|The bottom finger has a hangnail.|
Prevention and treatment
For home treatment, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends washing the hands, clipping the loose piece of skin with a clean nail clipper or nail scissors, and applying over-the-counter antibiotic ointment if the area appears inflamed. Persistent hangnails should be evaluated by a physician.
Hangnails can become infected and cause paronychia, a type of skin infection that occurs around the nails. Treatments for paronychia vary with severity, but may include soaking in hot salty water, the use of oral antibiotic medication, or clinical lancing. Paronychia itself rarely results in further complications but can lead to abscess, permanent changes to the shape of the nail or the spread of infection.
Popular Culture References
- Hangnail, The Free Dictionary
- Treating a Hangnail - Topic Overview, WebMD
- Thomas P. Habif; M. Shane Chapman; James G. H. Dinulos; Kathryn A. Zug (4 September 2017). Skin Disease E-Book: Diagnosis and Treatment. Elsevier Health Sciences. ISBN 978-0-323-44223-7.
- Hangnails, American Academy of Dermatology
- Paronychia, MedLine Plus
- Sick, By Shel Silverstein, Poets.org
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