Burrs: causes and elimination
With burrs faced at least once in a lifetime, even the most carefully groomed hands. Therefore, today I will tell you how to prevent the appearance of hangnails, and how to treat those that already exist.
Nail care is more important than you think. Not only do nails protect the delicate tips of fingers and toes, but it can also tell you about the general state of our body. Neglecting and ignoring the signals that our nails give us can destroy the aesthetic appeal of our hands and, more importantly, even threaten our health. Are burrs one of those signals? Today I will tell you about it!
What is a burr?
Even though burrs seem to be directly related to nail problems, it's more related to the cuticle. A burr is a piece of skin that separates at the edge of your cuticle.
Burrs are easy to identify. After all, these are just pieces of torn skin around the nails. Generally, burrs are fairly asymptomatic unless it become infected.
Sometimes the burrs can come off and bleed. Through a break in the skin, various pathogenic microorganisms can enter our body, which can cause an infection. And if the burrs become infected, the symptoms may worsen.
Infected burrs lead to paronychia - inflammation of the periungual fold, and can manifest itself in this way:
- Redness and swelling around an infected hangnail
- Pain sensations. The pain can range from mild to throbbing and unbearable.
- Feeling of warmth around the nail
- Purulent blisters if the infection is particularly advanced
Although all of the symptoms I have described are localized in and around the fingers, if the hangnail is severely infected, bacteria can find the way to other parts of the body as well.
If you have diabetes, the infection can spread beyond the fingers very quickly, so you must be extra careful.
Causes of burrs
Have you noticed the fact that most often burrs appear in winter, and not in summer? Why do you think? Well, the answer is pretty simple. Humidity in the winter months is lower than in summer. This is the same reason why hand skin dries out in winter. Air dries out the skin around nails and can cause hangnails.
Another common cause for hangnails is the bad habit of biting your nails. If you bite your nails, along with your nails, you risk tearing off part of the skin.
Another cause of burrs is chemicals. We use a ton of chemicals every day, such as detergents, nail polishes, hand sanitizers, and more, which can dry out the skin around the nails and cause burrs. Even pool bleach can dry out your skin and speed up the formation of hangnails.
Sometimes, it can also be affected by a bruise or injury.
Now that we have learned the causes of burrs, let's see how to deal with this.
How to get rid of burrs?
Instinctively, you may be tempted to tear off or chew off the burr. But don't do it!! There are many ways to get rid of burrs in a gentler and safer way. Let's look at some of them:
1. Soak your fingers in warm water
As I said earlier, lack of moisture and dryness are the main cause of burrs. Soaking your fingers in warm water can help the skin around your nails get much-needed moisture. Once the burr has softened, you can trim it neatly. If you have a large hangnail that is bleeding, cover it with a Band-Aid to prevent infection.
2. Moisturize your hands
To prevent future hangnails, apply cream, oil, or lotion to your hands as often as possible. This will moisturize the skin and prevent it from drying out even in the harshest winters.
Coconut oil has excellent emollient, antiseptic, soothing and moisturizing properties and is an excellent choice in this case. Just apply a few drops of oil to your fingertips. This will not only soften existing burrs, but will also help prevent them from forming in the future.
3. Eat Right
Proper nutrition is the key to a healthy and fit body. It may surprise you, but diet also has a big impact on the occurrence of hangnails. Despite the fact that nails are essentially a collection of dead cells, they also need nourishment. The content of iron, calcium and vitamin B in the diet will favorably affect the health and beauty of your nails, as well as the area around them.
4. Hydrate From Within
If your body is dehydrated, the skin around your nails also begins to dry out quickly. Drink 1.5-2 liters of pure water a day and you will notice positive changes in your appearance.
5. Use antibacterial ointment
If you accidentally plucked a hangnail and it hurts and bleeds, apply antibacterial ointment to the affected area and cover it with adhesive tape.
Burrs in children
Unfortunately, our children are not immune from the problems of the appearance of burrs. If a child has barbs, then it is best to immediately begin to take measures to eliminate it, because it is more difficult for a child to explain that barbs cannot be torn off or gnawed off. For the treatment of hangnails in children, it is better to use natural remedies and treat the damaged area with coconut oil, or tea tree oil.
To prevent burrs in children encourage your child not to bite, pick, or chew their nails. Instead, cut your nails short, but don't touch your cuticles.
Burrs on the legs
Although not as common as on the hands, burrs can also occur on the toes. Since the toes are mostly covered by shoes, they are less likely to suffer from lack of moisture. However, if there is a burr on the foot, it is more likely to cause infection, due to its proximity to dirt.
In fact, there is not much difference between a burr on a finger and a burr on a toe. Therefore, the tips that we discussed a little higher will be quite effective in this case as well. However, because the skin around the toes is rougher and thicker, it should be moisturized more frequently.
As far as prevention is concerned, burrs on the legs can be prevented if properly cared for. Trim your nails frequently, keep your feet moisturized, and wear proper shoes that will keep your feet comfortable.
I hope that the information in this article has helped you better understand the problem of burrs, and they will be a thing of the past.