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 checkups. 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.

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.

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?


A: Your report about biotin for split fingertips 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, October 2019). This supplement improved skin hydration and elasticity and reduced roughness.

Biotin can interfere with certain medical tests for thyroid function and heart health (Cureus, July 2020). We did not find any evidence that it interferes with blood tests for diabetes.

Q: If you are not totally bored with home remedies for hiccups, I would like to share my story. I have had great success with the “unexpected question” cure you described recently.

I stopped one colleague’s hiccups by asking if he knew “Jane” was pregnant. He knew three Janes, one of which was his girlfriend. None of them were pregnant, but his hiccups immediately disappeared as he focused on figuring out the possible outcomes of that situation!

Another peer was cured when I walked over to tell her that her mother was calling for her on the customer service line. She was so confused as to why her mother would contact her that way that she forgot to hiccup! The difficulty lies in finding appropriately confusing or distracting questions.

A: We admire your ingenuity! We have no good explanation for why this strategy might work, but others have reported similar success. If you find such unorthodox approaches appealing, you may wish to check out our eGuide to Favorite Home Remedies. This electronic resource is available in the Health eGuides section at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.