How to Prevent Hangnails

You can prevent painful and unsightly hangnails by picking up just a few simple habits. Anyone who is cursed with hangnails knows that these tiny wounds can be a distracting annoyance. Some people find hangnails very uncomfortable, but even those who are not troubled by actual physical pain often feel that hangnails are bothersome or unattractive. Luckily, although it requires a bit of diligence, learning to prevent hangnails is not difficult. With just a few slight alterations in your daily habits, you can prevent hangnails, stopping these little injuries before they start.

Heal Your Dry Cuticles
Hangnails are symptomatic of dryness in your cuticles. To prevent hangnails, stop this problem by attacking the dehydration that is at its root. Drinking water is a great first step, and regularly applying moisturizing hand cream to your cuticles and nails is another. When choosing a moisturizer, make sure to avoid any product that contains alcohol. Many moisturizers have alcohol in them because it helps keep lotions light rather than greasy, but in the long run an alcohol-infused moisturizer is less effective than a moisturizer without alcohol. The simple combination of drinking more fluids and helping your cuticles retain them with a moisturizer is often enough to completely cure chronic hangnails.

Calling In An Expert
If saying goodbye to dehydration isn’t enough to get rid of your hangnails, a manicure can be a helpful part of a cuticle maintenance regimen. Whether you do your nails at home or have a trained nail technician give you a pampering, luxurious treatment, a manicure is a great time to give your cuticles the kind of attention they need. If you are doing your manicure at home, after you liberally apply a moisturizer, gently push your cuticles back with an orange stick. This will remove any dead skin cells, and will keep your cuticles smooth and hangnail free. Lingering dead skin can irritate sensitive cuticles, and getting rid of those potentially irritating clusters of skin can help you prevent hangnails.

The Next Step
If regular manicures aren’t doing the trick, you may need to adopt some new habits that will minimize cuticle wear and tear. To further prevent hangnails, find ways to protect your cuticles on a daily basis. Hangnails are often an unfortunate side effect of housework, but an ounce of prevention can make all the difference. Washing dishes is a major culprit when it comes to the causes of hangnails. The combination of hot water and abrasive soaps can wreak havoc on your skin, especially if your hands are immersed in the sink on a regular basis. Rubber gloves can provide a layer of invaluable protection against the damaging effects of washing dishes.

Healing The Ones You’ve Got
Another key to preventing an ongoing hangnail problem from developing sound simple, but is actually somewhat difficult for many people to implement. It is vital to allow your hangnails to heal, so avoid biting them or picking at them. Doing so further irritates the cuticle skin surrounding the hangnail, leaving you vulnerable to further problems. The best thing that you can do to speed recovery and prevent hangnails in the future is to leave any hangnails you have alone, allowing nature to take its course. If you can’t resist the temptation to pick or bite the loose, hanging skin, cover your hangnail with a band-aid until it has healed.

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