You trim your nails perfectly, manicure, and polish them to perfection. And suddenly, you see a tiny bit of thick skin jutting out from the side of the fingernail, isn’t that irritating? That thick, jagged piece of skin is the hangnail. This rarely occurs on the toes, it's more frequent on the fingers. However, contrary to their name, they aren’t a part of the nails, and though small, they cause much discomfort, irritation, and pain to the person.
There are many causes of the occurrence of hangnails. They may occur due to cracked and brittle skin. Hangnails occur more during winters when the skin becomes dry due to cold weather. More significantly, anything that makes the skin of the hand dry causes hangnails to occur. People who have a habit of biting nails and clipping down their cuticles too carefully to the nail bed will also have hangnails.
Hangnails are a common occurrence and are caused by several circumstances. Many people experience hangnails due to the cold and dry season which makes the skin drier and prone to breakouts or when the person frequently washes their hands. Hangnails are also caused by trauma like a paper cut or an excessive case of fingerpicking.
In the case of treating hangnails, one should never give in to the temptation of biting off or ripping off the hangnail. This will tear the skin and may lead to bleeding and pain. For effectively removing a hangnail, one should follow these steps:
Hangnail causes a lot of discomfort and irritation. They appear at the base of the nail along the sides. If the hangnail swells, it puts pressure on the nerve endings beneath it, causing further discomfort. Symptoms of a hangnail occurrence are:
If a hangnail becomes infected, there would be a warm pus-filled abscess in the nail.
Hangnails should be treated as worsening could lead to severe infection. If the hangnail is exposed to bacteria or fungus for a prolonged time, it will cause an infection. As such, it is necessary to keep the hands free of any dirt or debris.
There is a hangnail infection the person is experiencing the following symptoms:
One can apply a topical antibiotic cream and bandage it up to reduce the risk of further infection. Proper fingernail care would prevent the occurrence of hangnails.
Hangnails are a common sight during cold weather. Biting fingernails and chipping the cuticles make a person more prone to hangnails. Regularly take care of your hands and moisturize them properly to avoid hangnails. If a hangnail persists for more than a week and causes pain and pus, see a doctor.
Also Read: Yellow Nails: 5 Causes & Treatment