Why does skin near nails peel?

As humans, we spend a significant amount of time taking care of our skin, hair, and nails, sometimes even obsessing over them. But despite the daily care, sometimes, certain skin conditions occur, like peeling of skin near nails. It may be nothing serious, but it’s still not something we want to ignore. So, what causes the skin near the nails to peel? Let’s explore the reasons in this article.

What is skin near nails peeling?

Skin peeling near the nails is the term used to describe the condition where there is a visible peeling or flaking of the skin on and around the nails. Sometimes, this peeling may lead to small cracks and splits in the skin, further aggravating the condition. It can occur due to several reasons, including but not limited to medical conditions, weather changes, nutritional deficiencies, and habits that damage the skin.

What are the causes of skin near nails peeling?

1. Medical Conditions

There are several medical conditions that can cause skin peeling near the nails. The loss of skin cells can occur due to constant exposure to water, irritants, and friction, causing the condition to worsen. Common medical conditions that cause skin peeling near the nails are Eczema, Psoriasis, and Fungal infections.

2. Nutritional Deficiencies

Nutritional deficiencies, especially those of vitamins and minerals, can cause the skin to peel near the nails. The most common nutritional deficiency that occurs is a lack of vitamins A or C. These deficiencies can lead to dry, scaly skin, and abnormal skin shedding.

3. Climate / Weather changes

The skin near the nails is delicate and sensitive. When exposed to extreme weather conditions, such as cold, dry weather, or hot and humid climate, it can cause skin to lose its moisture, resulting in skin peeling near the nails.

4. Frequent Use of Soap and Water

The frequent use of water and soap can cause the skin to dry out by washing away the natural oils that protect it, leading to the peeling of skin near the nails. A similar effect can be caused by overexposure to hand sanitizers, which can be especially bad for people with sensitive skin.

5. Mechanical Causes

Mechanical causes that cause friction and pressure on the nail bed and surrounding skin can cause skin peeling around the nails. Examples of such practices include chewing nails or picking and a recent manicure or pedicure.

How to Treat skin peeling near nails?

1. Moisturize:

The most essential thing you can do for your skin when it starts flaking is to keep it hydrated. The usage of high-quality moisturizers daily on the skin surrounding the nails can help prevent the skin from drying out and flaking next time.

2. Clip your nails Regularly:

Long nails can often lead to accidental mechanical damage of the skin, leading to skin peeling. Therefore it is essential to cut your nails regularly to ensure they are short and do not cause any damage.

3. Avoid Exposure to Chemicals:

Avoid exposure to any harsh chemicals, whether in the manicure or pedicure salon, such as acrylic nails or gels can be quite tempting, but they can cause significant harm to the natural nail and the skin surrounding it.

4. Choose the Right Kind of Soap:

Choosing mild and natural soaps and limiting your hand-washing time can prevent the soap from causing dryness in your hands that ultimately leads to flaking skin. Using a moisturizer immediately after washing your hands can help lock in the moisture to prevent further dryness.

5. Improve Your Diet

Improving your diet by incorporating foods that have high nutrient value, including vitamins and minerals, can help promote skin health and prevent skin peeling near the nails.

Can skin peeling near nails be a sign of a severe condition?

In most cases, skin peeling near nails is not a severe condition and can be treated easily with simple remedies. However, if the condition persists or worsens over time, it may be essential to visit your dermatologist to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be causing the skin to peel.

Can nail-biting cause skin peeling near nails?

Yes, nail-biting is a common cause of skin peeling near the nails. The habit of biting and picking nails can cause trauma to the nail bed and the skin surrounding it, leading to skin peeling.

How can skin peeling near nails be prevented?

To prevent skin peeling near nails, one should maintain proper hand hygiene, ensuring habitually moisturizing the skin and avoiding exposure to harsh chemicals. One should also maintain an adequate diet and cut their nails regularly.


Skin peeling near the nails is a common and often manageable condition. Several factors, including medical conditions, environmental factors, and daily habits, can lead to this condition. Maintaining good hand hygiene, a healthy diet, and preventing exposure to irritants can help prevent skin peeling near the nails. While it may not always be a cause of concern, severe or persistent cases should prompt a visit to a dermatologist.


  • Q1. What is causing the skin near my nails to peel?
  • A1. Skin peeling near the nails can be caused due to medical conditions, nutritional deficiencies, climate/weather changes, or mechanical causes such as biting nails or picking.

  • Q2. How can I prevent skin peeling close to my nails?
  • A2. Good hand hygiene, a healthy diet, moisturizing the skin, and avoiding exposure to harsh chemicals can prevent skin peeling near the nails.

  • Q3. Can nail biting cause skin peeling near the nails?
  • A3. Yes, nail-biting is a common cause of skin peeling near the nails. The habit of biting and picking nails can cause trauma to the nail bed and the skin surrounding it, leading to skin peeling.


1. Kim, S. K., Park, S. Y., Kim, S. H., Lee, J. Y., Kim, H. O., Lee, W. S., & Lee, S. J. (2014). Evaluation of the basic elements of hand hygiene among Korean nursing students. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing, 44(6), 661-669.

2. National Institutes of Health. (2021). Complications of eczema. Available at: https://www.niaid.nih.gov/clinical-trials/complications-of-eczema

3. Pazyar, N., Yaghoobi, R., Ghassemi, M. R., Kazerouni, A., & Rafeie, E. (2012). Skin care in Ramadan. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 26, 58-59.