you remove this polish, you use nail polish remover that has no acetone in the ingredients. 

Maintain Nail Length 

If your nails get too long, either on your toes or your fingers, they are more at risk of suffering trauma. As previously mentioned, that trauma can lead to peeling all too easily. Maintain the length of your nail by using expert toenail clippers. 

The Solution to Peeling Nails

Truly, the most important thing to think about when caring for nails that have demonstrated a peeling tendency is what kind of tools you can use to strengthen them. As we mentioned above, the best toenail clippers are a way to solve this problem. 

However, it can’t be just any product. Some toenail clippers are difficult to hold and can lead to injury. Some have dull blades or are poorly crafted, leading to nail trauma that worsens the peeling problem. 

For a toenail clipper that gets the job done right for seniors with mobility issues, there’s the Swissklip Nail Clipper 360


In Conclusion

To sum it all up, the answer to the question “Why Are My Nails Peeling?” is found in health issues like kidney disease or nutritional deficiencies, as well as improper nail care. One of the worst problems that causes peeled nails is trauma because those nails are too long. 

To prevent this, we recommend getting the best nail clippers you can to maintain proper nail health.