If we were to make a list of worst little things that come with a big pain in the rear, hangnails would easily be up there at the top. We are not talking about the Nickelback band song or the scene from Black Swan; we mean that pesky little pain with obnoxious symptoms. No matter if you get a hangnail on your finger or your toe, it can become a living nightmare of annoyance, pain and frustration all mixed up. Even more so, if you do not take care of it and keep the area clean, it can get infected faster than you would think and turn into a complete disaster. Believe us, just look up pictures of a painful ingrown or infected hangnail and you will get a better idea. Still, if we go back to the roots (no pun intended), we have to start with “what is a hangnail?” in order to see how we can treat one. To understand out what are hangnails, the American Academy of Dermatology lightly offers the following definition: “Have you ever had a piece of skin at the edge of your nail tear, and maybe bleed a little? That’s called a hangnail. It’s kind of a funny name, because it’s really your skin that tears, not the nail.” As a result, we can see that it is not actually our nail that starts acting up, but rather the skin surrounding it. No matter if you are a guy or a dog, you and members of your family will experience a hangnail every once in a while.
Now what causes hangnails, you ask? The primary causes for hangnails are dried up skin, usually due to harsh weather conditions and direct exposure to them. That is the reason why you usually get hangnails on your fingers or on a toenail during the winter, or at least more than you do during the summer. In addition to this, people who bite their nails tend to develop hangnails more frequently than others, as a less strong nailbed can be a cause. While many people tend to associate a bad case of hangnail with vitamin deficiency, it is not a direct cause; a lack of vitamins is rather a side effect on the skin in general. If you do not make sure to keep your hangnail clean, it can result in an infection that will make the area swollen and cause great hangnail pain. If your hangnail infection gets out of hand and becomes severe with pus, you should consult a doctor for infected hangnail treatment. In the end, your most important question is how to get rid of one and if hangnail treatment exists. The good news is that there are a few home remedies for hangnail to choose from, as well as a few tips to prevent hangnail. What options of treatment are available? Find out below.
A delicious and popular home remedy for hangnail is honey. This sweet cure can succeed in treating, preventing and getting rid of hangnail for good by moisturizing the area well, as dry skin is the leading cause for hangnail in the first place. Aside from this, honey also actually has fantastic antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits that will aid the healing process. We recommend Manuka honey for removal, but normal honey will work just as fine. Take some honey and rub it on the affected fingernail and let it set for a couple of hours. Repeat the process every day until your skin is properly moisturized.
2. Epsom Salt
Before you get out your nail clipper to remove the hangnail, you should know that one of the most well-known remedies is just as close. The antibacterial properties that Epsom salts contains help heal the hangnail in a natural way and are also effective in the case of infection. All you have to do is get one tablespoon of Epsom salts and mix it in a bowl of water. Allow your hand to soak in the water, emphasizing the finger with hangnail. You can repeat the process as often as you want until the pain goes away and the area is healed.
Another yummy home remedy that works better than you thought is avocado. Thanks to its high levels of Vitamin E, avocado acts as an excellent moisturizer for getting that dry skin back to normal. To get this remedy right, get one avocado and a bit of coconut oil to enhance its effects. Use a spoon or a fork to remove the pulp from half of an avocado and crush it until you obtain a paste. Place the contents in a bowl and add 2 tbsps. of coconut oil and mix well. Rub the result on your affected nail (and even all of them, as a boost of moisturizing will never do you wrong). Allow the mixture to work its magic while you sleep and when you wake up you can was it off. Repeat as necessary until the hangnail disappears.
If you do not want to use ingredients from your kitchen to heal your hangnail, then you should be prepared with a reliable moisturizer. It does not have to be the most expensive product you find, but rather contain essential ingredients like Vitamin E so you know you are getting the hydration you need to heal. Wash your hands frequently to keep them clean and prevent infection and rub them with moisturizer afterwards.
The probiotics that yogurt comes packed with are amazing for getting rid of hangnails. Moreover, its anti-inflammatory benefits will help keep infect away or treat it, if that is your situation. Make sure that the yogurt you use is plain (without any pieces of fruit or other flavorings) and place some on your hangnail. Let the yogurt take effect for a few hours and then wash it off. You can do this day to day until you are happily hangnail-free.
6. Vitamin E Oil
As you probably have already noticed, quite a few home remedies for hangnail contain the wondrous Vitamin E. That is exactly why Vitamin E oil is one of the best cures for this problem that there is. It is a safe and natural way for getting rid of that painful piece of torn skin without making the problem even worse. We recommend that you use Vitamin E oil more than once every day in order to enjoy pleasing results. If you do this and maintain clean hands, you will soon see that hangnails will no longer bother you.
7. Aloe Vera
If we were to make a top three list of the best home remedies of all time (for countless purposes), aloe vera would have an honorable place on the podium. This juicy plant has so many health benefits that it’s hard to believe, but it truly can help you out in many situations if you do not want to hit the doctor’s office. For hangnails, aloe vera works by moisturizing the area, relieving the pain and treating it all at the same time. All you have to do is take an aloe vera leaf and cut it open so you can squeeze the juice out. Apply the juice directly to your hangnails and leave it on until you have to wash your hands again. For a boosted effect, add a bit of turmeric powder to the gel and apply.
Aside from having a divine scent, lavender can help you get rid of your hangnails in a jiffy. Lavender oil, in particular, will help you moisturize the area and heal quickly with its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. For this remedy to work, take around five drops of lavender oil and dilute it in roughly one glass of water. You can place the mixture in a spray bottle and apply it to the skin that is affected. Practice makes perfect, so repeat as frequently as possible.
Remember what we said before about the importance of Vitamin E for keeping your skin hydrated? Well, you should know that almonds are very high in the Vitamin E you need, as well as essential acids. What you need to do is take some almonds and place them in a bowl of water over the night. When you wake up in the morning, you have to take off the skin of the almonds and crush them up. Add some honey and an egg yolk (after you have beaten it) and mix everything well. Before you go to sleep, rub the mixture on your fingernails and let it work during the night. Wash your hands when you wake up and repeat this remedy until the pain and hangnail are both gone.
It is well known that oatmeal is one of the best natural solutions for exfoliation. For getting rid of the dead skin cells on your hands, make a homemade oatmeal scrub by using a blender to mash up 1 cup of oats. After you use the result to scrub off the areas, wash off your hands and use a trusted moisturizer (or even a homemade one) to hydrate the skin.