Q:

Why do my cuticles crack and bleed?

A:

Quick Answer

Cracked, bleeding cuticles are caused by dryness, according to More Nature. Dryness can be caused by a multitude of factors, including cold weather, frequent hand washing, dehydration and manual labor.

Know More
Why do my cuticles crack and bleed?
Credit: Linda Steward E+ Getty Images

Full Answer

Cuticles are an essential part of the skin, and serve as a protective barrier for the nail. Therefore, they should be treated with care to prevent cracking and bleeding. "A good moisturizer for the cuticles is important, just like for dry skin," says Richard Scher, M.D., dermatology professor at Cornell University. Dermatologists recommend using vitamin E oil or shea butter cream to treat cracking or bleeding cuticles, according to Oprah.com.

Cutting damaged cuticles is not recommended. "If you remove the cuticle, that space is wide open, and anything can get in there," says Scher, according to WebMD. In addition to increasing the likelihood of bacterial infection, cutting cuticles can also lead to other nail problems like white lines, white spots, or ridges across the nail bed. Moreover, cuticles that are cut become hardened and dry, making them more likely to crack and split, creating a never-ending cycle of re-cutting to maintain a neat appearance. Instead, dermatologists recommend gently pushing cuticles back with a cuticle stick. Regularly moisturizing hands, wearing gloves when doing chores or washing dishes and regular manicures are other effective ways to prevent dry, cracked cuticles.

Learn more in Skin Conditions

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Are fever blisters contagious?

    A:

    Also called cold sores, fever blisters are caused by herpes simplex virus, which makes them highly contagious. The blisters usually affect the gums, the lips or other parts in the mouth.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Are warts contagious?

    A:

    Warts, caused by the human papillomavirus virus, are contagious, according to KidsHealth. Once someone catches the virus, through contact with an infected person's wart, or a towel, surface or other object that came in contact with the wart, they can catch the human papillomavirus virus (HPV).

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes ringworm?

    A:

    According to Mayo Clinic, ringworm is caused by mold-like parasites that live on the cells in the outer layers of the skin. Ringworm develops on the top layer of the skin and appears as a red circular rash with clearer skin in the middle.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do warts come from?

    A:

    According to WebMD, common warts are caused by viruses in the human papillomavirus, or HPV, family. A wart is created when the virus invades the outer layer of skin, usually through a tiny scratch or cut in the skin.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore