Dry Skin around Nails, Causes, Vitamin Deficiency, Cure & Remedy

Dry skin around nails is quite common. The condition is however harmless but can be a sign of a possible underlying medical condition. Vitamin and mineral deficiency is a common cause of dry skin. In this article, we have provided you with some of the possible cause of dry skin around the nails. We have also provided some of the home remedies you might use to manage the condition including how to prevent the condition from happening in the futures.

Dry skin around fingernails

Dry skin often results when there’s not enough water in the stratum Corneum for it to function properly. This is according to Bhupinder Kaur, MD. The stratum Corneum is the outermost layer of the epidermis, consisting of dead cells. This layer is composed of close to 20 layers of flattened cells with no nuclei and cell organelles.

Dry Skin around Fingernails
Dry Skin around Fingernails

Dr. Kaur says that too much soap water, exposure to harsh chemicals, the normal aging process and certain types of skin diseases are some of the causes of decreased amount of protective oil which in turn causes dry skin.

Depending on the underlying cause of the dry skin around nails, the skin may with time start to peel, crack or bleed at times. Dry skin is common in pregnant women. This is because of the hormonal fluctuations. Most women will have changes in their skin, hair, and nails, most of these changes are normal and go away after the pregnancy.

During pregnancy, you may notice changes in the texture and growth of your hair and fingernails. For some women, the nail and hair will grow faster and stronger. For some women, the hair may fall out and the nail split after delivery. Slowly with time, the hair and nail will return to the normal state they were before pregnancy, this is according to George Kroumpouzos, MD, Ph.D., a dermatologist at south shore medical center

Dry skin around nails causes

Dry skin around nail can be caused by any medical condition or practice that deprives the skin of the natural oils.  Natural skin oil protects the skin from loss of moisture that could otherwise cause dry skin. Here are some possible causes of dry skin around nails.

  • Bad habits such as biting and picking your fingernails are common causes of dry skin around nails.
  • Harsh weather such as those occurring in winter and summer can rid the skin of the natural oils making it become dry.
  • Yeast infection or fungus growth on fingers is can also cause the dry skin around the nails.
  • Medical and skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and others such as dyshidrosis are common conditions known to cause dry skin.
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiency can also cause dry skin. Severe cases of malnutrition can cause your skin to dry, crack and peel off.
  • Exposure to moisture riding substances and practices such as taking a long steamy shower or using harsh soap is another common cause of dry skin around nails. This can be prevented by avoiding the causes of dryness and using skin moisturizers.
  • Continues use of drying agents like washing detergents can also cause your skin to become dry and itchy.

Dry skin around nails vitamin deficiency

Severe dry skin around nail can be a sign of vitamin deficiency. Numerous vitamin and mineral deficiency can be the case of dry skin in both children and women. According to World Health Organization, vitamin deficiency is considered a public health problem children and women in developing nation are more vulnerable to this condition.

Retinol deficiency (vitamin deficiency) can be shown by the following symptoms:

  • Drying, scaling and thinning of skin
  • Night blindness
  • Respiratory infections
  • Impaired immunity

Dry hard skin around nails

The appearance of the nails can give valuable health warning. How your nails appear can signal the presence of disease and possible infections. You need to always look at how your nails are, look at the curves, dips, ridges and grooves of your nail. You also need to observe how the thick or thin the nails are.

Dry Cracked SKin around Nail
Dry Cracked SKin around Nail

The other thing you need to be careful with is the color of the nails, the skin under the nail and that around the nail. Dry hard skin around the nail is not natural. Dry, brittle nails is a common sign of fluctuating hormonal levels. The hard skin can also indicate a possible bacterial infection.

Thyroid disease will often lead to brittle, dry fingernails that crack and split easily. Thyroid disease can range from a small. Harmless goiter or enlargement of the thyroid glands to a more life-threatening cancer. A common thyroid problem involves abnormal production of thyroid hormones. This is referred to as hyperthyroidism. Thyroid hormones are essential for metabolism.

The other possible reason for the dry hard skin around nails is a fungal infection. A fungal infection of the nail will make the nail become dry and crumbly. Fungal infection of the nail affects close to 12% of all Americans according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Both fungal infection and thyroid disease causing hard skin around nail will take long to treat. With treatment of the said conditions, you are likely not to see a difference in the look of your nails for a full growth cycle.

Dry peeling skin around nails

Dry peeling skin is an uncomfortable condition marked by scaling, itching and cracking. Dry skin can occur for a variety of reasons. For those with naturally dry skin, the peeling is quite common whereas those who have oily skin may have dry skin from time to time. Dry skin can affect any part of the body. It is quite common on hands, arms and legs.

Dry Skin around Nails
Dry Skin around Nails

Dry skin on hands and legs can cause the skin around nails to peel off. For mild cases of skin dryness, all you need is a simple lifestyle change and over-the-counter moisturizers. If the dryness persists for more than a week, please contact your dermatologist of a professional health care provider.

Apart from an underlying medical condition causing the peeling, dry skin around nails can also occur as a result of exposure to dry weather condition, hot water and harsh chemicals on the skin. Dry skin also known as dermatitis can be of the following type;

  • Allergic contact dermatitis,this is a red itchy, weepy reaction that occurs when your skin comes in contact with a substance your body recognizes as foreign. This substance is usually found in preservatives in creams and lotions.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis also called seborrheic eczema, this is a chronic relapsing and usually mild dermatitis.
  • Atopic dermatitis, it is a type of inflammation of the skin that results in itchy, red, swollen and cracked skin. Scratching your skin worsens the symptoms. Those affected with this type of dermatitis have an increased risk of developing a skin infection.

Dry skin around nails cure, treatment

To cure dry skin around nails, your doctor or dermatologist will first have to diagnose the condition to establish what the underlying cause of the dryness is. When that is done, depending on how severe the condition is, your doctor may recommend a lifestyle change, natural remedies or prescription ointment and creams to treat the symptoms.

With simple life changes, you will need to do the following to protect against dry skin:

  • You will need to avoid hot baths and steamy showers
  • Reduce the amount of time spent in a shower or hot tabs
  • Drink plenty of fluids especially water to always keep your body hydrated
  • You will need to use a humidifier to maintain good room temperatures
  • When suffering from dry skin, you are advised against itching or scrubbing the skin
  • Always use a moisturizer soap when you shower
  • You can also use topical emollients to keep your skin moisturized
  • For extremely dry skin, a petroleum based product should be used.
  • In summer you might consider switching to a lighter, water-based lotion

To cure, treat and relieve dry skin, here are some of the top tips, as recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology: Most dermatologists believe that following the same skin care routine may not work so well when the humidity drops. Without a change in your skin care, dry air can make fine lines and wrinkles to become more noticeable.

To prevent dry skin, you need to:

  • Avoid hot baths and steamy showers. Limit your time in the shower to about 10 minutes, wash with a gentle fragrance-free cleanser and blot your skin gently with a clean towel after bathing.
  • After washing, make sure to apply gentle skin moisturizers. Ointment, creams, and lotion work well on dry skin by trapping existing moisture. This way your skin is able to remain hydrated and moist
  • The other thing you will need to do is to wear gloves and socks everytime you go to sleep or in winter. Dry skin is most commonly noticed on feet and hands around nails. Wearing gloves and other protective wears reduce dry skin on this areas.
  • The gloves or the socks you wear should be irritating to the With dry skin, clothes and detergents can be irritating.
  • In the dry air, you can prevent your skin from becoming dry by adding some moisture in the room. To do that you can plug in a humidifier one or twice a day.
  • If you have a naturally dry skin, then you will need to stick to unscented skin care products. Some cosmetic and skin care product are too harsh when used on a dry or sensitive skin.

Dry skin around nails home remedy

In most cases, dry skin around nails is more of a cosmetic concern than it is a health concern. However, before ruling out dry skin as being normal and harmless, you will need to have the condition checked out by a dermatologist, that why you can be sure of what the underlying cause of the condition is.

Left untreated or unchecked, dry skin around nail can result in other symptoms such as severe itching, cracking and peeling of the skin around the affected area. When the dryness is not caused by a life-threatening condition, then you can control and manage the condition at home with simple natural remedies.

Soak hands in warm water

To ease the pain irritation and itching caused by dry skin around the nail, you can apply a warm compress or dip your hands and finger in a bowl of warm water. Warm water will help soften the skin around nail offering relief for the said symptoms.

After dipping your hands in water, put it dry with a clean towel. Make sure the cuticles are free of water drops but are still moist and soft while you manicure the cuticles.

Apply honey

Another strong natural remedy you can use on dry skin is natural honey.  Raw organic honey is rich in anti-itching and anti-inflammatory properties that may work well on dry skin. After washing and drying your hands, apply a few drops of raw organic honey and leave it on for 200 minutes before rinsing it off.

You can also prepare a mixture of honey and olive oil and the result will be twice as good. To do that,

  • Add an equal amount of raw honey and olive oil in a bowl
  • Gently stir to mix
  • Apply the resulting mixture on the affected area around nail
  • Leave it on for 2o minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water and a mild soap
  • Repeat this twice daily

Use aloe Vera gel

Aloe Vera natural and antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Apart from fighting infection on a cracked skin, aloe Vera is a great cooling and soothing agent. You can use aloe Vera by both applying on the affected area or by drinking.

As a way of preventing and fighting infection, drink at least two spoons of the succulent aloe Vera gel on a daily basis. To add some taste, add an equal amount of raw organic honey.

Soak your hand in a dilute bleach

For dry skin around nail caused by fungal infection, you can fight the infection and relieve the symptoms by soaking your hands in a diluted household bleach. Yes, a diluted bleach solution is good for dry skin caused by nail fungus.

To prepare the remedy:

  • Simply dilute a small amount of household bleach with an equal amount of water
  • Soak your hands in the mixture for around 20 minutes
  • Repeat the process twice or thrice a day
  • If the dryness persists, please contact your health care provider as soon as possible.

Over the counter skin moisturizers

Moisture or emollients are complex chemical mixture designed to make the external skin layer of the skin softer and more pliable. Skin moisturizers increase the skin’s hydration by reducing evaporation. These creams are available both over the counter and under prescription. Moisturizing your skin well is the best way to get rid of dry, cracked or peeling skin around the nail.

Multivitamins and nutritional supplements

When the underlying cause of the dryness around nail or peeling is caused by vitamin deficiency, multivitamins and nutritional supplements might help to quickly resolve the deficiency. To prevent an overdose or an under dose, it is important to have a professional health care provider prescribe the supplement for you.

A rigorous nail care regimen

When your skin is constantly exposed to drying elements, neglecting your skin could worsen the condition. Regular manicure another skin care regimen can help fix this condition and prevent your skin from cracking or peeling off.

A skin care profession will provide you with a specialized nail and skin treatment to ensure adequate miniaturization for the nails and cuticles. With this kind of skin care, you are more likely the dryness on the skin around the nail and prevent it from recurring in the future.

Apply olive oil on the dry skin around nails

Moisturizing dry skin around nails with olive oil is the other way to offer relief for the dryness and preventing the skin from cracking or peeling off. To make an even stronger remedy, you can choose to use a mixture of raw organic honey with the olive oil.

Applying raw organic honey might also help to reduce dryness on the skin around the nail and offer relief for symptoms such as swelling, itching and constant irritation caused by dry skin. Honey is also a good remedy for cracking and peeling skin.

Check your diet by eating and drinking right

The best way to prevent dry skin is by maintaining a balanced diet. Keep your skin healthy and dehydrated by drinking plenty of water and always eating a balanced diet.

Sources and references


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