Hangnails are not just unsightly to look at. They can also be very painful at times. This nail problem is very common and both men and women have had their painful experience with hangnails at some point. But ever wondered what actually causes them?
What are Hangnails?
First let us discuss what hangnails are. The term hangnail can be misleading. A hangnail is actually a small piece of torn skin that hangs off the cuticle of a fingernail. No one wants having a hangnail. Although this problem may just be small, it can be really painful if you pull on it accidentally or intentionally or if it latches on to something. Ouch! Aside from this, hangnails can also get infected which can lead to paronychia. What is it? It’s a condition wherein bacteria or fungi get in the body through the small tear in the skin that makes up a hangnail. Nail biters are more prone to getting paronychia. So it might be a good idea to stop biting your nails now.
What Causes Hangnails?
So what causes hangnails? A bad manicure can give you a hangnail. If a nail technician or you’ve ever pushed your cuticles back too far or too aggressively, you can get a hangnail. Cutting along the edge of your cuticles with scissors can also result to a hangnail. Dry skin can also result to hangnails. So it pays to moisturize your skin daily including your cuticles to avoid this pain. You should always have your moisturizer handy. The Argan oil is great for moisturizing the skin including your cuticles as it is packed with Vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and sterols which all have moisturizing properties. It is also best to avoid exposing your hands to things that can dry out the skin such as harsh detergents and even water. So if you are doing any chore that involves harsh chemicals and water, wear a pair of rubber gloves. Another cause of hangnails is nail biting.
How to Treat Hangnails
So how do you treat hangnails? If you have a hangnail, carefully trim away the skin that’s sticking out so it doesn’t latch on to something. Make sure that you use a pair of sterile manicure scissors when trimming away and leave your cuticle alone. You can also dab a small amount of antibiotic cream to your hangnail and then cover it with a bandage. Of course change the bandage every day. Make sure that you check the hangnail for redness, swelling and other signs that can indicate an infection. If you do observe that you may have a hangnail infection, see your doctor right away.
When it comes to hangnails, prevention is your best weapon.
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