Do you have small jagged and loose piece skin hanging next to your nail? If yes, you have a hangnail. It is extremely irritating, uncomfortable, but common. There can be an array of causes behind hangnails. Having dry skin, winter season, frequent exposure to water, excessive fingerpicking, etc. can be the reason behind hangnails. Common during cold weather, hangnails can start paining if exposed to fungus or bacteria. You can experience swelling and discolouring of nails too if hangnails are not treated on time. If you think pulling them off is what we call treating hangnails, you are mistaken. Doing this can only aggravate the condition.
If you happen to have a hangnail, the first thing you should not do is ripping it. Doing that will make it exposed to bacteria and can lead to an infection called paronychia. Plus, the throbbing sensation can make it difficult for you to concentrate on day to day activities. To get rid of hangnails you need to follow four steps namely dipping, clipping, disinfecting, and moisturizing.
Firstly, you need to soften your nails. To do that, either take a bath or soak your nails in warm water for approximately 10 minutes. You can also add vitamin E oil or any other carrier oil in the water to moisturize your nails while soaking. Then, use a cuticle cutter to clip your hangnail. While doing that, cut as close to the base of the nail as possible but do not cut deep or pull your hangnail. After removing the hangnail, you can apply an antibacterial ointment to the area. This is to kill any bacteria from the hangnail area. Post disinfecting, apply any carrier oil to moisturize the skin and preventing the hangnail area from becoming dry. To prevent this condition in the near future, keep your fingers clean moisturized.