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Health Skin Care

All about Hangnail; Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


One of the sign of irritation and inflammation is the pain around the fingernail. A Hangnail infected is the main cause of redness and swelling around the fingernail which results in intense pain. In this article we will study about the causes and symptoms of hangnail along with the Hangnail treatment.

  • Contents

    What is Hangnail?

Hangnail is a skin around the nails especially near its roots which looks torn; it is an infection of fingers only. It is not possible to get hangnail toe. It is important to note that the term hangnail is exclusively used for the skin around nails not the nails itself and is one of the common concern of the people. It is particularly common in the people who have dry skin, and if the skin is exposed to water for a long time. Some people with nail biting habit are more prone to get Ingrown hangnail.

  • Causes of Hangnail:

Hangnail disease is caused by several factors and some conditions favor the development of hangnails. Some of the main causes of hangnail include:

  • People who don’t care much about their hygiene are more prone to get hangnail and other skin infections.
  • Dry skin is a factor which favors the development of this condition and dry skin chaps easily. Hangnail after manicure is caused when the skin is not moisturized after manicure.
  • In extreme winter when moisture content of the air drops tremendously, the cold winds take away the moisture from skin making it drier and hangnail is likely to happen.
  • Nail biting and picking habits also result in dryness of skin around nails.
  • Excessive cutting of cuticles and nail injuries sometimes also result in hangnail.
  • In the same way, the over use of nail polish removers can also result in skin dryness and hangnails.

Causes of Hangnail

  • Symptoms of Hangnail:

The symptoms of hangnail are typical; soon after the hangnail infection begins the symptoms are seen clearly. The typical symptoms of hangnail include:

  • Redness of skin around nails
  • Swelling in the skin around nails and hangnail bleeding.
  • Tenderness or hangnail extreme pain
  • Burning sensation around the affected skin part
  • Under acute conditions the blisters appear which get filled with pus and this is more common in hangnail cuticles.
  • When the infection persists for a longer time the discoloration of the nail takes place and infection spreads to other parts of the body as well.
  • Home Remedies for the Treatment of Hangnail:

There are some easy and simple home remedies for the treatment of hangnail. These remedies include:

  1. Soaking Hands in Warm Water:

For hangnail cure, soaking hands in warm water is recommended; you can soak your hands in warm water for 15-20 minutes. This will add moisture to the skin and softens the cuticles. Once you are done, you can trim the hangnail off. Make use of cuticle clippers to cut it straight.

  1. Vitamin E:

The use of Vitamin E creams and moisturizers can be beneficial and considered as an ideal hangnail home remedy. Select a moisturizer rich in Vitamin E and apply it on hands every time after exposure to water.

Vitamin E

  1. Glycerin + Rose Water:

The mixture of glycerin and rose water can act as an ideal moisturizer and hangnail lotion for hands and skin and hence it can be used effectively for the treatment of hangnail.

  1. Honey:

Honey is an ideal skin moisturizer and acts as antimicrobial. Applying honey on the skin and nails can soften the cuticles. For much better results, you can add few drops of almond oil in honey and this is considered an ideal Hangnail remedy.

  • Medical Treatment of Hangnail:

There are certain ways to treat hangnail skin medically. You need to consult doctor if you see no improvement in symptoms after home treatment options. Why do hangnails hurt? The symptoms such as discoloration of nails, formation of blisters and accumulation of pus in the blisters, nails which are separated from skin, diabetic with hangnail, all these are alarming conditions and you need to consult your health care provider immediately. Doctor will examine the nails and just a look at infected nails can help doctor to make diagnosis. Once the condition is diagnosed, treatment options include:

  • Prescription of Antibiotics:

The antibiotics are prescribed especially if the blisters and pus is seen around the nails. Also the nail discoloration, Sidewall hangnail, pain in nails and burning sensation in nails is an indication of infection and antibiotics are prescribed to the patients.

  • Topical Anti-Fungal Ointments:

Some topical fungicidal creams are also prescribed which can be applied to get rid of hangnail fungus. Hangnail green infection is generally considered an indication of fungal infection which can be treated with fungicidal ointments. The condition is likely to disappear in 3-7 days after the application of ointments.

  • Hangnail Prevention Measures:

There are certain preventive measures which can be adopted to avoid this condition, the key safeguards include:

  • Keep the skin hydrated and moisturized
  • Avoid exposing your hands to water for longer period and if at all needed, wear protective gloves.
  • Avoid nail biting as people with this habit are at increased risk of developing hangnail.
  • Bottom Line:

Hangnail is the condition where skin around nails get chapped and torn due to lack of moisture and dryness. People with nail biting habits and unhygienic mode of life are at increased risk of this infection. There are some simple measures which can be taken to get rid of this condition. The application of moisturizers, topical antibiotics and fungicidal ointments are some of the effective ways of hangnail healing.

Read this Article : Causes & Treatment of Ecchymosis

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About the author

Jennifer K. Garcia

Jennifer K. Garcia is a is a health consultant form last 6 year. She is finally decided to run a blog to help people online.You can contact her via Email or follow her on Facebook. Also add him on