What are Hangnails and How Do You Prevent Them?

What are Hangnails and How Do You Prevent Them?

Hang nails are a very common and annoying problem to have, and you may experience at some stage in your life.

They are small strips of skin which separate from the cuticle; can be painful and at times catch onto your hair or clothes.

Usually people who have their hands in water a lot are susceptible to them, as the constant wetting and drying causes your fingernails to dry out and therefore these small strips of skin separate from around your nails.

Fingernail biting will bring on hangnails, and they can be a problem with children.

If you handle paper a lot you will have this problem, as paper absorbs oil from your skin and nails, drying them out.

If you enjoy swimming in the local pool, the chlorine will also dry out your fingernails and you will get hang nails.

Small strips of skin separate because your hands and fingernails are lacking in oil, and the hang nail is dead dry skin.

They can be painful especially if you try and pull one off, or try and bite it off. This is not a good idea because you are ripping your skin off and this can lead to other problems.

Bleeding can occur and you can cause an infection, a bacteria infection is quite common when this happens.

If hang nails are a constant problem for you, there are ways you can help prevent them.

  • Always wear gloves when washing dishes, gardening or any other jobs around the home.
  • Prick a vitamin e capsule squeeze on and massage into your fingernail and cuticle.
  • Do not cut your cuticles, always use a cuticle pusher.
  • Avoid creams and lotions which contain chemicals and alcohol, these will dry out your and hands and fingernails. Doing quite the opposite of what they are intended to do.
  • Soak your fingernails in warm olive oil daily for about 20 minutes.
  • Once your hangnails are softened, cut them off with nail clippers or nail scissors.

Massaging your cuticles daily will help prevent them in the future. Almond oil, olive oil, solar oil are all good natural oils to use.

Eat healthy, include vitamins and minerals into your diet, take supplements if your diet is lacking. Vitamin B, vitamin C, potassium and iron are good supplements to take for your fingernail health.

Hang nails are quite minor until they become infected. Make sure a hangnail is not red, or there is any pus, otherwise you may need to seek medical attention.

Patricia J. Bland