Why do people get hangnails


Hangnails are a condition that occurs when the skin next the nail tears and protrudes outwards. The condition usually isn’t serious though it can become painful if the protruding hangnail becomes caught in fabric and tears the healthy skin adjoining it. The reasons for the occurrence of hangnails vary from person to person though there are plenty of common reasons for them.

Cold climate

The condition is more severe in the colder months simply because the skin is left drier during the colder months. With the skin unable to produce enough natural oils to keep the skin moisturized, hangnails may develop more easily during the colder months or in people that

Exposure to chemicals like soap and hand sanitizers

People that work with harsh chemicals are prone to getting hangnails as well. Some chemicals found in soaps and hand sanitizers etc. may have an adverse reaction on the nails and the skin right next to it which results in damage. If left untreated, the chemicals may slow down the self-healing process and leave the skin damaged and prone to hangnails.


Those who have their hands in water often and who don’t follow up every exposure to water with a liberal dose of hand lotion may also develop hangnails. This occurs when the water strips the moisture from the hands and nails.

Nail biting

A nail biter is more likely to nibble on hangnails protruding right by the nail. Since a nail biter derives satisfaction from the feeling of nibbling, they may not even realize when they have nibbled through a hangnail. This act exposes the skin around the nail to saliva which dries the skin out and causes hangnails.

Weak nail bed

A weak nail bed does not have enough moisture and nutrients to keep the skin around the nail supple and thus hangnails occur.