Peeling nails

Celebrity Q and A'sI have nails that peel badly no matter what products I use. I've tried oils, hydrating base and fortifier (Mary Kay), even vitamin E oil. I have to keep some form of polish on my nails at all times or they just look terrible and become worse (Cannot use clear polish with no color as my nails are also yellowish - anti yellowing products have done nothing for this problem). A nail tech told me that I may have a nail yeast infection. I have never heard of this and can find no information on the internet about it. My next step is to make an appointment with a dermatologist, but thought I would check with you. Surely others have had these same problems, and thought you might be able to offer some advice. Note: I have never used acrylic nails or any form of artificial nails. Others have told me that my nails look like those that have recently had fake nails removed, but that is not the case. Any information will be appreciated. Thank you. Dot 5/00

Possible answers to this question are: 

  1. "Yellow Nail Syndrome" which is characterized by a diffuse yellowish discoloration of all the nail plates, and they may be thickened and excessively curved from side to side. The soft tissues around the nail may be swollen. The nails are usually slow growing  and may peel or come free from portions of the nail bed. This syndrome occurs in some people with lung disorders such as emphysema,asthma, or chronic bronchitis. It may be also seen in some cases of rhumatoid arthritis,or thyroid problems.
  2. Psoriasis may cause nails to appear as those explained in the question.
  3. Yeast (monilia, candidia) can cause the problem however I would not think that all of the nails would be involved. If it was a yeast then there should be red puffy cuticles and usually some discomfort associated.
  4. Lastly this could be inherited. Or just the way this individuals nail are made up particularly if it was a life long problem.

To get a better consult a dermatologist.

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Dr. Oscar Mix


If you are using a formaldehyde-containing nail strengthener, stop. It sounds like you are one of those people that does not react well to formaldehyde. For such people, formaldehyde nail hardeners will crosslink the nail proteins a little TOO well. This can cause peeling and splitting.

Switch to formaldehyde-free nail topcoats or strengtheners (OPI Start-to-Finish comes in a formaldehyde-free version.) Don't worry about formaldehyde-based resins, as these do not crosslink the nail. But do avoid
products with free formaldehyde.

If this doesn't help -- or, if you haven't been using a formaldehyde-containing hardener -- then, I suggest a visit to the dermatologist. 

Paul Bryson. Ph.D.
Co-Director of R&D
OPI Products, Inc.


I have no idea! Sorry, I am sure that isn't what you wanted to hear. But I will tell you this- a foot callous is the bodies way of protecting the foot. The body needs them or they wouldn't be there. In other words, something she is doing is causing the callous to form for protection purposes. This is why we teach "smooth, don't remove". If you remove the callous completely, you take away the bodies natural protection against everyday friction and pressure- not a good thing!.
There could be many reasons for why your client has this "burning sensation". Rather than guess, I'd encourage her to see a qualified podiatrist.

Doug Schoon
Director Of Research & Development
Creative Nail Design, Inc.


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