Onychorrhexis refers to split or brittle nails that also have a series of lengthwise ridges; can be caused by injury to the fingers, excessive use of cuticle solvents, nail polish removers, and careless or rough filling.

“Onychorrhexis just means brittle nails,” says Dr. Joseph Jorizzo, a dermatologist and professor at Wake Forest  University in Winston-Salem, N.C. When nails are brittle, they often split at the ends and have longitudinal ridging. The appearance of longitudinal ridging alone is referred to as onychorrhexis.

The appearance of split ends alone is referred to as onychoschisis. However, many times a client will have both ongitudinal ridging and split ends together, making brittle nails a common complaint, says Jorizzo. Many times a cause for split ends can be determined. However, Jorizzo says, many clients want to know a cause for onychorrhexis when often there isn’t one.

Keywords:   brittle nails     nail diseases     onychorrhexis  

Required Reading

Under the Microscope: Onychorrhexis

October 8, 2012

Onychorrhexis describes the thinning and longitudinal ridging that often accompanies brittle nails.

What Is Onychorrhexis?

October 1, 2009

It’s a long name for a common condition — longitudinal ridging — and just the type of problem that makes nail techs look like miracle workers in the eyes of their clients.

What Are Brittle Nails?

October 1, 2008

So common they hardly rate as a condition, brittle nails are often nothing more than the body’s response to environmental conditions. A trip to the nail salon can be an informative and satisfactory first step to making brittle nails beautiful.

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