Left Big Toenail Splits Vertically

Question: My left big toenail splits vertically down the middle. It starts splitting when it reaches the tip of my toe and continues no matter what I do. I've tried clipping it as short as I can hoping that as it grows it will not split again. I've tried letting it grow and it just continues to grow in a split. I'm beginning to really worry because nothing seems to stop it. Does anyone know what is causing this and how I can stop it. I've tried keeping polish on and all it does is split the polish too. I'm afraid it will soon begin to split all the way down through the rest of the nail bed. Help!

Answer:
My left big toenail splits vertically down the middle. It starts splitting when it reaches the tip of my toe and continues no matter what I do. I've tried clipping it as short as I can hoping that as it grows it will not split again. I've tried letting it grow and it just continues to grow in a split. I'm beginning to really worry because nothing seems to stop it. Does anyone know what is causing this and how I can stop it. I've tried keeping polish on and all it does is split the polish too. I'm afraid it will soon begin to split all the way down through the rest of the nail bed. Help! First I have to tell you how the nail plate is attached to the nail bed and how it grows forward before I can tell you why tis is happening - it wouldn't make sense otherwise.

The surface of the nail bed is made up of a series of raised 'rails' that run vertically from the cuticle to the free edge. These 'rails' are very much like the rails of a train track. On the underside of the nail plate is a series of vertical grooves, much like the wheels of a train. The nail plate rides forward on the 'rails' much like a train rides its tracks.

Sometimes, for unknown reasons, one of the rails on the nail bed will begin to get bigger and start to grow upwards through the nail plate. As this is happening, the nail plate will grow thinner over that rail and will split as it becomes free edge. As the disorder continues, the rail will completely grow through the nail plate separating it into two completely separate portions. From what I understan, there is nothing that can be done to stop it or to correct it.

Sorry I didn't have any 'good' news for you.

Answer:
Are you saying that what I fear is going to happen is going to happen? Will the nail continue to split clear down through the quick? Is this common? Thank you for your response.

Answer:
Yes, what you fear may possibly happen. Onychorrhexis are brittle nails which often split vertically, peel and/or have vertical ridges. This irregularity can be the result of heredity, the use of strong solvents in the workplace or the home, including household cleaning solutions. Although oil or paraffin treatments will re-hydrate the nail plate, one may wish to confer with a physician to rule out disease.

Once the nail plate splits in two from the free edge to the cuticle, the nail bed will harden and become "skin" just like the rest of your skin. It won't be painful because the skin of the nail bed will harden as it splits the nail plate into two sections.

You might try re-hydrating the nail plate with Botanical Oil, applying several times a day and always at night. You can get Botanical Oil in the nail department of Sally Beauty Supply.
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