A hangnail is a nail condition where excess skin exists around the nail and partially detaches from the nail. Hangnails are annoying as they can be unattractive, painful and if left untreated can cause an infection.

Cause of Hangnails

The main cause of hangnails relates to the dryness of the cuticles. The cuticle is the area of skin surrounding the nail. When this area becomes dry, the cuticles depart partially from the nail region and become troublesome. The condition of a hangnail can worsen if individuals pick or pull at them so if one has a hangnail it is best to try to avoid doing this.

Preventing Hangnails

Since hangnails are caused by having dry cuticles, the best way to prevent the re-occurrence of hangnails is to keep the cuticles moisturized. This will make it less likely that hangnails result due to dry skin.

There are tons of products that will help prevent and treat hangnails. One type of treatment is a cuticle oil made especially for moisturizing and preventing dryness of the cuticles. Another good hangnail treatment is moisturizing cream. By moisturizing the cuticle areas of the hand with regular hand cream, an individual will help to prevent hangnails from becoming a problem.

How to Treat a Hangnail

Treat a hangnail by trimming the hangnail area with clean manicure scissors. This will help to prevent the hangnail from getting caught on clothing or anything else which would cause it to rip or tear close to the sensitive skin area. When trimmed, most hangnails will go away in a few days.

Nail symptoms of other illnesses

Think of nails as little windows into your internal health. Heart valve infections can cause red streaks. Liver disease leaves white lines on nails. Brittle nails can be a sign of hypothyroidism. Stay alert to any dramatic changes in nail color and texture, and report them to your doctor.