The Answer: First, let us blow your mind: Hangnails aren't nails. They're made of damaged skin.
The backs of our hands have some of the most fragile, delicate skin anywhere on the body. That means they're particularly susceptible to getting cut when we do pretty much anything, from reaching into a gunked-up garbage disposal to getting our keys out of our handbags. A nick in the soft skin immediately around the cuticle (that semi-translucent curve of skin that hugs your nail) quickly dries out, becoming a hard protrusion-a hangnail that snags on stuff constantly and hurts like the dickens. Fingers have tons of nerve endings, which is what makes hangnails so exquisitely painful.
The best thing to prevent hangnails is keeping your skin moisturized and supple. WhenRead More »from What Causes Hangnails? (P.S. They're Not Actually Nails!)