You can push your cuticles back gently with a wooden stick
You can push your cuticles back gently with a wooden stick

You can push your cuticles back gently with a wooden stick, which may help your nails appear longer. However, avoid cutting your cuticles because this can make them hard. Besides, your cuticle tends to split off as you cut it. Cutting your cuticles may also lead to:

  • Ridges
  • White spots
  • White lines
  • Infection

Cuticles protect the nails and surrounding skin from infection. Cutting these cuticles may allow easy entry of germs and bacteria.

Most nail salons may cut cuticles. They claim that doing so helps the polish go on better. Besides, it also helps the polish to stay longer. On your next visit to the salon, ensure to tell your technician to pull the cuticles back and trim loose skin and hangnails.

What is a cuticle?

A cuticle is a U-shaped outer layer of skin located along the lower edge and sides of your fingernail or toenail. The main features of cuticles include:

  • They are soft and delicate.
  • They function to protect the new nails from germs when they come out of the nail root.
  • They can get dry, damaged, and infected easily.

Hence, it is of utmost importance to take good care of your nails and cuticles to prevent any infection.

How can you care for your cuticles?

To keep your nails healthy and protect your cuticles from damage, you should follow these steps:

  • Avoid cutting your cuticles to keep infections at bay.
  • Regularly moisturize the cuticles with petroleum jelly or other regular moisturizers.
  • Avoid untrained or rough manicurists, who may vigorously push the cuticles back.
  • Keep your hands out of your mouth because the saliva in the mouth breaks down the skin.
  • Limit the use of harsh nail care products, such as nail polish remover or drying agents (dishwasher liquid).
  • Avoid biting your fingernails or picking your cuticle because these habits can damage the nail bed.
  • Wear cotton-lined rubber gloves while washing dishes, cleaning, or using harsh chemicals.
  • Practice good nail hygiene by trimming your nails and rounding the tips in a gentle curve.

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What tips should you follow while getting a manicure?

Before getting a manicure, it is essential to keep these things in mind:

  • Visit a salon that displays a current state-certified license.
  • Also, do prefer technicians who have a license from the state board.
  • Ensure that the technician uses sterilized tools to prevent infection.
  • If you are not sure about the tools used, you can bring your nail filers, clippers, and cuticle sticks.

What are the symptoms of infected cuticles?

Infection of the skin around the cuticles is known as paronychia. Symptoms may include:

  • Redness of the skin around the nail
  • Pain around the nail
  • Tenderness
  • Pus-filled blisters
  • Nail detachment
  • Changes in nail appearance

Mild paronychia can be simply treated at home. However, severe forms of paronychia may require antibiotics or antifungals. Always consult a physician if the symptoms seem to worsen or if you have diabetes.

What is the safest way to trim a cuticle?

If you wish to trim your cuticle, you should soften them first. You can follow these steps:

  • Soak your nails in warm water.
  • Apply cuticle remover or moisturizer if the cuticle is dry.
  • With the help of a cuticle pusher, gently push back your cuticle along the nail bed.
  • Trim excess skin and hangnails.
  • Refrain from cutting the entire cuticle.

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Medically Reviewed on 2/24/2021
References
Fields L. 6 Ways to Care for Your Cuticles. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/caring-for-your-cuticles#1

Kids Health. Your Nails. https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/your-nails.html

American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. Keep Your Toes Looking and Feeling Good. footcaremd.org/resources/how-to-help/tips-for-safe-pedicures