What is hangnail?

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Hangnail

A hangnail is a strip of skin that separates from the side of the cuticle. A torn hangnail may become tender and swollen, and infection may develop.

A hangnail may be treated at home by trimming the skin of the hangnail with a pair of clean scissors. A hangnail should not be bitten or pulled off, because the skin may tear.

Hangnail

Hangnail

A hangnail is a strip of skin that separates from the side of the cuticle. Trim the skin of the hangnail with a pair of clean scissors. Do not bite or pull at a hangnail, because the skin may tear. A torn hangnail may become tender and swollen, and infection may develop.

Treating a hangnail

A hangnail is the strip of skin that separates from the side of the cuticle. Simple home treatment can help prevent problems with hangnails.

  • Do not pull at or bite off a hangnail.

    This may cause the skin to rip.

  • Clip off the hangnail neatly with sharp, clean cuticle scissors.
  • Massage hand lotion or cream into your cuticles 2 to 3 times each day.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.