How Do You Treat Hangnails?

Hangnail Prevention: Find The Prevention TODAY! The way you take care of your nails reflects who you are and how well you observe proper hygiene. Many people overlook the simple act of taking care of the nails, most especially hangnail prevention.

A Must-Read: How to Cut Toenails if You Can’t Reach ThemOpens in a new tab.

Having healthy nails likely means that our inner and outer physical body healthy, too. How so? Most of the time, we use our hands to pick up food. And when our nails are contaminated, we directly ingest the germs which make us get sick.

One of the physical pieces of evidence that shows that we are not taking good care of our nails is the development of hangnails.

Hangnails can be very painful and can be a nuisance to our everyday activities. In this article, we shall have an insight of:

  • What are hangnails?
  • What causes hangnails?
  • How to prevent the development of hangnails.

What are Hangnails?

Hangnails are small outer skin projections on our nails that cause severe pain when pulled unexpectedly. Hangnails develop from both fingernails and toenails.

Various factors contribute to the development of hangnails, making them a completely normal and preventable condition.

Observing simple hygiene rules can significantly help prevent the development of hangnails. As easy it is to prevent them, it’s also easy to get them.

Most of the individuals who report cases of hangnails development are those who mostly have dry skin as well as those who keep biting their nails more often.

What are the Causes of Hangnails?

Many different factors contribute to the development of hangnails. Some of the elements are as a result of observing some habits while other factors are genetic. Some of the contributing factors include:

Having Dry Hands

Some people have naturally dry hands which leads to cuticle dryness as well.  Having dry hands is one of the natural causes that lead to the development of hangnails.

Dry cuticles result to splitting or cracking of the skin from the nail bed, leading to small painful skin projections.

Most of the factors that contribute to skin dryness around your nails are extreme cold weather days, exposing hands to excess water for long hours as well as leaving our hands dehydrated for an extended period.

Biting Our Nails

Biting our nails is a frequent cause that leads to the development of hangnails. More often, some people find themselves putting their nails in the mouth and slowly biting them which is a bad habit.

While chewing the nails, the cuticle gets removed unevenly which later subjects the cuticle part of the nail to separate from the nail bed.

In cases where you find that you always bite your nails and get hangnails, try avoiding the habit.

Always visit a professional manicure technician to get the nail cuticle removed evenly.

Subjecting our Hands in the Water for Long Hours

Many of us might think that they are observing high hygiene by washing their hands for long hours or participating in activities that involve water.

The fact of the matter is, the more time you take in washing your hands, the more your skin softens, leading to the separation of nail cuticle from the nail bed. 

The results lead to hangnails development which causes stressful nights and days. To avoid this, you can wear gloves whenever you are doing your laundry or washing utensils.

Medics say that some people are highly prone genetically to contract hangnails because of their sensitive skin.

Protein Deficiency Problem

It is proven scientifically that our nails and skin have protein components during their formation. This means that the less protein we get, the higher the risk for nail and skin complications.

Proteins contribute to making our skin and nails look healthy. For this reason, we should eat food supplements that supply high levels of proteins to our bodies.

Protein deficiency in our body leads to skin and nails cracking and tearing which leads to the development of hangnails.

In cases where you are not very sure of the type of diet, you should observe to sufficiently increase your protein levels in the body.

Make an appointment with your doctor for a proper diet prescription.

Cutting Nails too Close to the Cuticles

Nailcare also involves cutting our nails short to ensure smooth and manageable nail care. But cutting the nails too close to the nail cuticle is no part of the nail care technique.

Instead, when your nail cuticle is left open, you allow unwanted bacteria to enter your nails. These will infest the nail which will not only cause the development of hangnails but painful nail infections as well.

Avoid torn skin by cutting the nail to specific common points that are not too close to the cuticle neither too far.

When you realize that you continuously get hangnails even after observing high levels of hygiene, know that you are highly prone to getting cuticle infections which can cause severe damages to the nails.

Instances of Trauma

Trauma is another important cause of hangnails’ condition. Trauma, especially with excessive fingerpicking, causes danger to your nails.

To make sure that you are free from the hangnails, always visit a manicure expert for them to carefully remove the hard-outer cuticle on your nails.

Bacterial Infection

Bacterial infections can also cause hangnails. In most cases, a bacterial infection on the nails can lead to a common infection called paronychia. 

When you have a bacterial infection on your nails, you will notice some reddish coloring on the nail, sharp pain from the nails as well as swelling.

Bacterial infections will wear the skin of your nails causing the nails to develop the hangnails condition.

Preventing Hangnails

In many cases, the hangnails condition is normal and preventable only if you notice its early symptoms.

Many of the preventive measures available for purposes of avoiding hangnails are easy to apply and are readily available through home remedies. Some of the preventive measures include:


As discussed earlier, hands dryness can significantly cause the formation of hangnails. For hangnail prevention, it is good to moisturize our hands at least regularly three times a day.

To achieve this, we must use a good moisturizer like natural petroleum jelly, use of coconut oil as well as using olive oil.

By doing this, we will ensure that our hands and the nails remain hydrated at all times to avoid cracking.

Using a moisturizer is one of the preventive measures that will cost you less and give the desired results.

Avoid Using Nail Products Containing Acetone

Products that contain acetone in them contribute highly to causing dryness to the nails. Needless to say that whenever you make visits to your manicurists, pay keen attention to the nail products he or she apply on your nails.

Most of the acetone products cause breakage and intense dryness to your nails.

To avoid this problem that can cause significant damage to your nails, make sure that you choose acetone-free nail polish products or opt to use natural nail polish removers.

Biting Your Nails Causes Hangnails

There is not much research on why nail biting is so tempting. But all in all, every time you bite your nails, you subject the nails too high chances o getting hangnails.

To avoid the hangnail condition which at times may lead to nail infections, try as much as you can to avoid biting your nails as it is an unhealthy habit.

Add More Protein To Your Diet

Proteins play a significant role in the nourishment of skin and nails. Protein deficiency in the body directly translates to peeling off of the skin around the nails hence leading to the development of hangnails condition.

It is highly advisable to seek nutritionists’ advice on the type of foods to eat as well as the right amount to take. Always remember that you can prevent nail hangnail condition by observing the right diet every day.

Wearing Gloves Prevents Hangnails

Gloves protect your hands from direct contact with water. They also protect your hands during the cold weather days to avoid dryness.

When participating in chores that involve handling water, the skin on your hands may get weary, leading to the development of hangnails.

Avoid this by putting on gloves when handling water or during the cold weather days.

Over Filing Can Cause Hangnails!

Over-filing nails subject the nail cuticle to infections and hangnails. To avoid this, make sure that you file your nails up to the right size. When you over file the nails, you will notice some redness on the nail as well as pain.

Before you even use the nail file, make sure to sanitize it. Make sure it is also free from any harmful bacteria or germs that can cause nail infection.

Take Note of Every Abnormality on Your Nails

Keep constant check of your nails to ensure there is no any abnormality like nail bleeding or swelling.

Keep in mind that some symptoms get caused by bacterial infections, and when not taken good care of, they can cause severe problems to your body parts.

Observe Your Nails Hygiene at all Times

Maintaining high levels of hygiene will help hangnail prevention. Regularly trim your nails in good shape and short. Use a pair of sharp scissors or nail cutter to trim your nails carefully.

What are the Symptoms of Hangnails?

Hangnails are easy to identify because they occur on the outer part of the nail. Different factors contribute to the occurrence of hangnails, but you should pay keen attention to hangnails caused by infections.

The reason behind this is the fact that you will experience instances of severe pain as well as moments of external bleeding from your nail.

Some of the symptoms you will identify when having hangnails condition include:

  • Reddish color and swelling around the nail infected areas.
  • Unbearable severe pain
  • Some pus releases around the infected finger areas.

These symptoms vary according to the primary cause that has led to the development of the hangnail. Due to this, immediately you identify the primary cause, seek medical attention.

Note: Hangnails caused by infections can lead to infections of the other body parts if no treatment gets accorded on time.

How to Remove Hangnails

If hangnail prevention sounds too late, the process of removing hangnails can get painful at times. For this reason, if you feel that removing the hangnails is a massive task for you, opt to seek help from a professional manicurist.

Here is how to remove the hangnail

Step One

Clean your hands or your toes with clean, warm water.

Step Two

Apply a natural moisturizer on your hands and feet to keep your skin hydrated.

Step Three

Sanitize your nail cutter to kill all the germs that might cause infections to the nails.

Step Four

Gently trim off the hangnail without causing any disturbance to the nail cuticle.

Always ensure to trim your nail cuticle evenly and avoid cutting your nails too short.

Step Five

Wrap your nail with a clinical bandage to avoid bacteria reach.

Step Six

Remove the bandage when your nail heals completely.


Ensuring that you maintain high levels of hygiene is crucial as it leads to high health status.

Having healthy, glowing nails boosts confidence. That’s why you should always keep your nails in check.

You can achieve hangnail prevention through the tips mentioned above. Make use of them!

Always keep in mind that taking care of each of our body parts translates to excellent health status.

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