All About Hang Nails: What Causes Hang Nails & How To Put A Stop To Them?


There’s nothing more annoying than hang nails. They hurt, they ruin our manicure game and they often lead to infections and swollen fingers. Although there’s enough data to prove the perils of picking at them, we can't deny that the temptation remains. If you've ever seen a teeny tiny piece of skin hanging loosely next to your nail bed, DON’T TUG ON IT. Hold on, we’ve got you bestie. Today, we’re listing down everything you need to know to prevent and treat hang nails. Keep scrolling for a crash course on how to keep your talons free from hang nails. 

What Causes Hangnails?

The main reason behind hang nails is the tear of a small portion of your skin near the cuticle. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to hang nails. Some of them include dry skin, a badly-done manicure, biting your nails, cold temperatures, using stripping soaps and ingredients, as well as waterlogged hands that are a result of being in the water for too long. But DW, the good thing is hang nails are treatable and preventable. Certain practices such as moisturising your hands and cuticles and following a proper procedure to snip them can help put a stop to hangnails. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up the tried-and-tested tips about how to get rid of hangnails as well as prevent them. Scroll on to know everything. 

Hangnail Treatment

There are certain practices that can help you keep hang nails at bay, keep scrolling for hangnail treatments you need to know rtfn.

Keep Your Hands Moisturised

The key to keeping hang nails at bay is by keeping your nails moisturised. This doesn’t mean that you can apply hand cream in the a.m and call it a day. But, it means giving special attention to your cuticles and giving them the much-needed TLC by applying some oil and lotion to the area. In contrast to our facial skincare products that need to be applied twice a day, a cuticle oil or hand creams also need to be applied as frequently throughout the day as possible. 

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Avoid Cutting Your Cuticles

We know, we know, our parlour-wali-didi often snip away our cuticles but you need to be as gentle with them as possible. All you need to do is apply a cuticle-removing cream on each nail and then push them back using a cuticle pusher. The cuticle is responsible for protecting the newly-grown nails from infection. Hence, they are very delicate so any wear and tear in cuticles can lead to pain, infections, and damaged nails. 

Use Cuticle Oil

For days when you wanna give your nails an extra dose of hydration, reach out for a cuticle oil. We recommend using argan oil or a cuticle oil that’s rich in vitamin E. You can apply it to your cuticles before you sleep and leave it overnight. This will help hydrate and soften the area. You can apply the oil whenever your hands are feeling too dry or when a hand nail pops up. Just apply the cuticle oil to soften the area and snip away the hand nail. 

Use An Ice Pack Or Over-The-Counter Pain Killer

While you might not think of popping a pain killer for this, it might help in giving instant relief. Using an ice pack over the area will also help manage the pain. Make sure you use the medicine as directed.

Reach Out For An Antibiotic Cream

Antibiotic cream is a surefire way to stave off infection as well as promote healing. If you have a finger that’s oozing or swollen, you can always apply an antibiotic ointment. 

Snip Them Off Smartly

If a new hang nail pops up, it’s best to snip them off. But when doing so, make sure that your only snip the loosely hanging dead skin, cutting too close to your skin can lead to damage and infections. Another way to do this is by using nail clippers. All you need to do is soak your hands in warm water for around five minutes as it helps soften the skin. Then, clip them off placing a nail clipper near the base of your hangnail. Next, just open and close it without pulling. Again, pulling the skin can hurt you and lead to infections. 

Try A Nail Soak

While we love layering our skin with dew-inducing serums and moisturisers, hydration of our hands should be our top priority, too. Give your hands the gift of spa by soaking them in coconut oil. This will give your hands hard-hitting hydration and make your cuticles even softer. Wrap them in a hot towel post the soak and don’t forget to moisturise your hands with hand cream. 

Wear Gloves

Yes, we reach out for our mighty gloves whenever we step out, especially in the cold. But that’s not the only time you need to wear your gloves. Make it a point to wear gloves when working around the house, like scrubbing the bathroom floor or washing dishes - as most cleaning solutions contain harsh ingredients that can make your hand and cuticles super dry. This can lead to hang nails.

What are the symptoms of hangnails

Hangnails are quite painful and can lead to a great deal of infection if not treated properly. Ahead, we’re listing down all the symptoms of hangnails. 

  1. Red, swollen skin around the area when you have a hang nail. This may happen when the hand nail is snipped off incorrectly or is cut very close to the skin. 

  2. In case of infections, there can be pus surrounding the hang nail or nail bed area.

  3. Your skin might feel hot to the touch in some cases.

  4. When the infection is severe, it might lead to fever and chills.

  5. It’s common to feel the pain and throbbing in a finger infected because of a hang nail.


Do hangnails go away?

Hangnails are very common and happen to most of us. But the good thing is that they are treatable as well as preventable. You can use one of the aforementioned methods to snip them off. 

How do you tell if a hangnail is infected?

You can easily figure out if a hang nail is infected or not. Any redness or swelling around the area indicates that the hangnail has infected your skin. Likewise, throbbing, pain, or a pus-filled blister are all indications of an infected hang nail. 

Should I pull out a hangnail?

You should never rip or pull off a hang nail as doing so can create even more trouble. When you pick a hangnail, it can easily put the skin surrounding it. This will open the skin to more infections and often lead to inflammation, redness, and pain. 

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Featured Image: Pexels


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