According to MSN Healthy Living, cracked skin around the fingernails is usually caused by a combination of the toll that daily life takes on the hands and a lack of proper protection for the hands. Harsh chemicals for household cleaning and even soap suds can dry out the hands.
Washing hands frequently and failing to dry the hands thoroughly after washing contribute to the problem. Wear rubber gloves when washing dishes and using household cleaners. Wash hands with unscented soap, and apply unscented moisturizer frequently. If the cracking does not improve, MSN Healthy Living urges people to see a doctor in case an antibiotic is needed.