Causes and Treatments of Skin Around Nails Cracking

Cracked skin around nails looks quite unsightly. The most important thing is to identify the underlying cause first. You could have cracked skin around nails because you use low quality nail polish or you expose your hands to drying elements. Whatever the reason, it is important to try ways to prevent and treat the condition quickly and effectively.

Skin Around Nails Cracking: Causes

1. Drying Elements

During the course of the day, you are likely to expose your hands to all sorts of drying elements. Constant exposure to detergents, dirt, and nasty weather can dry out your cuticles. You are only going to make things worse by washing your hands constantly to kill germs. The dryness can cause cracked skin around your nails.

2. Polish Pitfalls

Using nail polish removers excessively can do more harm than good. You can make things worse by taking a trimmer to your cuticles – this can lead to an infection. If you really want to use a nail polish remover, opt for the one that contains vitamin E and other moisturizers.

3. Bad Habits

Do you start biting or picking at nails when you are nervous? These bad habits can also leave you with cracked skin around your nails. Hangnails can cause serious discomfort and even make way for infections to develop. Similarly, not paying attention to your diet and getting enough water can also leave your skin dehydrated. You have to change these bad habits to improve the look of your skin around nails.

How to Treat Cracked Skin Around Nails

When you notice skin around nails cracking, do not panic. Instead, look for ways to improve your condition. Here are some recommendations.

1. Soak Your Hands

Fill a medium sized bowl with warm water and soak your hands in it for 5 minutes. Ensure that your nails and cuticles stay submerged in water all the time. This helps the skin around your nail become soft.

2. Push Back Your Cuticles

Make use of an orange stick or a wooden cuticle pusher to ensure that your cuticles do not grow out onto your nail. When using an orange stick, use its pointy end to run underneath your fingernail to remove dirt, and use the flat end to push the cuticle back. 

3. Trim Your Nails

The idea is to get rid of any extra skin that grows around your nails. You can do this with the help of manicure scissors or manicure nippers. You may also have to remove the skin near your cuticle for the best results. Remember that loose, dead skin will look whiter as compared to the attached skin.

4. Moisturize Your Fingers

Make use of moisturizing oils, lotions, or other products to moisturize the skin around your nails. Be sure to apply moisturizer to your cuticle as well. It is also a good idea to apply it underneath your nail. Be sure to wear cotton gloves before going to bed to help seal in the moisturizer.

To keep your cracked skin moist, you can also try several other remedies. For instance:

  • Apply Petroleum Jelly

Use petroleum jelly to add some moisture to the skin around your nails. This really helps when you apply it as soon as you see skin around nails cracking.

  • Use Vaseline

Apply Vaseline directly on your affected skin and then put a band-aid around them. Remove the band-aid the next morning to accelerate healing.

  • Combine Epsom Salts and Olive Oil

Mix a tablespoon of slat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and apply the mixture on your hands. Be sure to rub your palms together and massage your cuticles for about 10 minutes. The olive oil helps keep your skin soft, whereas the salt helps get rid of rough, dead skin.

  • Use Garlic

Garlic has antibacterial property and is really effective for your cracked skin around nails. Simply get a clove and dig your affected nail into it. Get it out after a few minutes and wash with water.

  • Combine Baby Oil and Sugar

Make a mixture of baby oil and sugar and then apply it on your fingers, hands, and cuticles. Be sure to rub your hands together for a few minutes.

  • Apply Banana Mash

Mash a ripe banana into a paste and then apply it on your dry skin. Leave it there for a while and then rinse with warm water. The remedy helps reduce any pain and discomfort you may be experiencing around your nails.

  • Try Rose Water, Egg Yolk, and Lime juice

A simple yet effective moisturizing paste can be made by mixing rose water, egg yolk, and lime juice together. Also, add a teaspoon of orange juice and olive oil to the mixture and then apply it on your dry skin. Leave it there for at least 15 minutes.

  • Combined Honey and Oatmeal

When you see your skin around nails cracking, simply make a moisturizing lotion by combining oatmeal and honey. Mix a teaspoon each of oatmeal and honey and apply it on your skin. Leave it there for at least 15 minutes for effects.

  • Lanolin, Beeswax, and Caster Oil

Take equal amounts of lanolin, beeswax, and caster oil in a heat safe container and melt it. Let the mixture cool and then apply it to your cracked skin for relief.

How to Prevent Cracked Skin Around Nails

You can certainly find remedies to treat your dry and cracked skin around nails, but it is better to take preventive measures to avoid having the problem in the first place. Here is what you can do to prevent cracked skin.

  • Moisturize your skin often. This helps keep skin around your nails hydrated, so you are less likely to deal with cracked skin.
  • Limit exposure to drying agents. Dry skin is more likely to peel and crack quickly, so avoid certain activities like dishwashing in hot water without gloves.
  • Avoid nail polish removers. You should never use acetone-based removers because they take natural oils out of your nails and skin.
  • Wear gloves in the winter months. You will have cracked skin when you let the cold winter air dry out your skin. Wear protect gloves for the best results.
  • Stop picking at your nails. Break your habit of biting at your nails when under stress. 
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