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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.


If the nails are brittle or have splits or jagged edges along with vertical ridges, it may indicate onychorrhexis, notes WebMD. Onychorrhexis often results as a side effect of lichen planus, a skin rash. It can also indicate an underactive thyroid gland or anemia.


Fingernails that split vertically are fairly common, yet typically caused by age as the cells turnover within the nail, explains Mayo Clinic. Nails that are split but also dry and brittle with cracks could be an indication of thyroid disease, according to WebMD.


Vertical ridges observed on fingertips are predominately caused by growing older. The medical term onychorrhexis is used to describe long, tiny, raised lines that run up and down the length of the nail.


Fingernails are made of multiple layers of a strong material called keratin. Keratin is a protective protein produced by the body. It consists of proteins that form filaments and enzymes.


Onychorrhexis is the medical diagnosis for brittle fingernails that feature vertical ridges, and the primary cause is unusual dryness within the nail. Other causes include malnutrition, endocrine disorders, skin conditions such as psoriasis, low levels of thyroid hormone and Raynaud's phenomenon, th


Some of the most common causes of fingernail problems and abnormalities are diseases, injury to the nail, infection, drugs and poisonous substances. These factors can contribute to fingernail problems that alter the shape, color, texture and structure of the fingernails. Among the usual fingernail p


Common fingernail problems include general weakness, tearing and peeling of the nails. Cutting fingernails below the natural nail line is also a common problem that people have with their nails.


There are at least 45 different possible causes for white fingernails according to RightDiagnosis. These causes range from having white nails at birth, known as congenital white nails, to the more serious cause of arsenic poisoning.


Fingernails grow from the root of the nail, pushing old cells out which flatten and harden, as new cells take their place. The flattened and hardened nail then slides along the nail bed, which is fed with minuscule blood vessels.