Treating Cracked Cuticles

Cuticles are the folds of skin at the base of the nail. These folds protect the nail bed but can be sources of bleeding, pain and infection, if neglected. Cuticles if cracked or damaged are painful but more importantly, may cause nail bed infections.


Causes for Cracked Cuticles


1. Cuticles are skin folds and require to be kept soft with regular moisturization. Lack of moisture due to seasonal variations like dry winters may cause cuticles to crack.

2. Excessive hand washing robs the cuticles of moisture and cause cracks or bleeding


3. Exposure to corrosive detergents or cleaning agents in the course of housework may cause cuticles to crack.


Prevention and Cure of Cracked Cuticles


1. To correct the lack of moisture which causes cracked cuticles, regular massage with a Vitamin E enriched cream is of great help. You can even break open a Vitamin E capsule and rub in the contents on the cuticles for a quick fix.


2. Creams containing Shea butter help in treating cracked and painful cuticles. Shea butter is an extract from the Shea tree and is a natural emollient. Regular use of Shea butter on the cuticles keeps them moisturised and nourished.


3. Lack of proper nutrition is often the cause of cracked cuticles. A diet rich in legumes, fish and nuts provides the Vitamin E necessary for smooth skin. Add Vitamin A, B, C, D and E, Calcium, lean protein and Zinc to your regular diet.


4. Using gloves while doing housework serves to protect the hands from the corrosive effect of household detergents and cleaning agents.


5. Use of a night time repair cream on the hands and covering them with cotton gloves while sleeping helps protect cuticles from damage.


6. When cuticles are damaged, it is a good idea to avoid applying nail polish during the course of treatment. Chemicals present in the nail polish are likely to further damage the skin and cause irritation.


7. There are many natural products which are effective on cracked cuticles. Soaking the hands in a bowl full of lukewarm milk helps in moisturising the hands and cuticles.


8. Application of glycerine on cracked nail beds also helps in softening the cuticles.


9. Creams in which emollients like lanolin, Shea butter, beeswax and honey help in curing cracked cuticles.


10. Using nail balm containing neem is another good way to treat cracked cuticles.


11. A torn cuticle attracts infection. A torn cuticle should be washed with disinfectant, dried and kept covered with a band aid.


12. Use cuticle moisturizer to keep your cuticles hydrated.  Almond oil and Jojoba oil in the moisturizer are good for the health of the cuticles.

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