How to remove a hangnail on a toe

Written by ava perez | 13/05/2017
How to remove a hangnail on a toe
Catch hangnails quick before they become painful and uncomfortable. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Nothing ruins a perfect pedicure like a pesky hangnail. These little flaps of skin are not just unsightly, they can actually cause a lot of pain if they catch on things and tear off. Hangnails are usually caused by a dry cuticle area or a nail biting habit. The best line of defence for hangnails is preventing them with good nail hygiene. Failing that, remove hangnails from your toes with extra care to avoid infection or discomfort.

Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol, then wipe the blades of nail scissor with the cotton. Alcohol disinfects the scissors to prevent infection after you snip the hangnail.

Fill a bowl with warm water and dip you toes into the bowl. Let your toes soak for 10 minutes. This softens the skin and makes it easier to take care of the hangnail.

Remove your toes from the water and dry them off.

Hold the toe firmly with one hand and lift the hangnail with the other. Gently pull it up from the skin.

Snip the hangnail at its base. Try to make the cut clean and quick. Don't pull or tug on the skin.

Soak another cotton ball in alcohol and wipe it over the cut area to clean it.

Massage moisturiser into the cuticle to soften the area and avoid further hangnails. Apply a bandage to keep the area clean and protected.


If hangnails become red and inflamed, see your doctor for assistance.

Tips and warnings

  • If hangnails become red and inflamed, see your doctor for assistance.

Things you need

  • Cotton ball
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Nail scissors
  • Bowl
  • Warm water
  • Towel
  • Moisturiser
  • Bandage

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