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Regardless of how much you pamper, manicure, and moisturize your hands, it seems like out of nowhere, hangnails happen. Not only are these little bits of loose nail annoying, at times they can become extremely painful. Explore more about what causes this disturbing issue in your life along with how you can quickly get rid of it.

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Why do we get hangnails?

The two most common causes for hangnails are from biting and pulling at your nail or the area around it. In some instances, the hangnails are made up of dry skin. In the event your hangnail is causing you pain, it is due to a portion of your nail that is still connected to the live nail bed or skin.

Remove current hangnails

Get rid of any existing hangnails by first soaking your hand in warm water for ten minutes. Then, use nail clippers or nail scissors to cut off the dead portion as close to the live skin or nail as possible. Never, under any circumstance, bite or pull at your hangnail as it will only make the problem worse.

If the hangnails persist, try these other methods.

  • Petroleum jelly: Fats from petroleum jelly will aid in moisturizing your skin. Apply the jelly to the hangnail and leave it overnight. You can also use lip balm for the same effect.
  • Pure vitamin E oil: Vitamin E is a natural way to heal your skin. After you trim your nails, apply it to the beds or use it to soften any torn cuticle.
  • Raw honey: If the area is very inflamed, you can drop raw honey on it and leave it for a few hours. The honey has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that fight off infection and get rid of swelling. It is safe so can be done on a daily basis until your problem has cleared up.
  • White clay: If you have dry or sensitive skin, white clay may be your best option. The minerals heal the skin which is a helpful aid when dealing with hangnails. Mix it with olive oil and lavender to make a paste and massage in your nail beds three times a week.


The most effective way to prevent hangnails is by keeping your nails moisturized and to refrain from any biting or chewing habits you have. Cuticle oils, lotions, vitamin E, and several of the other treatments mentioned above can help, when used regularly, to make sure the skin around your nails and your nail beds are cared for properly.

When a pesky hangnail shows up on your perfectly manicured hands, now you know why. Moreover, you know the quickest way to get rid of it so you are not in any pain or discomfort. Follow these simple tips and tricks and do what you can to prevent hangnails from occurring in the first place.