Are you annoyed of those itsy-bitsy pieces of the skin that appears on the sides of your nails? These are the hangnails that occur when the skin around your nail beds peels off. They often cause pain, and there is a risk of infection if left uncovered. Many a times, it is also accompanied by the red coloration of skin, pus, or swelling. Hangnails are caused due to improper care of hands and feet, biting habits, use of detergents and synthetic soaps as they cause skin allergies. Deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals, like folic acid and vitamin C and having a dry skin (as it peels off easily) can also be some of the common causes of hangnails. The symptoms of hangnails can be easily identified. Swelling, intense pain and build up of yellowish-greenish tint around the cuticle area. Here are some effective home remedies to get rid of hangnails that you can use in your daily life.
Home Remedies for Hangnails
1. Vitamin E Oil
It is one of the most efficient and reliable home remedies to cure hangnails. It moistens the nail beds and cures damaged skin. All you need to do is simply apply pure vitamin E oil directly onto the affected area and leave it on for some time until it is completely absorbed. Reapply this oil for a couple of times in a day till it is fully healed.
- Moreover, you may combine it with oils, such as castor, olive, or jojoba oil.
The easiest way to get rid of hangnails is to keep your nail beds moisturized. Being one of the natural humectants, it attracts and preserves moisture. In addition to this, it has varied number of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that helps fight the infection and simultaneously, reduces inflammation. Apply raw honey to the problematic area and let it on for a couple of hours. It will soften the cuticles. Repeat this every day to prevent hangnails.
Avocado contains healthy fats, vitamin E, and various other nutrients that are useful in keeping your skin nourished. Like honey, it also acts as humectants for your skin. Dig out the pulp of ½ an avocado and mash it using a fork. Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in the mashed paste. Now, apply this prepared moisturizer on your nails and leave it on overnight. Rinse it when you wake up in the morning. Repeat the process on a daily basis or 3 to 4 times a week.
Yogurt can cure inflamed and painful hangnails effectually. It is rich in probiotics that have numerous anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, it also works as a fine moisturizer. Dab plain yogurt onto the affected site and leave it on for a couple of hours. After some time, wash it off. Carry out this process on a daily basis, until you completely get rid of hangnails.
5. White Clay
White clay works best for sensitive as well as dry skin, it provides certain minerals to heal the skin so as to prevent hangnails. Combine one teaspoon each of olive oil and white clay, and add three drops of lavender oil to make a soft paste. Massage this prepared paste onto your nail beds. Let it on for about 15 to 20 minutes, and subsequently rinse it off. Repeat the process for at least thrice a week.
6. Almond Hand Mask
Almonds have high vitamin E content that are beneficial for healing hangnails. Also, they also have essential fatty acids that reduce inflammation and swelling. Soak some almonds in water all night. Next morning, peel off the skin of the almonds and grind it. Mix 1 beaten egg yolk, a little honey and crushed almonds. Before you go for sleep, apply the prepared mixture onto your hands as well as on your nails and cover them using cotton gloves. Leave it on for the whole night and wash it off the next day. Carry out this for a few times in a week repeatedly.
7. Epsom Salt
Another highly beneficial remedy for curing infected hangnails is – Epsom salt. It removes harmful toxins and decreases inflammation and swelling. Combine 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt in 1 cup filled with warm water. Immerse your affected nail in the prepared solution for about 15 minutes. Let it dry and subsequently apply an antibacterial ointment, and cover it with a bandage. Repeat the same process for 3 to 4 times a day regularly for a few days, until the infection is completely cured.
8. Beeswax Balm
Beeswax not only softens your skin, but it also strengthens your nails. When mixed with oil, a protective and soothing layer is formed on the skin, avoiding it from tearing. Combine 2 teaspoons each of almond oil, coconut oil, and olive oil, three tablespoons of beeswax, and three teaspoons of honey. Heat the mixture in a double boiler or a microwave. Allow it to cool down and add a few drops of essential oils, like lavender, tea tree, peppermint, or plantain oil. Apply the prepared moisturizer on your cuticles and nails and leave it on for the whole night. Repeat the same process every day.
9. Oatmeal Scrub
Prepare an exfoliating oatmeal scrub that reduces the rough, dry, and dead skin layer of the hands as well as around the nails. Crush one cup of rolled oats in a blender, and then empty it into a shallow bowl. Put your hands in the bowl, and massage between your palms and along the backs of your hands, as well as around the cuticle site. After some time, wash it off and dry your hands. Apply any moisturizing cream onto the affected area.
10. Emollient Cream
Massage the area affected by hangnail using an emollient cream and cover it with a plastic wrap. Leave it on for the night as the plastic will keep it moisturized.
11. Salt water
Fill a bowl with one cup of water and add 1 tbsp of salt in it. Dip your fingernails in the solution after every one hour to prevent any infection.
12. Water and Oil Soak
Fill one pint of warm water in a shallow bowl and add a little amount of body oil into the bowl. Immerse your fingertips in it for 10-15 minutes. Then wash your hands and pat dry. Cut off the softened hangnails, and massage the area around the cuticles using a moisturizing cream. Alternatively, you can also add some lemon drops.
Mix alum into any moisturizer or soothing cream and apply it on the peeled off area of hangnails.
Use turmeric to minimize any chances of infection. Heat some amount of turmeric in mustard oil. Apply this hot mixture to the nail edges and leave it on for about an hour. For quick results, leave the paste for the whole night while covering it with a bandage.
- Additionally, you may also drink hot water or hot milk with some turmeric once a day.
15. Petroleum Jelly
The moisturizing properties of petroleum jelly treat the hangnails effectively. Mix a tsp of petroleum jelly and half tsp of sesame oil. Rub this on your nails before you hit the hay. Wash off in the morning. Do this on the regular basis to cure those painful hangnails.
Herbal Remedies to Cure Hangnails
16. Herbal Cuticle Softener
This herbal remedy moisturizes and softens your nail beds. Just mix two drops each of eucalyptus oil and jojoba oil, one drop of tea tree oil and two tablespoons of warm olive oil. Massage this cuticle softener onto your cuticles and nails and leave it on during the night.
- Alternatively, heat 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a double boiler or microwave. Add one tablespoon of cocoa butter or coconut oil and glycerin. Heat this mixture once again. Then add 2 or 3 drops of an essential oil like lavender oil or eucalyptus. Now, immerse your hands in warm water for a couple of minutes prior applying this softener. Repeat the process on a daily basis till the problem is completely resolved.
17. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has healing, soothing, and moisturizing properties that are useful for healing hangnails. When mixed with turmeric powder, it will help treat hangnails as both the ingredients have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Mix some amount of turmeric powder with one teaspoon of aloe vera gel and subsequently apply it to the concerned region. Let it on for a minimum of 30 minutes and then, wash it off. Repeat the process every day for some days.
- Alternatively, you can also use fresh, juicy aloe vera gel took out from an aloe leaf. Just apply it on your hangnails and leave it on for a maximum period as possible. Use it on a daily basis to cure hangnails quickly.
18. Echinacea and Garlic
Garlic is one of the most powerful antibiotics that are used to heal or prevent many infections. Mix it with any antiseptic herb, like Echinacea, for a quick result. Mash some garlic and extract the juice. Add some tincture of Echinacea into it. Dip a scissor into the prepared mixture and clean it. Now, remove the hangnails with the scissors.
To prevent bleeding and chances of infection, you may use this antibiotic herb. It stops the bleeding and kills any further chances of bacterial infection. Take extracts of goldenseal and spread it on the hangnails. Cover the area using gauze. Wash with lukewarm water after 15 minutes.
It is one of the most popular herbs that have varied number of healing qualities. It serves to cure injuries, dry skin as well as wounds. To prepare a mixture, take some calendula blossoms and combine it with thrice the amount of any essential oil or almond oil. Store this mixture in a place away from sunlight for about 15 days and shake it well occasionally. Twist the mixture and apply it.
- As an alternative, you can also prepare a cleanser by taking a cup full of calendula tea and mix it with aloe vera gel. Massage it into the skin.
21. White Cedar
This herb contains thujone, which prevents nails from getting brittle. It is available in the form of capsules and tincture.
Oil produced from lavender has numerous antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Add 4-6 drops of lavender oil in one cup of water and spray it onto the dry area around the nail. Carry out the same process throughout the day. You can also make a toner by mixing lavender and chamomile oil.
Take 2 cups of lukewarm water and add some olive herbs to it. Now, add two tablespoons of olive oil. Dip your fingers in the prepared mixture and repeat it 5 to 6 times a day.
- Make use of nail scissors to clip off the hangnail carefully.
- Use cotton or vinyl gloves while washing dishes or using any detergent.
- Keep your nail beds moisturized as often as required.
- Get manicures regularly.
- Eat foods that are enriched with calcium, vitamin B, and iron.
- Apply transparent nail paint to seal the torn out edges of the skin.
- Use only good quality products on your nails.
- Cut down the use of toxic chemicals in the nail makeup and treatments.
- Massage hangnails with lukewarm oil.
- Don’t bite or pull off your hangnails.
- Avoid cutting your cuticles.
- Avoid overworking in water, as it causes dryness.
- Steer clear of using synthetic detergents.