A nail cuticle is the thick skin that joins the nail plate and the nail fold. It is responsible for making the area water proof and protecting nails from harmful bacteria. While overgrown cuticles are mostly an aesthetic concern, if left unattended they could lead to other nail problems. This makes taking care of them of prime importance. Below we explore the symptoms of overgrown cuticles, their causes, how to get rid of them with home remedies as well as overgrown cuticles removal products. Also learn some tips on how to avoid them.
The health of nails and their appearance is to a large extent determined by how well they are maintained as well as personal habits directed at them. Overgrown cuticles mostly result from improper maintenance. If left uncontrolled, the overgrowth could lead to other problems such as infections, restricted nail growth as well as hangnails. How do you know if your cuticles are overgrown? Below is how.
Overgrown Cuticles Symptoms
At times, the overgrowth of cuticles may not only be exhibited as some extension on the skin as given in the description above. It could be accompanied by additional symptoms such as:
- Split cuticles
When the above occur, they could expose the cuticles to microbes such as bacteria and fungus. Once these gain entry into the nail bed, infections are likely to arise. This may be followed by formation of pus and swelling which may see the patient complain about throbbing pain.
Overgrown Cuticles Causes
Negligence and improper maintenance are the main causes of overgrown cuticles. When cuticles are left unmanaged, they tend to grow wildly. In severe cases, they will cover unsuitable surfaces on the nail. This is what leads to hang nails. Other overgrown cuticles causes include:
- Dermatological conditions such as psoriasis and eczema can cause a rapid growth of cuticles.
- Being stressed can be another contributing factor.
- Working in hard water as well as with detergent over a long time.
- Doing excessive paper work.
- Stress and strain.
Overgrown Cuticles Home Remedies
Getting rid of overgrown cuticles is important for aesthetic purposes. This is more so for people who use artificial products on their nails since the aim of getting a manicure is to have a uniform and clear look. Overgrown cuticles can get in the way of this if they are not dealt with.
This is because they will hinder the adherence of products on the nails. In addition, it will cause a lift in the appearance. You can make use of cuticle specific products to get rid of them at home. Below is some easy to follow overgrown cuticles home remedies procedure.
- Prepare a hand soak by putting warm water and some soap in a bowl. Soak your fingers in this solution for 10 minutes before drying them. Apply olive oil on the cuticles and massage it in for a few minutes.
- Alternatively, mix eucalyptus oil, avocado oil and tea tree oil and soak your hands in it. These essential oils will help lubricate and moisturize the nails and cuticles. Tea tree oil will fight infections. Massage these in and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- Another option would be to soak the nails in a mixture of cocoa butter, coconut oil and paraffin wax.
- Using a sterilized cuticle tool, push the cuticles back gently. Start at the base of the nail before gradually moving to the sides. Be careful and gentle enough not to damage any tissue. Conduct process without ripping off the base of the nail.
- After pushing the cuticle, it is likely that some of it might get lifted from the nails. Where this is the case, use cuticle scissors to cut off the loose skin only. Leave any other part of the cuticle intact.
- Once done, massage the nails using your choice of blended oils used in the first step
Overgrown Cuticles Removal Products
In addition to trying to use overgrown cuticles home remedies, you can settle for commercial products specially formulated to take care of the over-growth. These work by softening the skin around the nails making it easier to get rid of damaged, dry and overgrown cuticles. Some great cuticle remover products include available in the market include:
Sally Hansen Gel Cuticle Remover
This product is easy to use and only needs to stay put for a minute to work its magic. Due to how strong it is, it is only recommended for overgrown cuticles that have been neglected for long and which as a result have gotten out of control.
All you need to do is squeeze a small amount on the cuticles and leave it on for the recommended time. When done, any excess cuticle that was clinging on your nail plates will have dissolved. Wipe this off and push back any that remains using a cuticle pusher. Wash hands normally and moisturize.
CND Cuticle Eraser
This cream contains Alpha Hydroxy Acids which help in exfoliating the skin around your nails. This way it prevents a build-up of overgrown cuticles. It also has moisturizers to keep nails hydrated as well as condition the skin around the nails. It is not too strong and once massaged onto the nails and surrounding skin it can be left on for a while.
Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Crème
This one helps to stop formation of overgrown cuticles. It contains a wide range of natural ingredients that help to replenish and seal in moisture. This helps to keep cuticles healthy and soft. To gain the most out of it, rub it on the nail beds every morning and night.
Tips on How to Prevent Overgrown Cuticles and Infections
Once you have dealt with existent overgrown cuticles, it is important to keep overgrown cuticles on toe nails as well as finger nails away. Also take good care of your nails to avoid getting infections. Below are tips to help you achieve this.
- Always sterilize the cuticle tool before and after use to avoid infections on the nail bed.
- Stay away from harsh chemicals for overall healthy nails.
- When dealing with any nail related problems, use home remedies first as they are gentle as opposed to settling for chemical treatments.
- In case your overgrown cuticles do not get better after home treatment, visit a manicurist for professional help.