Anyone will have peeling or cracked cuticles one time or another.

Many different factors can cause cuticles to peel or crack. These factors can be man-made, extreme weather, exposure to harsh chemicals, insufficient hydration, lack of vitamins, or personal habits. One or more of these factors will cause cuticles to peel or crack. Identifying these factors and avoiding them, you can prevent peeling or cracked cuticles.

Peeling or cracked cuticles are caused by over trimming

When you get your manicure done, either by you or by your nail tech at a salon, chances are you might over cut them. Cuticles are folds of the skin at the base of the nail plate. Over cutting them will ruin this fold and the cuticle become two separate layers. The outer layer will dry out and eventually peel or crack.

If your cuticles are not excessively thick, do not attempt to trim them. You will be more likely to trim them too deep.

Extreme weather can cause peeling or cracked cuticles

Extreme, outside cold weather has very low humidity. If you go out without wearing gloves, your hands and your cuticles will feel dry after only 15 minutes or so. This happens because the dry, cold air will take the moisture away from your skin. If your hands are subject to this cold weather, your cuticles will dry out, and peeling or cracking will happen.

Do not expose your hands to extreme cold weather if you can help it. In the cold winter months, your cuticles will be dry and crack.

Washing hands with hot water and soap will dry out cuticles

For some people who have a habit of washing their hands several times a day, either job requirement or can not stand the thought of having dirty hands.

For people wash their hands using both hot water and strong antibacterial soap, this combination will take away the moisture protective layer of natural oil from their hands, fingers, and cuticles. Without this layer, moisture from the skin will evaporate away. You will end up with peeling or cracked cuticles.

Under hydration

Our body needs a sufficient amount of water to function properly every day. If you do not enough water intake to replace the wastewater going out of the body in form of sweat or urine, the body will not have enough water.

The first sign is dry lips. If this condition persists, the dryness will show in your skin, especially the cuticles.

This is analogous to a house plant. Some plants get all droopy when they‘re dry. If they do get water before they can replenish what is lost, curly brown leaves or crispy tips will appear.

The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is: About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men. About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women

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Exposed to harsh chemicals

For people who work with harsh, skin drying chemicals, their hands and skin will dry out.

Strong hand soaps, dish soaps, acetone, paint thinner are chemicals that will remove the natural protective oily layer on the skin. Without this layer, the moisture in the skin will evaporate. This leaves dry skin and peeling or cracked cuticles.

If you have thin skin, you will have thin cuticles. They will be affected by harsh chemicals or strong soap. Do wear gloves to protect you hands when you have to use strong chemicals and use milder hand soap.

Lack of essential vitamins

Peeling or cracked cuticles can be a sign that says you do not have enough necessary fatty acids or vitamins A and E. These are essential in maintaining healthy skin and cuticles.

If your cuticles peel or crack, try to take multivitamin for a month or so. If your cuticles improve, it means your body was lack of essential vitamins.

How to prevent dry or cracked cuticles

Do not over cut cuticles during a manicure:

Cuticles are there for a reason. Overcut them will ruin the fold of cuticles that can cause damage or peel.

Wear gloves when you are outside in cold weather:

These gloves will protect your hands from direct contact with the elements.

Go easy on the hot water and use milder hand soap:

Go down on the water temperature and use milder soap. Your hands and cuticles will thank you for that. 

Wear protective gloves when you have to use harsh, strong chemicals:

Do wear gloves when you work with abrasive, strong chemicals to avoid damaging your hands and skin.

Drink enough daily water intake:

Just remember how a house plant looks when it needs water.

Take a multivitamin, biotin, or fish oil:

These are essential in maintaining healthy skin, cuticles, and nails.

Now you know all the reasons that cause your cuticles to peel or crack. By identifying these conditions that your cuticles are subject to, you will be able to avoid them and prevent your cuticles from peeling or cracking in the future. 

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