One effective home remedy for split nails is to soak the nails in water for 15 minutes per day, according to Skinsight. Another effective home remedy for split nails is to apply petroleum jelly to the affected area.
The technical term for splitting of the nails is onychoschizia, which can also apply to brittle, soft or thin nails, as the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology explains. The condition is more common in women than in men, and the risk of developing it increases with age.
To treat split nails at home, the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology recommends soaking the affected nails in water for five minutes and then applying a lotion containing either alpha-hydroxy acids or lanolin. The institute also recommends wearing gloves when engaging in household chores that involve wetting the hands. Although the frequent wetting and drying of hands has been shown to lead to split nails, experts often suggest soaking split nails in water for minutes at a time as an effective way to treat split nails because this process helps to increase the water content of the nails, making them less likely to crack.
To treat split nails at home, Skinsight recommends keeping all nails trimmed short in order to reduce the worsening of any already split nails. The site also recommends coating the affected fingernails with an emollient such as petroleum jelly or Cetaphil to increase nail hydration. Some patients find relief from the symptoms of onychoschizia by taking an oral biotin supplement.