How to Remove Those Annoying Hangnails

Have you ever had that annoying torn piece of skin on the side of your fingernail? And when you try to remove it, you just make matters worse by tugging at your skin to the point you’re in pain? This means you have a hangnail, and more often than not, you can’t get rid of them by pulling them off.

Whether it’s the constant urge to rip them off or the throbbing pain of torn skin, hangnails are a nuisance that everyone tries to avoid. By knowing what they are and what exactly causes this pesky annoyance, you will be able to take the necessary steps to remove and potentially prevent them.

What Is a Hangnail?

As the name suggests, it seems like hangnails are directly associated with nails, but they are actually correlated with the nail cuticle. A hangnail is a piece of torn skin that develops when a sliver of skin separates from the cuticle.

What Causes Hangnails?

There are multiple factors that contribute to hangnails. These causes include the following:

  • Nail clipping
  • Nail biting
  • Cold weather
  • Dry skin
  • Pushing or cutting your cuticle

If you happen to be a nibbling nancy, you should really consider picking a new hobby. Putting your fingers in your mouth can ruin your nails and expose you to infections, considering your mouth has over 615 different types of bacteria that reside in there.

Instead of putting your hands in your mouth, there are plenty of other ways to help remove those annoying hangnails and we’ve listed them below.

How to Get Rid of Hangnails?

If you happen to have a hangnail, don’t rip it! Doing so can leave an open wound and expose yourself to bacteria that can result in an infection called paronychia. Aside from that, you can also hurt yourself by causing that throbbing sensation that happens when you pull off that hangnail.

So to prevent yourself from infections and any more pain, try out this simple method to keep your hangnail in its place.

Dip, Clip, Disinfect and Moisturize

Dip: Soak your nails in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes or take a shower to help soften your skin and nails. This, in return, will make it easier to cut away your hangnail. You could also add some drops of vitamin E oil or your favorite carrier oil for a little more moisturizing action during your hand soak.

Clip: After your nails are nice and soaked, use a clean and sharp cuticle cutter to remove your hangnail. Try cutting as close to the base of your hangnail as possible to prevent the hangnail from getting caught on anything else. While you’re cutting your hangnail remember these two things:

  1. Do not tug or pull at your hangnail, doing so will cause a break in your skin and can cause bleeding.
  2. Do not cut too much skin because it can create a deep cut that can easily get infected.

Disinfect: After you finish clipping your cuticle, apply an antibacterial ointment to help kill and expel bacteria from the hangnail area.

Moisturize: Once the hangnail area is disinfected, apply your favorite carrier oil to help moisturize your skin and prevent your cuticles from getting brittle and dry. Moisturize on a daily basis to prevent encountering this nuisance ever again.

The content of this Website is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments.


Siddons, S. (2009, August 20). Hangnail Tips and Treatments. Retrieved from