Dealing with painful and cracked cuticles but you do know what to do with it? Aside from the pain that you are feeling the unsightly appearance of cracked nails, another thing that you should be concerned about is that cracked cuticles may not be able to deliver its intended function which is to protect your nails and your finger.
Sadly though, cracked and dry cuticles have become common nowadays. This is because these cuticles are easily damaged due to improper manicure method, exposure to harmful chemicals, and use of unsanitary nail tools.
5 Steps to Healing Cracked Cuticles
If you are looking for a way on how to treat dry skin around fingernails and cracked cuticles, you should know that it is a step-by-step process. Lucky for you, we already know the process, and we are here to share the steps with you. Here they are:
Step 1. Identify the cause.
As mentioned above, there are many things that may cause cracked cuticles, and if you wish to treat it properly, you must first know what caused it. To do that, you need to perform a physical examination of your cuticle. Feel the texture of your nails, look at the color and look out for other signs of biting or picking.
If the nail or the cuticle is dry or brittle, it may be because of exposure to harmful chemicals or too much exposure to water.
If there are bumps or ridges on the nail, it may either be a sign of trauma. It can also be an indication of a chronic illness, more particularly, a kidney disease.
At the bottom of your nails, you should see a white half-moon -shaped figure. If you can’t see it right away, lightly press down on your nail. If you still cannot see it, it may be an indication of hyperthyroidism.
If it is accompanied by other symptoms, like white or yellow streaks on the nail, crumbling nail tip or scaling, it means you have a fungal infection.
Step 2. Talk with a doctor.
If the signs and symptoms of your nail are indicative of illness, disease or infection, it is a must that you consult with a doctor right away. If it seems like the nail structure have been damaged, the doctor may request an x-ray of your nails.
Please do keep in mind that long-term damage to the nails may lead to nail or finger deformities and that is why it is a must that you consult with your doctor right away.
If the damaged cuticles are brought about by your nonstop biting and picking off your nails, and you can’t seem to stop these unwanted habit of yours, you may also try speaking with a mental health professional so he can work with you in putting an end to this behavior.
Step 3. Treat any cuts or open sores.
Most probably, the cracked cuticles are also accompanied by open sores or cuts, and this can pose a risk for your health. Keep in mind that our hands come into contact with various things and surfaces every day, making it susceptible to bacterial exposure. When your nails have open sores and cuts, the bacteria may get into it which may lead to infection later on.
To prevent this, it is a must that you wipe down your cuts with an alcohol wipe. After that, apply a small amount if Neosporin into the sores or cuts. If the cut is big, you should cover it up with a band-aid. If the sores are just small, allow it to air dry.
If you covered it up with a band-aid, make sure to replace the bandage after every few hours to allow your skin to breathe.
Step 4. Deeply moisturize your nails.
Cracked cuticles start with dry nails, so the best way to treat it is to provide your nails with the hydration and moisture that it needs. There are many ways on how you can do that and these are as follows:
· Use cuticle oil
As compared to creams, many experts claim that oil is much more effective as it is easily absorbed by the skin. Most cuticle oils contain a blend of moisturizing oils like sweet almond oil and jojoba oil. These are also often infused with vitamin E which will not just hydrate but also nourish and condition the nails and skin.
· Wear gloves at night
Since it is night time, you can go for something heavier and more moisturizing like petroleum jelly. Apply it liberally to your hands. Cover it up with a pair of gloves afterward. In this way, you can seal the moisture into your skin. Doing so can also protect your skin from the dry air too.
If you have the tendency to bite your nails, wearing gloves can also prevent you from doing so.
Step 5. Prevent cracked cuticles in the future.
Once you have already solved your cracked cuticle dilemma, the next thing that you should think about is how to maintain the health of your nails and prevent cracked nails in the future. Here are the ways on how to do that:
· Avoid cutting your cuticles.
Cuticle cutting has become common because it can make the nails look longer and beautiful but doing so may cause damage to the cuticles.
· Employ the right manicure method.
In the event that you have already started the habit of cutting your cuticles, the next best thing that you can do is to switch to carrying out the right manicure method. Instead of using cuticle clippers, remove your cuticles by pushing it using an orange stick. Before you do that, dip your hands in warm water for about 10 minutes in order to soften the cuticles.
· Limit your hand’s exposure to water and harmful chemicals.
When you take care of your nails, you do not only get to maintain their beauty-you get to protect your body from possible infection as well.