Dry skin around nails can result from a variety of reasons, ranging from cold and dry weather to the skin coming in contact with chemicals or an injury caused by hangnails! Whatever might be the reason behind it, the point is that it looks ugly and gives a person a very ungroomed look. That's why, preventing and treating this condition is very important.
Nail Trimming and Filing
Cut your nails regularly and keep the cuticles well-groomed. Before trimming your nails, soak your fingers in warm water for about ten minutes. This will soften them, making it easier to cut them in whatever shape you desire. Ideally, people who suffer from this problem, should keep their nails shorter. Once the nails are cut, follow this up by trimming dead skin around your nails, by using cuticle clippers. However, take care that you do not over trim and take out the necessary cuticle, as it is required to prevent any kind of infection from developing.
Use a nail filer and smoothen out the corners of your nail, as rough corners can injure the surrounding skin and make it dry and infected. Finally, take an orange stick and push back the skin on the nails. This will keep the cuticles in place and prevent any kind of skin problems from occurring around the nail, because of it.
To prevent dry skin on your hands, fingers and around the nails, always make it a point to keep them moisturized, by applying a hand lotion, twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed. Massage your hands thoroughly with it. For extra dryness around the nails, follow this up by applying a good quality cuticle oil, on the skin around your nails.
As dry cracked skin around nails might develop due to the skin coming in contact with some harsh chemicals in washing powder, soap or detergent, so to avoid this, the next time you undertake any household work which involves using any of these, wear rubber gloves. You can easily find these in any of the hardware stores. It could also result from some chemicals in cosmetics like nail polishes, nail base, nail polish remover, etc. that you are using. So, buy only good quality, branded stuff and do not apply any cheap cosmetics on your nails, if you want to avoid dryness around nails. Sometimes, hangnails, the extra skin around the cuticle, could result if the person is habituated to biting nails. So, this should be completely avoided, as when hangnails come in contact with anything, like even the clothes that we wear, and are torn accidentally, they can lead to immense pain. So cut the hangnails and afterwards apply an antibacterial lotion on top of them as well as bandage them, to prevent any infection.
Effective Home Remedies
Go in for regular manicures. If this seems a waste of time or money to you, get a pair of medical gloves and Vaseline. Once a week, apply Vaseline on your fingers and hands, giving special attention to the dry area around the nails. Apply Vaseline in good quantity, wear the gloves and go off to sleep. Leave the Vaseline overnight as it will give your skin an opportunity to absorb it. This will help moisturize the skin around your nails, thus preventing any kind of dryness to develop in the future. Another effective home remedy is soaking the nails in a solution made from water and olive oil in equal quantities, for about fifteen minutes, every night before sleeping. This should take care of the dry skin.
Besides the ones mentioned above, other ways to prevent dry skin around nails are, applying shea butter, almond oil or vitamin E oil on the affected skin. After following all these precautions and home remedies, if the dryness around nails remains and if it bleeds, the reason could be that the hangnails have become infected. Infected cuticles are almost always filled with pus. If this is the case, a doctor should be contacted immediately, reason being that if urgent treatment is not sought, this infection can spread to the entire nail and can even damage it, in some cases.