Many people have dry, cracked skin around their nails as a result of factors such as cold, dry weather, and biting their nails. People sometimes bite the skin around their nails in addition to their nails. This can result in painful rips and tears, which could get infected. Dry, cracked, and ripped skin around the nail may all be mended with a few simple actions to keep your hands groomed and moisturized.
Taking Care of Your Cuticles
Soak your hands
Fill a medium basin with warm water to a depth of about 4 inches. Submerge your nails and cuticles in the water. For around 5 minutes, soak your hands. Warm water softens the skin around the nail, making grooming much easier and less painful.
Make sure to dry your hands
Using a towel, pat your hands dry. Water drips should be absent from your cuticles, but they should remain moist. You want your skin to stay moist and silky while you manicure your cuticles so that removing dead skin is easier and less uncomfortable.
Push back your cuticles
Keep your cuticles from growing out onto your nail by using a wooden cuticle pusher or an orange stick (a manicuring tool with a pointed end and a flat end). Push the cuticle back with the flat end of the orange stick, then rub the pointy end along the underside of your fingernail to remove any built-up dirt. Cuticle pushers made of metal or plastic should be sterilized before and after each use, and wooden orange sticks should be discarded after each use because they might harbor bacteria.
Remove any excess skin around your nails
Cutaway any extra, dead skin surrounding your nails with manicure nippers and scissors. This could include skin pushed back with the manicuring sticks near your cuticle, but just cut away skin that is loose, soft, and translucent, not your real cuticles. Only the skin that has grown out over your nail and is now loose should be trimmed. The skin that surrounds and protects your nail, known as the upper cuticle, should not be cut. When compared to the actually attached skin on your fingertips, loose, additional skin will be white. Skin that can grab on things and create skin tears should be nipped away.
Moisturize your skin!
To moisturize the dry areas surrounding your nails, apply lotions, hydrating oils, or store-bought cuticle moisturizers. Apply a thick layer of moisturizer to your nails, paying special attention to the cuticles. The moisturizer should be applied to the entire area around your nail. Applying moisturizer underneath your nails is also a good idea. Moisturizers that are free of alcohol and smell tend to hydrate skin better.
Put on moisture-locking gloves
Put on a pair of cotton gloves and keep them on all night. The gloves help cure your nails and cuticles by sealing in the moisturizer. In the morning, take off the gloves. Cover your moisturizer with petroleum jelly or paraffin wax to lock in the moisture and help it absorb better. Then cover your hands with your gloves.
Repeat this procedure every night for better, longer-lasting results.