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How to remove a hangnail on a toe

Updated April 17, 2017

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.

Tip

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

Things You'll Need

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

Ava Perez cut her journalism teeth in 2005 while balancing her university studies with a voracious appetite for fashion, music and beauty. Her music reviews, interviews and editorials have been published in numerous magazines worldwide. She specializes in writing beauty, health and fitness-related articles for various websites. Perez holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from York University.