We do so much with our hands that our cuticles often become neglected in the process. We tend to only think of our cuticles when we get manicures and often worry about their appearance. Cuticles, however, serve an important purpose that’s greater than simply making our nails look nice.
Cuticles are a part of the skin. They sit on top of newly grown nails and protect them from infections. That’s why it’s important that we not only take care of our hands but our cuticles too.
What Are Cuticles?
The cuticle is a layer of clear skin positioned along the bottom edge of your fingernail or toe. This section of your nail is referred to as the nail bed. The purpose your cuticles serve is to protect your new nail growth (the part that grows from the nail root). The area around the cuticle is quite sensitive; your nails can become dry, damaged and even infected, so it’s imperative to tend to the entire area of your nail and keep the cuticles well-cared for.
When we often talk about cuticles, we get them confused with the half-moon shape seen at the base of the nail, but that area is actually called the nail lunula, located right above the nail cuticle.
Taking care of your cuticles is important because it can lead to beautiful, stronger and healthier nails. If you don’t, you risk the chance of developing a nail infection.
Tips to Healthier Cuticles
Follow these simple tips to make sure your cuticles remain in tip-top shape:
1. Don’t Cut Your Cuticles
Cutting your cuticles can increase your risk of developing an infection. If your cuticles are the first line of defense against bacteria, cutting them off would be like leaving an open door and inviting bacteria in.
Cutting the cuticles also makes them harder and more likely to crack and split off, so push them back, instead, with a wooden orange stick.
2. Moisturize the Cuticles
Although it may not look like it, your cuticles are made primarily of skin, so it’s imperative to keep them hydrated. Cuticles can become dry, peel, and crack just like the skin does, so try to use any skin moisturizer or a natural body butter to moisturize them.
3. Don’t Bite Your Nails
Not only is biting your nails bad for their appearance, but it can potentially cause an infection. The human mouth is full of bacteria — at least 100 different types of species — and can be potentially dangerous for compromised cuticles.
Become Your Own Manicurist
By following some of the tips shared above and dedicating greater attention to your cuticles, you can ensure you protect and support your nails and cuticles. You will notice that when you consistently tend to your cuticles, your nails will look and feel so much healthier.
How to soften cuticles?
You can easily soften your cuticles by placing them under hot or warm water and moisturizing them with your favorite lotion.
How can you care for your cuticles?
Caring for your cuticles is fairly simple; avoid cutting them and ensure you are moisturizing them on a daily basis.