What to Do With a Hangnail

What is a hangnail?

A hangnail is a torn bit of skin that hangs from your nail (go figure), and can appear when your hands and feet are too dry or have been damaged. They’re more likely to occur during the winter, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen during any other season. They cause discomfort and can be painful if they become infected, so it’s good to take proper care of them when they happen.

How do I remove a hangnail?

Soak your affected fingers/toes in warm water. Once your nails have softened, take a nail clipper or cuticle scissors and gently clip the hanging skin. Try not to cut further down than needed or you will injure yourself, and we don’t want that! Dry your hands gently. Apply Vaseline, cuticle oil, or lotion to your cuticles. If needed, put a Band-Aid on your finger to prevent infection and stop the bleeding.

How do I know if my finger is infected?

It will most likely be red, visibly swollen and feel tender to the touch. You will want to use a topical antibiotic ointment for the infection, but if it does not clear up in a week or so, you will need to visit a doctor.

How do I prevent hangnails?

Taking care of hangnails is important, but how do we keep them from happening in the first place?

Avoid Biting your Nails

This is a tough one as many people struggle with this habit, but it’s one of the biggest causes of hangnails. When you bite your nails, you’re more likely to start biting the skin around it, leading to hangnails and possibly infections from the germs in your mouth.

Wear gloves

Leaving your hands in water for an extended period of time or even washing your hands too frequently can dry out your hands and thus, hangnails. Wear proper gloves when you’re doing any kind of work that could be harsh on your hands: yard work, doing dishes, or household cleaning.

Use Lotion or Cuticle Oil

Especially in winter, your hands are going to be dry whether you are able to prevent it or not. But wearing gloves always can help. When your hands inevitably feel a bit parched, apply your preferred lotion and massage into hands and cuticles to restore hydration. Even just using lotion or cuticle oil regularly will greatly diminish the chances of a hangnail.

For Antibacterial Cuticle Treatment
For Intense Cuticle Treatment

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