The cuticle is the part of your skin that overlaps the bottom edge of the nail, also known as the nail bed.
The cuticle protects the underlying tissue that grows new cells to build the nails. It also prevents bacterial infections when the new nail grows out of the nail bed. Taking proper care of your cuticles is essential for healthy and strong nails.
When the cuticle is damaged, bacteria and fungi get past the cuticle and cause infections. Some infections are excruciating and can lead to discoloration of nails. Sometimes this can also lead to the deformation of nails.
Cuticles - at Home Care
Take a bowl of warm water. Add two drops of olive oil and lavender oil to the water. Soak your hands for about five minutes. Gently dry them off with a towel. Push back your cuticles with a clean, soft cloth. Alternatively, you can buy an orange wood stick from the pharmacy to push back your cuticles.
You can also use a metal cuticle pusher with a small spoon shape at one end. Make sure that the metal cuticle pusher is sterilized to prevent infections.
There are many cuticle creams available on the market. Apply cuticle cream on your nails and massage it in and around your nails. Cuticle creams soften, nourish, and strengthen your cuticles.
Manicure at a salon
A manicure at a nail salon is an excellent way to take care of your cuticles. When the manicurist rubs cuticle cream and massages your nail, the cuticles get moisturized and smoothed. The cuticles get a boost from the cuticle cream and become resistant to cuts and tears.
If you go to a nail salon, choose a clean and hygienic salon to get your manicure done. This is very important to prevent infections.
Cuticle oil helps to nourish the cuticles and keep them from drying out and peeling. The oil also forms a protective barrier across the nail.
Cuticle oil is usually composed of fruit or nut oil such as olive, apricot, or almond. Wash hands and clean the nails and cuticles before applying cuticle oil. Then, gently massage the cuticle oil.
Cuticle oil also comes in the form of a nail oil pen with an easy-to-use applicator,
Cuticle Care-Do’s and Don'ts
Use moisturizing hand cream after a shower or even after washing your hands as this will keep the cuticles moisturized.
Wear gloves for protection when you are doing household chores like washing dishes or clothes. When the cuticles are in contact with water for a long time, they can easily be damaged.
If you are working with harsh chemicals, these may damage your hand and the cuticles on your nail. Wear gloves for protection.
Do not cut your cuticles even if your manicurist says it is okay. Cutting can damage your cuticles, leave openings for dirt and germs to get inside your cuticle, and can lead to severe and painful infections.
Do not bite your nails. Do not rip off the loose cuticles by biting them; it will lead to paronychia (an infection at the base of your nails).
The symptoms of paronychia are - swollen red areas around your nails, pockets of pus, severe pain, and irritation. Usually, soaking in warm water and applying an antibiotic cream helps kill the infection. If this does not work, consult a doctor.
Using a cuticle remover is a personal choice. However, cuticle removers have chemicals that can damage the cuticle.
Remember, the secret behind healthy nails is healthy cuticles. So, take care of your cuticles as you would your nail.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Nithya Venkat
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on October 30, 2012:
Rusticliving I really hope my suggestions help you and I do hope your nails turn out great. Do keep me posted. Thank you.
Nyamache cuticles should be taken care of to have great nails. Thanks for stopping by.
Liz Rayen from California on October 27, 2012:
I am one who desperately needs to take care of her nails. I'm a biter and I hate wearing gloves. However, I am going to follow your suggestions and see how my cuticles and nails react. Will keep you posted! Love the tips Vellur. Thumbs up and shared!
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on September 24, 2012:
Sunshine625 olive oil is magical in and out!!!
Docmo am glad my hub has reminded you to take care of your cuticles. A healthy cuticle, a healthy nail!! Take care. Thanks for stopping by.
Mohan Kumar from UK on September 23, 2012:
I needed this. Due to frequent handwashing my cuticles always seem to have little splits in them.. i do moisturise my hands but maybe not as often as I should! what an informative hub, Nithya, Thanks! voted up and tweeted.
Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on September 23, 2012:
Excellent tips Vellur! I use olive oil for my cuticles. It works great!
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on May 02, 2012:
When you push back your cuticles, the appearance of your nail is neat and the nailpolish looks perfect on your nails. If you are going to polish your nails with overgrown cuticles, the nail polish coating will not look smooth and neat. One thing to remember - never damage the cuticles while doing so. Do it gently in a way you do not damage your cuticles. Thank you for stopping by and your vote.
Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 02, 2012:
Vellur, nice informative and useful hub. Just one question-Why do the cuticles need to be pushed back? I've never done it and they are as healthy as ever!
Voted up, useful.
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on April 09, 2012:
Yoginjoy am glad you found my hub useful. Thank you for your vote too.
yoginijoy from Mid-Atlantic, USA on April 09, 2012:
Great topic! I need the input on these types of things. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful.
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on February 09, 2012:
DonnaCosmato am happy my hub has been of use to you. Thankyou for reading.
Donna Cosmato from USA on February 09, 2012:
Thanks for this timely advice; I've been struggling with this issue this winter.
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on January 24, 2012:
KrystalID am happy that you found my hub useful. Thanks for reading and the appreciation.
Krystal from Los Angeles on January 23, 2012:
My nails could really use some help! This was very practical and useful! Thanks for sharing :)
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on January 23, 2012:
Phyllis Doyle am happy my tips will help. Thanks for the appreciation.
Pollyannalana thanks for the appreciation and the vote. Take care of both your nails and cuticles. This way you will have great nails to boast off.
Pollyannalana from US on January 22, 2012:
Voted up, lot of good information! I have to keep my nails short or I end up breaking them, just do too much for long nails. I think maybe because all my teen and 20's I kept my cuticles pushed back and neat I never have any anymore to speak of. Glad of that...just another job! lol
Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on January 22, 2012:
Great advice and hub. I have always had problems with my cuticles and these tips will help. Thanks !
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on January 20, 2012:
debbie roberts thanks for reading and leaving a comment.
vmott am very happy my hub was useful to you. Thankyou for reading and the appreciation.
vmott from Ozark Mountains on January 20, 2012:
Oh how I needed this advice! Thank you!
Debbie Roberts from Greece on January 20, 2012:
Wearing gloves to protect hands is a top tip as sore dry hands aren't comfortable. Protective gloves needed be expensive either and a good way to keep hands looking nice, I couldn't do without mine.
A useful hub.