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What is a hangnail and what causes it?

A hangnail is a tiny spike of nail inside the lateral nail walls, or it can be a torn piece of skin next to a fingernail or toenail.  When these are pulled, bleeding, pain, edema and infectious inflammation can occur.

The main causes of hangnail include aggressive manicure techniques, improper use of professional nail products, skin dryness, cold temperatures, relative hyperkeratosis and thick skin around the nail plate. Hangnails that appear a few days after a nail treatment can also be a sign to a client that a poor manicure technique was used.

Who does it affect?

Anyone, especially people who work a lot with their hands.

How can nail technicians help?

Hangnail can be avoided with the proper manicure technique and continuous nail and skin care. When skin is rough, hard or dry, moisturising creams or lotions should be recommended to the client.

Hangnail can be treated by nail technicians with a gentle and attentive manicure. Delicately remove it with nippers, from the very bottom of the hangnail, and apply moisturising lotion after the cutting. Use cuticle oils or cuticle creams with AHA after every use of cuticle removers.

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