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How to Deal with Hangnails

You must have experienced them already or are currently having them but you are not yet aware that what you have on your nails are hangnails! There are actually different types of nail problems but hangnails seem to be one of the most common ones. If you see loose skin hanging on the sides of your nails then this is a condition called hangnails.  The loose skin on the affected fingers can be excruciatingly painful especially when removal is done in the wrong way. If hangnails are not treated early, they can end up infected over time.

Flickr Photo by Leah.jones

Hangnails are not major nail problems but they should be given extra care and attention so the condition will not get worse and may lead you to a more complex nail condition. Like any other problems and conditions, the first thing that one needs to know is the different causes of hangnails.

Why do hangnails occur?

Dry Cuticles

One of the most common causes of hangnails is dry cuticles. Dry cuticles simply mean they lack of moisture which maintains the elasticity of the skin. When the skin or the cuticles get dry, they tend to crack and soon develop into what we call hangnails.

Nail Biting

Flickr Phhoto by Maxwell GS

Another common cause of hangnails is the habit of biting your nails. If you think you are among those people who have this habit, it is more likely that you are prone to hangnails.

These causes may sound so simple yet why can’t people avoid hangnails? Because of unawareness, people get to suffer from simple conditions that can lead to severe ones. This is especially true when simple conditions are not given the right and proper treatment. So now that you have already learned the different causes of hangnails, it is high time to learn the natural procedures and tips that you can use to alleviate and treat these nasty hangnails.

 How to Deal with Hangnails?

Use a Nail Clipper

When you have discovered that you have a hangnail, you should never pull the loose skin at the edge of your nail. The best way to remove the loose skin or hang nail is to make use of a fingernail clipper. Cut the loose skin down to where the loose skin starts, basically at the base of it.

Soak in Lukewarm Water

Flickr Photo by MeganSchuirmann

If the hangnails seem to be stubborn or too hard to remove, the best way to soften them is to soak your hand in a pan of lukewarm water; adding oil in the water is also a great way to enhance and speed up the softening of the cuticles or hangnails. After a few moments, the hard hangnails will soon become soft. This will then make it easier for you to clip them off your nails. Never attempt to clip off hard and stubborn hangnails as this can cause great pain and can therefore cause infections. After clipping off the hangnails, you can simply wrap it with a bandage to promote quick healing.

Moisturize Your Skin

Aside from the fact that hangnails are bloody sores, they too can make your fingers look so ugly and unsightly. This condition of the nails often occurs in seasons where there is freezing cold and harsh winds. It is very hard for the body to battle against these weather conditions, thus resulting to dryness of the skin including the development of hangnails. Aside from the home remedies that are mentioned above, another way to get rid of hangnails is to maintain the moisture of the skin. This is the reason why there are products out there, particularly lotions and moisturizers that are highly intended for the hands and nails. There is nothing wrong if you use them from time to time; in fact, it is a great way to keep your hands, nails, and cuticles moisturized all the time.

Avoid Harsh Cleaning Agents

You can also get rid of hangnails by avoiding prolonged soaking in water. The harsh cleaning agents and materials can definitely promote the development of hangnails. If immersing your hand in water is unavoidable then make sure to keep your hands protected with gloves.

Untreated hangnails can be a traumatic experience especially when erroneous removal is done, stripping more of your skin. Follow the guidelines and tips above and you will get rid of and treat hangnails effectively and naturally without the pain.