Say Goodbye to Hangnails: Effective Methods to Get Rid of Them

Hand care

What are hangnails?

A hangnail is a condition where raised skin around the nail cuticle remains connected at the base. When this raised skin gets caught on surrounding areas, it pulls the skin base, leading to inflammation and pain. The fingertips have a high concentration of nerve endings, making even the slightest tugging cause significant discomfort.

What to do if you have hangnails

If you encounter a hangnail, avoid ripping the skin off, as this can worsen the situation and increase the risk of infection. Instead, use a nail clipper or nail scissors to gently trim the hanging skin at the base. Before using the clippers, remember to sterilize them with an alcohol swab. The hanging skin is usually dead tissue and can be safely removed. Be cautious not to cut off any extra skin that is not already hanging off. After clipping, apply a topical antibacterial ointment, such as Neosporin, daily as the base heals over the next 5-7 days.

When to consult a medical professional

In some cases, hangnails can lead to infections due to breaks in the skin, providing a direct route for bacteria to enter. If the cuticle becomes very red, swollen, or there is any pus or fluid drainage, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a hand surgeon or other professional to rule out infection. Prompt attention can prevent the spread of infections, which can be particularly concerning in the fingertips.

How to prevent hangnails

To prevent hangnails, focus on proper skin and nail care, especially moisturization. Use daily hand cream or cuticle oils to keep the area around your fingernails well-hydrated, particularly in dry and cold environments. This is especially important for individuals who frequently handle water or use drying soaps.

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Maintaining good skincare and nail care practices is essential for preventing hangnails and ensuring the overall health of your fingertips.