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Will Biotin Help Soothe Split Fingertips?

One reader reports that taking biotin supplements to strengthen fingernails helped soothe split fingertips too.
Will Biotin Help Soothe Split Fingertips?
Eczema on fingertips with one split covered in instant glue

If you have ever suffered from painful open cracks or splits in the tips of your fingers and thumbs, you no doubt wondered how to help them heal faster. We have heard from a number of readers that instant glue or liquid bandage on those wounds can provide relief. Another reader has written about a supplement that helped to soothe split fingertips.

Biotin to Soothe Split Fingertips:

Q. When I read your column about a person with split fingertips and thumbs, I could really relate. I used to get splits in my fingers so often that when I had none for a couple of days, I was ecstatic. Of course, I knew it would not last more than a few days. In winter, it seemed static discharge was always drawn right to the split. Talk about pain!

I tried all kinds of creams and lotions, but nothing gave me lasting relief or healing.

Because I have type 2 diabetes, I have regularly scheduled foot, eye and general check-ups. When I saw my podiatrist, I asked about my thin fingernails. (I thought it was pointless to ask about my fingertips.) My podiatrist suggested taking biotin to see if that would help the nails.

Because of that suggestion, I picked up a bottle of biotin softgel capsules on the way home and started taking them immediately. Within a few weeks my fingernails seemed to be slightly better, but I had NO split fingertips. It is now November and I have not had one split since the beginning of February.

I have suffered with split fingers for almost 30 years. I’ve bloodied shirts trying to button them and spoiled papers trying to sign my name. My fingernails are still not as thick as I’d like them to be, but they are better, and I am euphoric about my fingertips. Who knew this supplement could soothe split fingertips so well?

I told my primary care doctor about this and asked how biotin might affect my routine blood tests for diabetes. He said it would not affect test results. Do you agree that there’s no impact on routine blood tests for diabetes?

Biotin Can Alter Certain Tests:

A. Your report about biotin is intriguing. We could find no studies of biotin alone for such a problem. There is a German trial using a combination of collagen, acerola fruit, vitamin C, zinc, biotin and vitamin E (Nutrients, Oct. 2019).  This supplement improved skin hydration and elasticity and reduced roughness. Of course, with so many ingredients, we don’t know which one helped the most to soothe split fingertips.

Biotin can interfere with certain medical tests, especially those for thyroid function and heart health (Cureus, July 2020). As a result, the laboratory may request you not take any biotin for at least 48 hours before having your blood drawn (Clinical Biochemistry, March 2019). On the other hand, we did not find any evidence that it interferes with blood tests for diabetes.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Citations
  • Bolke L et al, "A collagen supplement improves skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density: Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, blind study." Nutrients, Oct. 2019. doi: 10.3390/nu11102494
  • Perez-Sanchez AC et al, "Safety concerns of skin, hair and nail supplements in retail stores." Cureus, July 2020. doi: 10.7759/cureus.9477
  • Gifford JL et al, "Strategies for mitigating risk posed by biotin interference on clinical immunoassays." Clinical Biochemistry, March 2019. DOI: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2018.12.007
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