Peeling cuticles can be unpleasant, often leading people to pull or cut them. However, since this can do more harm than good, you might want to try restoring your skin, first. Having that said, you may still be wondering why are your cuticles peeling in the first place? And how to stop cuticles from peeling? We’ve got As to your Qs!
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Why are my cuticles peeling?
The primary underlying reason for cuticle peeling is, in most cases, skin dehydration. The skin around your fingernails is more delicate and, so, more prone to damage. Here are a few factors that can lead to dry and peeling cuticles:
- Washing your hands too often and overly using hand sanitizer
- Harsh weather conditions (especially the cold)
- Improper diet or malnutrition
- Excessive use of nail polish and nail remover
- Not using protective gloves when using harsh chemicals
- Nail or cuticle biting
Typically, peeling cuticles are caused by dehydration and only require at-home care. However, if you notice swelling or inflammation, consult your doctor. This may mean you have an infection and will need to treat it with medication.
Should you cut cuticles?
Have you ever considered why we have cuticles in the first place? Well, cuticles act as a barrier between the nail matrix and harmful external factors, thus protecting it from dirt and bacteria. By cutting your cuticles, you risk opening that healthy barrier which may lead to an infection. That is why we strongly recommend you refrain from cutting them and switch to pushing them back instead.
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How to stop cuticles from peeling?
To stop cuticles from peeling, you need to assess the root of the problem. What is causing their peeling in the first place? Once you find the reason, avoid this harmful factor. This will allow you to prevent the issue in the future. As for immediate solutions, well, if your cuticles are peeling due to dryness, provide them with moisture.
Okay, so let’s talk specifics!
Prevent peeling cuticles
As we’ve already mentioned, finding out what is causing our peeling cuticles is one of the first steps you’ll want to take. You may not even be aware that your certain habits are to blame. That said, here’s what you’ll want to do:
- Invest in protective rubber gloves and wear them while doing the dishes (which can severely dehydrate your cuticles) and while tidying up, as chemicals found in cleaning products can irritate your skin.
- As harsh weather conditions can strongly impact your cuticles, remember to protect your hands, especially during the winter. Wear warm gloves and keep your hands in your pockets for extra warmth.
- Take a look at your dietary habits. Are you getting enough nutrients? If not, add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Also, opt for proteins, healthy oils, and whole grains. Moreover, since your cuticles are most likely in desperate need of moisture, remember to hydrate your body from within, so drink plenty of water.
- Consider taking a break from manicures. Poking and interfering with already sensitive cuticles can further worsen their state. Give your nails and cuticles time to heal.
- Finally, if you are a cuticle picker or biter, we strongly encourage you to stop. Physical trauma caused by picking or biting can lead to peeling, dehydration, and even infection. For those having a hard time shaking this unhealthy habit, you can try using ill-tasting nail polish or cotton gloves if you work from home.
Moisturize your cuticles
Now that we’ve established what you need to avoid let’s consider methods to provide your peeling cuticles with that much-needed hydration. These include:
- Religiously use a hand and nail moisturizer as often as possible, and then remember to apply it before bed.
- Start using cuticle oil or olive oil. These oils not only can target your cuticles specifically, but they also provide immediate relief. Most cuticle oils absorb quickly, but if yours needs some extra time, apply it before going to sleep, allowing it to work its magic during the night.
- Treat your cuticles, and yourself, to a paraffin wax treatment. This treatment will moisturize your skin, making it softer and smoother at the same time. Finally, the warmth of the wax will increase blood circulation, thus keeping your skin healthy.