How to Get Rid of Hangnails Without Clippers

Hangnails are torn pieces of skin that hang next to the nails. They are parts of the skin that are dried up and slightly raised around the cuticle. This dead skin is usually still connected to the skin base and can cause pains when pulled or tugged. Even though they have been named “hangnails”, they are not a part of the nails. Hangnails are more common on the fingernails than the toes though you can get them from time to time. If they are not treated immediately or torn off by force, you stand a risk of being infected.

Hangnails are usually caused when the skin is dry, especially during the dry season. Those who habitually bite their nails, they also stand a risk of having hangnails all the time. When you have hangnails, the perfect thing for you to do will be to properly treat them to get rid of them instead of tearing them off. However, there are days when you do not have a clipper around to use, so how do you get rid of your hangnails then? Here are some of the tips on how to get rid of hangnails without clippers.

How to Remove Hangnails Without Clippers

If treated poorly or torn off, hangnails can become infected and become more trouble than it’s worth. One of the ways you can avoid this is by treating them right. Sometimes you might need your clippers to get rid of a hangnail, but there are times you do not need one. So how do you go about it?

1. Sanitize Your Hands First

There is nothing more than putting you at risk of infection than an unsanitized hand. So first things first, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to sanitize the affected area.

This will also soften the affected area and the hangnail you need to remove. You can also apply oil or petroleum jelly to the area carefully in a circular motion. This treatment makes it easier to get rid of the hangnail.

2. Use the Epsom Salt Soak

The Epsom Salt Soak can help you to get rid of hangnails and even prevent hangnails without using clippers or your teeth. Convenient right?

What You Need: A small bowl, a teaspoon of Epsom Salt, Aloe Vera gel, and Yoghurt.

How To Use: Add your Epsom Salt, Aloe Vera gel, and Yoghurt into the bowl and mix thoroughly. After mixing, slather the mixture on the affected area. Keep doing this until the hangnail is gone.

The Epsom Salt Soak will ensure that all the hangnails are removed, and your skin can heal without any infection. This mixture can also be used continually to prevent the growth of hangnails on your fingers and toes.

This method also makes it painless and easier to solve your problem. It is also very healthy, and you do not have to risk infection from unsterilized nail clippers or wounds. During this time, avoid tugging at the hangnail to risk infection of the affected area.

You can check this NeeVow video tutorial  for more details.

3. Disinfect Your Cuticle Nippers or Nail Clippers

Another way you can get rid of hangnails is by using cuticle clippers or nail clippers. Your clippers or nippers need to be very sterilized before use. Dirty or rusty clippers can put the affected area at risk of infection. Instead, soak your clippers in disinfectant and water for a couple of minutes, leave them to dry, then clean them with rubbing alcohol. This will kill all the germs and get rid of the dirt.

4. Soak Your Fingers

After disinfecting your nippers or clippers, disinfect your hands too. To cut off the hangnail easily, you must soak your fingers or toes first. Soak for about 10 minutes in warm water. The warm water will help your nails soften and be easy to cut. You can also add mineral oil or olive oil to give your skin extra moisture during the soak.

5. Clip Your Hangnail

Make use of your clippers to cut off the hangnail. Carefully cut as close to the edge of the hangnail as possible. This makes it very short of catching on your hair, clothes, etc. Do not tear or pluck the hangnail. This can break your skin at the base and irritate the affected area. It may also cause bleeding and infection.

Ensure that you do not cut more than the hangnail. A deep cut can easily get infected and worsen the situation. If you cut off the hangnail without drawing blood, continuously moisturize the area with oil.

6. Get an Antibiotic Cream and Rub on it

Ensure you rub antibiotic cream on it every day for the following few days. This will help it to heal nicely without infection. You can also wrap the area with a bandage in the case of a deep cut. This will help to keep the infection out.

Causes Of Hangnails

Different things cause hangnails, but it is important to know them to prevent them.

1. Dry Air

When the weather is dry, it is very easy for the skin on the fingers and toes to get dry, thereby causing hangnails. Therefore, it is better to watch out for dry weather to keep the fingers and toes moisturized.

2. Using Alcohol-based Sanitizers

Even though we cannot do without them, sanitizers can cause hangnails on your fingers, especially alcohol-based ones. Therefore, after using sanitizers, it is advised to find a way to keep your fingers moisturized.

3. Constant Hand Washing

While handwashing is important, it can also cause dry skin. Sometimes washing plates and doing the laundry using bare hands can also contribute to dry skin.

4. Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency

Malnutrition can also be an active cause of hangnails that you get all the time. For example, when you are folic acid and vitamin C deficient, you will frequently get hangnails on your fingers and toes.

How To Prevent Hangnail Infection

In situations where you still get hangnails and you are unable to prevent them, you should do the following to avoid infection of the hangnail. This infection usually occurs when bacteria or fungus get under your nails.

Some of the symptoms are; redness, swelling, pain, bleeding, and even pus. To prevent a hangnail from getting infected;

1. Avoid Peeling the Hangnail

Do not peel the hangnail with your fingers or teeth. Avoid touching it if possible. You can wrap it with a band-aid until you are ready to cut it off. Peeling it can cause the skin to be exposed and get the affected area infected.

2. Avoid Leaving Your Hands Wet

Whether you like it or not, it is highly likely to get infected if not properly cared for when you get hangnails. During this time, avoid contacting your hands wet. Wet hands can breed bacteria or fungus in the affected area. Therefore, until you treat your hangnail, it is advised you avoid getting wet hands all the time.

3. Keep Your Hands Moisturized

Moisturizing your hands constantly will keep the hangnail soft and easy for you to cut off. It will also make it less likely to catch your clothes and hair, thereby tearing it. In addition, Moisturizing keeps you from the pain that comes with hangnail seeing things and is an easier way to prevent infection.

One vital thing to know is that you tend to have fewer hangnails if your fingers and cuticles are always moisturized. You can get a bottle of hand cream that you can go around with and ensure that you constantly moisturize your fingers with it.

Also, always massage the cuticles so that they remain soft. This will prevent hangnails and keep your hands soft. It makes your fingernails also grow correctly, and your nails look great.

4. Avoid Cutting Your Cuticles

Avoid cutting your cuticles, Your cuticles serve as a barrier between your skin and bacteria. Cutting them means you’re opening up your nails for infection. You can always apply Hand cream or cuticle cream, gently push your cuticles back in, and you are good to go. If you have problems doing this, you can easily get a manicure to solve the problem.

5. Wear Gloves When Doing House Chores

Whenever you are doing house chores, especially those involving you dipping your hands in water constantly, always use gloves. The gloves will help protect your hands and the skin from getting dry. In addition, this will prevent hangnails on your fingers.

6. Stay Nourished

Deficiencies can cause hangnails too. For example, Folic Acid and Vitamin C deficiencies can cause constant hangnails.

In case you have adhered to all the above instructions, and you still have hangnails, you can check if you are malnourished and deficient in folic acid and vitamin C. Make sure you always eat food and fruits that will nourish your body, especially your fingernails and give your body Folic Acid and Vitamin C.

Why do I always get hangnails?

When your body doesn't produce enough oil to keep the skin around your finger tips moisturized, you will start to have hangnails. This is your body's way of telling you that your hands need some extra attention. My advice is to moisturize them daily.


Hangnails are not so hard to treat, and they are treatable if you do not have clippers or cuticle nippers handy. They can also be prevented if your hands are given the proper treatment. So, the next time you have a hangnail, you can easily take care of it without the clippers.

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