Cuticle Care

The human fingernail is composed of many parts, perhaps none more difficult to care for than the cuticle. As any beautician knows, the cuticle is the thick layer of skin surrounding the fingernail. Scientists, however, refer to the dead cells at the proximal end of the nail (the end that connects to the body) as the eponychium. However you describe it, experts agree that proper cuticle care will lead to healthier and more beautiful nails.

Cuticle Care

Cuticles are made from tough but flexible protein cells called keratin. To find the cuticle, look at the fingernail, noticing the slightly raised material where the fingernail joins with the skin of the finger. That is the cuticle.

Dermatologists and nail care experts agree that the cuticle protects bacteria, yeast, and fungus from entering the space between the finger and the skin. But these same problems can lead to infections of the cuticle itself if it is not properly cared for. To prevent infections, it’s best not to cut the cuticle and break its protective barrier. Instead, rely on proper grooming to maintain cuticles, allowing for softer, more attractive nails.

There are many cuticle products to treat nails with, including oils to hydrate, creams to moisturize, and removers to help gently remove cuticles.

Like most things to do with the body, a proper diet will aid in overall nail health. A healthy diet for nails would include foods rich in vitamins A and B, calcium, folic acid, silicon, biotin, sulfur, and essential fatty acids.