Hangnails are a common condition that you may have experienced at some point in your life. These small strips of torn skin around the edges of our nails can be painful and occasionally lead to complications if not dealt with soon.
While they may seem like a minor inconvenience, gaining a better understanding of their causes, how to prevent them, and treatment options can help you deal with them better and promote healthier nails.
Whether you frequently battle with hangnails or simply want to be prepared in case it occurs to you, this article will equip you with the knowledge and information to address this common nail concern effectively. Read on to get the full gist!
What are Hangnails?
You may think that a hangnail is part of your nail but in actual sense, it isn’t. A hangnail is a small strip or flap of skin that occurs at the base or the side of either your fingernails and toenails.
What happens is that a piece of skin separates from your nail bed, creating a jagged or rough appearance. Hangnails are often painful, really sensitive, and might
What Causes Them to Occur?
Hangnails can be caused by so many things, some of which include:
- Dry, unmoisturized skin. First on the list is the most common cause of hangnails. Dry skin is more prone to cracking and splitting which may lead to hangnails.
- Biting and picking at your nails. Biting or picking at the skin close to your nails, damages it, creating room for hangnails to occur.
- Nail trauma such as harsh manicure techniques and forcefully removing cuticles from your nail bed, damages the skin around your nail bed, triggering the occurrence of hangnails.
- Certain environmental conditions such as cold dry weather, and low humidity conditions can dry out the skin close to your nails, making it susceptible to hangnail development.
- Use of harsh detergents when you’re washing dishes or doing your laundry, does lead to the occurrence of hangnails. What happens is that the detergents strip natural oils and moisture from your nails hence drying them out.
- Neglecting your toenails and fingernails, yes you. When you don’t take good care of your toe and fingernails can increase the likelihood of the occurrence of hangnails.
How do I Get Rid of Hangnails?
In order to get rid of hangnails, you need to approach them with a lot of care to avoid getting an infection or doing further damage. Here are steps you can take to get rid of hangnails:
- Soak your hands or feet in warm water for about ten minutes to soften the skin around the hangnail. You can add some drops of moisturizing oil for some added benefits.
- Gently pat your hand or feet dry after soaking, and proceed to use a clean and sterile nail clipper to trim the hangnail. Avoid tearing and pulling the hangnail to prevent further pain and injury and cut as close to the base of the hangnail without cutting into the healthy skin.
- Trim just the hangnail, and avoid going deep into the skin and causing bleeding or increasing the risk of infection.
- Get an antibiotic or antiseptic ointment and apply it to the area after trimming to prevent infection and promote healing.
How to Prevent Hangnails
They say that prevention is better than cure. By putting into practice the preventive measures that we are about to share below, hangnails will be a thing of the past.
- Moisturize your hands, especially the area around your nails, to prevent dry skin. Carrying a nourishing moisturizer at all times ensures that your hands stay moisturized in events where you may wash your hands or your hands feel dry.
- Avoid biting or picking the area around the nails. If you are a frequent nail-biter, don’t worry, there are a few strategies you can put in place to put a pause on the habit.
- Minimize how much your hands are exposed to harsh chemicals such as washing detergents. Wearing gloves as you do your house chores is a way of protecting your hands from harsh chemicals.
- Look for a nail salon that will be gentle with your cuticles during pedicures and manicures.
- Taking proper care of both your hands and feet. This involves; getting manicures and pedicures professionally done regularly, ensuring that your hands and feet are moisturized at all times, eating well and drinking lots of water and using high-quality and clean tools on your nails.
Hangnails may seem like a minor nail problem but can be a significant source of discomfort and pain. By getting to know what they are, how they come about, and how to prevent them you can reduce how often they occur. Take the time to care for your nails, moisturize them regularly, and pick the best nail salon and your hands will thank you.