As you now know, it's pretty easy to get hangnails. The good news is that preventing them can also be a snap. In fact, most of the things useful in hindering hangnails are probably already in your home.
One quick and easy preventative measure you can take is to moisturize your hands. If you are prone to hangnails, try applying a lotion or hand crème to your nail beds two to three times a day. Because moisturizing your nail beds helps your nails and your cuticles as well, this simple step can have a big impact on your overall nail health [source: Mayo Clinic].
If you are a nail biter or tend to pick at or bite your cuticles, perhaps it's time to call it quits. Nail biting not only contributes to hangnails, but it also increases your chances of developing an infection or warts. In addition, you can transfer viruses and bacteria that are on your fingers directly into your mouth, leading to illnesses such as colds or flu, or other nasty problems [source: Gibson].
If you're looking for a good excuse to get a manicure once and a while, you've got it! Regular nail maintenance can go a long way toward preventing hangnails. If you give yourself regular manicures, take care not to cut your cuticles. Cut your nails straight across and finish off by gently filing the ends to achieve a slightly rounded corner. If you don't trust yourself with the orange stick, treat yourself to a professional manicure. A short soak in cuticle oil, which is standard practice for most manicurists, can help moisturize the nail bed, also preventing hangnails. In addition, a trained professional can ensure that your nails are trimmed properly and your cuticles are pushed back, not cut [source: Bruno].
If it's too late to avoid a hangnail, don't despair. Instead, visit the next page to learn about treatment options.