Healing Cuticle Damage

There’s no doubt about! Nails are all the rage! With all the nail trends that have emerged and continue to emerge in the coming season, a stylish manicure is becoming as necessary a fashion accessory as a great pair of shoes. But bad habits, natural elements and even certain manicures can cause cuticle damage that can seriously put a damper on putting your best finger forward. Well, never fear, because here are a few tips on how to heal cuticle damage and get those nails in shape for the upcoming season.

Treatments for damaged cuticles vary from simple creams to surgical treatments depending on the severity of the damage. “If you’ve been biting your fingernails or yanked off a hang nail, taking care of the issue may not be any more difficult than treating a minor cut,” says health journalist Elizabeth Whitmore. She recommends simply putting hydrogen peroxide and a bandage over the affected area.

More serious cuticle damage can include infections, commonly known as paronychia. These can be caused by bacteria, fungus or yeast and manifest as soreness and occasionally puss-filled blisters. Treatment for these infections usually involve soaking of the affected area in warm water and taking antibiotics, but occasionally surgery is necessary. If you suspect your finger is infected, it is best to see a doctor for proper medical attention.

Another source of cuticle damage is dry skin which can result in cracked and peeling cuticles. “When skin dries out, your cuticles lose natural fats that help keep them soft”, notes Whitmore. Treatment for this kind of damage includes cuticle creams which have fats and oils to help replace those you’ve lost. Other tips for dry, cracked cuticles includes Beauty blogger Nicole Quinn’s recommendation of applying Neosporin to cracked cuticles, covering them with band-aids and leaving them on while sleeping for an overnight transformation. Bobbie Brown recommends soaking hands in warm olive oil for five minutes while massaging the oil into your fingernails.

Of course, the best way to solve the problem of damaged cuticles is to prevent them from happening in the first place. You can save yourself a whole lot of pain, time and money by following some simple cuticle care tips.  These include the following:

  • Wear gloves in cold weather and while washing dishes
  • Don’t bite or pick your nails
  • Moisturize
  • Avoid rough manicures
  • Use acetone free nail polish removers
  • Avoid cutting your cuticles

Maintaining a healthy diet can also make nails strong and resistant to damage. Vitamins A, B, C, E, zinc and calcium are all recommended for healthy nails. Foods rich in these vitamins include citrus fruits, dairy products, bananas, lean meats, and leafy green vegetables. Caffeine and alcohol should be avoided as they can diminish the amount of vitamin A in the body. Cutex recommends their Quick and Gentle Nail Polish Remover Nourishing with Vitamin E.

If your nails are looking rough and peeling, it may be time to explore these options and start taking these steps for a healthier you, not to mention a beautiful manicured look.