Dry cuticles can look like skin around fingernails peeling off. And while they might be pesky to deal with, they’re not particularly dangerous. But keeping your cuticles healthy, hydrated, and in shape is necessary for nail care. Find out the best tips for treating peeling cuticles and what you can do to prevent them.
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Why are my cuticles peeling?
If you’ve ever looked at your fingers and wondered, “why is the skin around my nails peeling?” you’re not alone. The thin piece of skin at the fingernail’s bottom edge is known as the cuticle. And it’s not uncommon to experience dryness or peeling around that area. Peeling cuticles are most common during the harsher, cold months, but they can occur at any time of year. So, why do my cuticles peel?
Here’s the rundown—the main reason for what causes cuticles to peel is lack of hydration. The cuticles are incredibly delicate. They need moisture to prevent them from drying out. Hand cream and cuticle oil are must-haves for your cuticle care kit. But dehydrated skin isn’t the only answer to why do cuticles peel. Dry and peeling cuticles can also be caused by skin conditions like eczema, nail-biting, and malnutrition and can even be a side effect of certain medications.
How to stop cuticles from peeling
Thankfully, peeling cuticles aren’t a life sentence. A little bit of care goes a long way in regenerating your cuticles and stopping peeling for good. Here are the top tips for how to stop peeling cuticles:
- Hydrate regularly
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize—we can’t stress this enough! Regularly hydrating your nails can reverse peeling cuticles. Applying a cuticle oil or serum to your nails once or twice a day will keep them hydrated and prevent dry cuticles and hangnails. If you don’t have cuticle oil on hand and need a workaround solution for how to moisturize cuticles, massaging a dab of olive oil into each cuticle is a simple trick. For ultra-intense hydration, you can moisturize cuticles further by applying a thick hand cream afterward.
- Don’t pick or peel
Peeling or picking at your nail polish may seem like an innocent habit. But it’s certainly not a fix for how to stop skin peeling on fingers near nails. And it can actually be pretty damaging. Nail polish that’s chipping or lifting may be tempting to pry, but avoid doing this at all costs. Picking can weaken your natural nails. Plus, there’s always the risk of peeling a piece of the nail plate or cuticle off along with the polish. If you can’t seem to stop cuticle picking, there are nail products like bitter-flavoured nail polish to make picking habits more off-putting.
- Keep them protected
One easy trick for how to keep cuticles from peeling is to keep them protected. Chemicals, harsh weather conditions, and excessive handwashing can all contribute to dry, peeling cuticles. Limit the exposure your cuticles have to drying products like hand sanitizer and nail polish remover. When handling household chemicals, throw on a pair of rubber gloves to shield your cuticles while cleaning. Similarly, in the wintertime, protect your hands with gloves when outdoors.
- Do a cuticle treatment
Need a heavy-duty solution to how to fix peeling cuticles? Try a DIY cuticle treatment. You can create a topical cuticle cream by microwaving a 1/3 cup of hand cream, a few splashes of olive oil, and three to four drops of lavender oil. When your mixture is warm (but not hot), apply a healthy amount to each finger for extreme hydration. Or you can take it to the pros and indulge in a hot wax treatment to rehydrate your hands and cuticles.
- Practice good nail care
Prevention is the best way to fight off skin peeling on fingers near nails for the long haul. All in all, good nail care will prevent dry or peeling cuticles from occurring. Moisturizing should be a routine step in your nail care routine. But general nail maintenance is just as vital. Hydrating your body from within by drinking lots of water and eating a balanced diet will support healthy nail growth and stop peeling from happening.
Should you cut cuticles?
Should I cut my cuticles? The age-old question. There’s no shame in wondering, and it’s frequently asked. But according to dermatologists, it’s best to keep your cuticles intact. Think of the cuticle as a barrier. Cuticles protect new nail tissue as it grows beneath the nail. Removing them can create a pathway for irritation or infection, defeating their natural function’s purpose.
Should you push your cuticles back?
Instead of cutting your cuticles, push them back! Gently pushing your cuticles back is a safer alternative to cutting them off. But why should you push your cuticles back, and what does it do? Pushing your cuticles back clears dead skin cells from the nail’s surface. Once the cuticles are pushed back, nail products are able to bond fully to the nail plate rather than the cuticle, making manicures last longer.