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About the Condition Called Hangnails

About the Condition Called Hangnails

Everyone wants to have healthy, attractive nails. However many people have hangnails. It is probably the most common nail ailment that humans face. There are various things we can do to prevent hangnails from developing and destroying the aesthetic beauty of the hand. Hangnails are not only unattractive, they tend to catch on hair, clothing, and other surrounding objects and can cause sudden and severe pain if they are bent backward to far. Many people look for ways to stop development of this irritating little problem. There are some simple solutions to avoiding hangnails.

What is a Hangnail?

Excess skin builds up around the base and side of the nail, the partially detaches from the nail itself, causing it to stick up and bend back. This can be very painful, as can trying to remove the hangnail, whether by cutting, biting or ripping it off.

What Causes Hangnails?

Hangnails are usually caused by dry cuticles. The cuticle is the skin that surrounds the nail, most commonly seen at the base of the nail. When the cuticle dries out it breaks and the skin detaches from the nail, creating a hangnail. If a person with a hangnail picks at it, bites at it or rips it off, it makes it more likely that this condition will continue as it just exacerbates the problem. People who spend a lot of time with their hands in water tend to suffer from hangnails as the skin gets soft and is then easily damaged. People who bite their nails are also more prone to hangnail. Children who bite their nails are usually afflicted with this nuisance.

How Do I Prevent Hangnails?

The easiest way to prevent hangnails from developing is to moisturize the cuticles. This is definitely a situation where preventing the problem is far better than dealing with it once it has occurred.

Some simple hangnail prevention tips:

  • Don’t bite or rip off your hangnails. This frequently causes bleeding and may lead to infection. Use a small nail scissor to cut it close to the base which will inhibit further deterioration.
  • Soak your hand in warm water for 5-10 minutes, dry thoroughly, then apply a moisturizing cream or oil to the skin surrounding the nails.
  • Learn to stop biting your nails. If it’s really hard to stop, then investigate products that you can apply to your nails that will make them taste bad to help you resist the urge.
  • Wear protective gloves when using harsh cleaning products or when you will have your hands immersed in liquid for a long period of time.

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