Hangnails are small torn pieces of skin near the nail and it is a common problem and anyone has experienced it. Hangnails cause pain especially when they tangle in the clothing. Hangnails happen when the skin found around the nails becomes dry and is common during winter months. There are factors that can cause hangnails such as working in water for long periods of time, nail infections and bacterial infections. In some cases, microorganisms can enter into the nail bed through a torn skin that causes an infection which is known as paronychia.
Causes of hangnails on fingers
The skin found around the nail is called cuticle and when it is dry; it can become a hangnail and can occur in the fingernails and the toenails. On the other hand, it is quite common in the fingernails. Factors that can cause hangnails include the following:
- Working in water for long periods of time and washing hands frequent using soaps and detergents that contain harsh ingredients.
- Human skin is susceptible in becoming dry during winter months and also the skin found around the nail.
- Biting the nail can put the individual at high risk for developing hangnails. Some people have the habit of the nails unconsciously and it damages the cuticle.
- Manicuring is good for the health of the nail but sometimes over enthusiastic manicuring can cause tearing of the skin found around the nail and can cause a hangnail.
Treatment and home remedies of hangnails on fingers
- Avoid cutting the hangnail when it is hard. Initially, keep the fingers in a bowl or warm water for a few minutes in order to make it soft. Add a few drops of olive oil to help soften the skin and when it is already soft, cut it using a cuticle scissors. Apply an antibiotic ointment and cover with a bandage for a few hours.
- Soak the fingers using Epsom salt water for a few minutes every day at least for 2 to 3 days. This helps promote fast healing of the hangnail. Epsom salts helps in exfoliating and prevents redness and inflammation of the affected area and provides relief from pain caused by the hangnail.
- Apply olive oil, coconut oil or castor oil on the affected area before sleeping for maximum moisturizing effect from the oil.
- After trimming the hangnail, apply vitamin E oil on the affected fingernail. Vitamin E helps in the fast healing of the damaged skin found around the nail.
- Apply raw or Manuka honey on the affected fingernail and leave in place for several hours since it helps relax the cuticles. Honey can be applied regularly in order to prevent development of hangnails.
- Mix 1 tsp. of aloe vera gel with a pinch of turmeric powder. Apply it on the affected fingernails for at least 30 minutes before rinsing. Repeat this procedure every day for a few days. Aloe vera gel relaxes, heals and moisturizes the hangnails.