How to Clear Up Severe Cracks Around the Fingernails

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Severe cracks around your fingernails can be painful -- and even if they aren’t, they look bad and can make you feel embarrassed. There are a lot of ways to treat those Sahara-like cracks, and in most cases, they will go away soon. So don’t stress -- just find a way to fix the problem.

Burdock Root Extract

Burdock root is what it sounds like – a boring brown root that grows in the ground. But it’s an amazing moisturizer, and it’s commonly used in commercial products such as day cream and moisturizers, especially those geared toward the natural beauty market. Look for a cream or lotion that has burdock root among the top two or three in the ingredient list. If you’re on a D.I.Y. kick, you can get burdock root extract at health food stores or online. Mix it at a ratio of 1 part burdock root extract to 1 part coconut oil.

Rose Hip Seed Oil

You don’t hear much about rose hip seed oil, but its high fatty acid content helps to regenerate skin cells while calming irritation and moisturizing the skin. To use rose hip seed oil, pour a small amount on a clean cotton ball and gently dab it on the clean cracked skin around your fingernails two to three times daily. There’s no need to wash it off after you use it. If you live in a big city, you can probably find rose hip seed oil in a health food store. If not, buy therapeutic grade rose hip seed oil from a reputable company online.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is one of the best things you can use to clear up dry skin. It’s thick and viscous, sort of like mineral oil, but your skin will be able to absorb it better. If you choose to use mineral oil, invest in a pair of cheap cotton gloves so you can use the treatment at night to help seal in the moisture your skin needs. To use avocado oil, apply a small amount to the cracked skin with a clean cotton ball and put the gloves on your hands right before bed. That way your skin has all night to absorb all that moisture without it rubbing off on your pillows and sheets.


The most likely cause of cracked skin around your fingernails is simply dry skin. If you work with your hands a lot, a combination of dry skin and overworked hands is probably to blame. If you have severely cracked skin in other places as well and no over-the-counter remedies clear up your skin, see a dermatologist to make sure you don’t have a more serious skin condition.

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