Q:

What causes overgrown cuticles?

A:

Quick Answer

Overgrown cuticles are caused by improper or lack of maintenance of nails. Systemic illnesses, or diseases that affect the whole body and manifest physically, may further exacerbate cuticle growth.

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Full Answer

Cuticles are the folds of skin that grow over the base of the nail (fingernail and toenail). They protect the nail and keep moisture, dirt and infections out of the base of the nail. Therefore, maintenance of the nail is a critical factor in making sure that cuticles do not overgrow. Cuticles play an important role in the health of your nails.

Maintenance of cuticles involves routine hygiene habits. It is important to take time to go through the process of soaking nails in warm water, and then gently push back the cuticles using a cuticle tool or the rounded end of a wood nail file. Cuticle tools include cuticle pushers, trimmers and nippers.

Overgrown cuticles also are prone to dryness, which can lead to cracked skin, exposure to potential infection and discomfort. This is prevented by the routine application of a moisturizer to the nail bed area. In addition, after pushing back or trimming cuticles, gently massage the area with a small amount of oil to prevent dryness and cracking.

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