The cuticles bridge the fingers and toes with the nails. Most people do not experience any problem with their cuticles; however, some people tend to develop dryness of the cuticles and cracks.
The cuticle is a protective sheath which grows over the root of the nail. This is where the nail’s new cells develop; the new cells grow and then push out the existing nail, which is what causes the whitened, dead parts of the nail to grow and needs regular trimming.
Cuticles appear over the nail where the nail meets the flesh of your finger or toe. The size and thickness of the cuticle varies from one individual to another, and is based up on the size of the nail.
What Causes Dry Cracked Cuticles?
- Extreme dryness of the skin due to neglect is an important cause. It may be due to inadequate moisturization of the fingers and cuticles or because of dehydration.
- Prolonged exposure of the nails to water is another significant cause.
- Prolonged exposure of the fingers and toes to detergents and chemicals cause cracks in the cuticles too.
- A poor diet, lacking the essential vitamins, minerals and fatty acids and thyroid dysfunction also affect the cuticle.
- Occasionally, nail bed infection may cause dryness and cracking of the cuticles.
Home Remedies To Heal Cracked Cuticles
The following home remedies help keep your cuticles soft and healthy:
- Make sure you are well hydrated; drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
- Use a cuticle cream to keep the cuticles well moisturized and soft.
- Vinegar and lemon juice when applied to the dry, cracked cuticle helps peel off the dead cuticle naturally. It keeps the cuticles soft and healthy. Dip your fingers in a bowl of water, to which 1 teaspoon of vinegar and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice has been added. Keep your fingers soaked for 20 minutes. Thereafter, rinse with plain water and exfoliate the dead cuticles with sugar. Make sure you follow this ritual at least once a week.
- Vitamin E is the best for dry, cracked cuticles. Apply vitamin E oil on your fingers every night. It moisturizes and hydrates the cuticle, making them smooth and soft. Also, consuming plenty of seeds and nuts; they are packed with vitamin E.
- Olive oil is an excellent home remedy for dry cuticles. Massage well over the cuticles and the finger tips every night and wear mittens. Olive oil nourishes and hydrates the skin well, making your cuticles healthy and supple.
- Tea tree oil is recommended for those who have frequent nail bed infections. Blend 5 drops of tea tree essential oil with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and rub in to the fingers.
- Milk and honey is also advocated by a lot of experts. Milk also lubricates and softens the cuticles, preventing dryness and cracking. Likewise, honey nourishes the skin with the choicest of nutrients.
- Do not use nail polishes and nail hardeners; they cause dryness of the cuticles.
- Use a mild soap and after every hand wash try to rub on a moisturizer to banish dryness.
- Wear gloves whilst washing and doing all household work.
- Also, make sure that you eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and nuts. These are loaded with all the necessary vitamins and minerals which promise to keep your nails and cuticles healthy.