It can be tempting to clip or bite your cuticles, but there are better ways to take care of these remnants of dead skin, which are surprisingly fragile. Follow a few simple steps to maintain healthy-looking cuticles and improve the appearance of your hands.
Take good care of your hands. Wash your hands with a gentle soap. Wear rubber gloves when you are using chemicals or hot water for cleaning.
Moisturize your cuticles. When you apply hand lotion, be sure to massage a small amount into your nail beds as well to keep the cuticles elastic and smooth. If you are prone to sunburn, remember to apply sunscreen to your fingers when you are out.
Avoid using too much nail polish remover. Nail polish remover is a harsh irritant to the delicate skin around your nails, particularly the cuticles. Try to use it once a week at the most.
Take care of rough or hanging cuticles. Rather than pull them or cut them, try gently rubbing rough cuticles with a washcloth. Do not use a stick to push cuticles.
Watch your manicurist. If you get your nails done at a salon, ensure that the manicurist sterilizes all her tools. You may opt to bring your own tools to the salon. Check that your manicurist washes her hands between clients.
Treat infections. Red and irritated cuticles can quickly become infected. If the area around the cuticles is inflamed, sensitive to touch, leaking fluid or discolored, consult with a dermatologist or a podiatrist. You may require an antibacterial lotion, antifungal medication or even an antibiotic.
- Metal implements can damage cuticles and nails.