Remove irritating hangnails by using a clean pair of cuticle scissors or nail clippers to gently cut away the broken skin. Afterwards, the nail bed and surrounding skin should be moisturized with hand lotion throughout the day. To prevent an infection, the area should be massaged with antibacterial lotion if the hangnail left an exposed wound by the nail bed or the skin becomes red and swollen.
Avoid biting or tearing a hangnail, potentially causing damage to the nail bed. When the wound is deep or already infected, covering it with a bandage can help protect the skin from germs while it heals. Moisturizing hands with lotions or creams about three times a day may help prevent hangnails, and a properly administered manicure helps to maintain healthy nail, nail bed and cuticle growth.
Hangnails are tiny, dry flaps of skin that detach from the edges of nails, often causing soreness and redness. This common occurrence is harmless when treated properly, but frequent hand contact with bacteria and germs can lead to infection.
Hangnails are more likely to occur during the winter months when the skin dries out quickly. However, personal habits or occupational factors can increase their appearance, especially for those who handle chemicals on a daily basis or wash their hands repeatedly without using lotion. Biting fingernails or cutting cuticles also makes nails more vulnerable by weakening the underlying nail bed.