How To: Deal with the horror of hangnails


Not sure what a hangnail is? Well, all I can say is: you lucky duck! Hangnails are essentially small strips of torn cuticle, are usually caused by shrinking and splitting of the cuticle at the base or side of the nail because of dehydration, but can also be the result of a nail-biting or cuticle-picking habit.


As anyone who suffers with these pesky wee blighters will attest, hangnails are less than pretty and can actually be really bloody sore. They're particularly prevelant at this time of the year, as harsh winds, freezy coldness, and central heating conspire to strip moisture from every inch of our bodies. The only hope of preventing hangnails is to restore that lost moisture to your cuticles, so sup on plenty of water and keep a tube of hand cream and a little bottle of nail oil on the desk and by the bed. If you can see them, you might actually remember to use them from time to time! Always, always use gloves for household chores so that prolonged immersion in water and exposure to harsh cleaning chemicals don't get a chance to do their worst.


Already suffering with hangnails? Well, the first rule of removing them is don't feckin' wrap your incisors around them for a chaw! Instead, soak fingertips in oil (olive oil is grand for this job) to soften them, and then use a sharp clippers or scissors to snip hangnails off close to the skin; removing them while skin is dry will just cause further trauma by tearing the skin even more.

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