How to Prevent Hangnails

The skin near the nails of fingers and toes is torn out as it becomes dry. This condition of the skin near the nails where the skin meets the nails is called as hangnails or agnail. The term agnail means painful nails. You can easily prevent and treat this condition if you know how to prevent hangnails.

Hangnails occur due to nail biting, loss of moisture from the skin and improper skin care. These hangnails should not be pulled with teeth; many people have a habit of pulling them. This makes the condition worse.

You can do following things to prevent hangnails as well as get rid of hangnails when they occur.

Preventing hangnails:

  • Do not bite your nails. People who have a habit of biting their nails have higher possibilities of having hang nails. This can increase the pain as well.
  • Keep the skin of your fingers and toes moist. If they lose moisture, the dry skin easily develops cracks that cause hang nails.
  • Manicures and pedicures are also very helpful in preventing hang nails. You can also do them at your home. Invest few hours of your weekends to take care of your hands and legs.
  • Applying moisturizing lotion to your fingers and legs will also be very helpful in preventing hangnails. Massage the places where the skin meets the nails. Use small motions with your fingers to massage these places.
  • Olive oil, vitamin E oil, almond oil and cuticle creams are very helpful in preventing hangnails. Massage your hands and legs with them before going to bed. Rub them properly into the cuticles.
  • Before massaging your hands and legs, soak them for some time in warm water and pat them dry. This helps in removing the dirt from the corners of the nails and makes the skin much soft.
  • Some people are addicted to nail biting due to nervousness. To prevent hangnails it is necessary that you strip down this addiction.
  • Grind some neem leaves in a grinder and apply this liquid to your nails. Whenever you put your nails in your mouth the bitter taste of the neem leaves will force you to remove your fingers from your mouth.
  • You can also try applying lemon juice on your nails. These hardly have any side effects and help you get rid of nail biting. Lemon juice also acts as a natural cleanser, which is very useful in preventing the skin from infections.
  • Exposing nails to harsh chemicals should be avoided. People who expose their nails to detergents and soaps frequently make their skin dry. Wearing gloves while washing clothes and not using harsh chemical detergents to wash clothes is guaranteed protection against hangnails.
  • People who work in chemical factories also need extra care for their nails. Wearing gloves and moistening nails will serve to be helpful for them as well.
  • While you are pushing down the cuticles of your nails. Moisturize them by soaking them in water for some time and apply petroleum jelly to your nails to soften the cuticle.
  • Hydrate your skin properly to keep it moist. Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day. Dry skin is more prone to hangnails or agnail.

Getting rid of hangnails or treating hangnails:

  • Cut your hangnails with scissors or nail cutters. Tearing the nails with your teeth can worsen the condition causing more hangnails and tearing the skin that leads to a painful condition.
  • Apply antiseptic lotion to your nails after removing hangnails or else the portion here swells and gets septic.
  • Wash the scissors that you use to cut the hangnails, using an anti-septic soap, so that no infection is caused to your skin while cutting them.
  • Frequent and regular hangnails can be prevented by soaking the fingers and toes having hangnails in oil for some time at night before bed time.
  • If you have septic hangnails, then apply antiseptic lotion to the hangnails frequently otherwise the infection may worsen and sometimes you may need to cut down your fingers.
  • Take help from your doctor if the pain of your hangnails is very bad. If they turn red, then they may probably be filled with pus.
  • Keep your hangnails covered with bandage properly, to prevent them from being tucked in clothes and cause wounds.

The tips given above are really helpful in preventing hangnails and also help you in getting rid of them when occurred.


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