Remedies for Hangnails: 4 Natural Options

Hangnails are small inflammations that form on the skin around the nails. Although they aren’t serious, they can be quite painful. In this article, discover remedies for hangnails.
Remedies for Hangnails: 4 Natural Options
Maricela Jiménez López

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Maricela Jiménez López.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

When nails become embedded in the skin or develop infections, it’s common to develop hangnails. This is a cosmetic problem characterized by inflammation of the skin surrounding the nails, both of the hands and feet. Do you know the remedies for hangnails?

Although the treatment for this condition involves proper nail trimming and the use of appropriate shoes, some natural solutions can speed up recovery. Their regular application favors the recovery of the affected skin and reduces the risk of infections. Discover them below!

4 natural remedies for hangnails

Most hangnails go away on their own without the need for treatment. In fact, they rarely cause complications such as severe pain or pus. But they do often cause inflammation, redness, and tenderness. Fortunately, you can relieve these discomforts with simple home treatments. Are you interested in trying them out?

1. Sea salt and lemon

A teaspoon of sea salt.
The combination of these two products creates an antiseptic and soothing remedy, with the ability to remove the dead skin that a hangnail causes.

The combination of sea salt and lemon is one of the best remedies for hangnails for various reasons. First of all, both ingredients are antimicrobial and antifungal, meaning that they help prevent nail and skin infections. On the other hand, they double as exfoliants, facilitating the removal of dead skin.


  • 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt (15 g)


  • Firstly, squeeze the juice out of the lemons and put it in a container.
  • Then, add the tablespoon of sea salt and mix.

How to use

  • Apply the remedy on the hangnail and leave on for 20 minutes.
  • Keep in mind that lemon can cause a little burning. However, don’t worry, as this burning disappears after a few minutes.
  • Repeat the remedy every day until your hangnail disappears.

2. Vicks VapoRub®

This popular mentholated ointment can help reduce hangnails thanks to its moisturizing and antiseptic effects. Applying it to the affected area soothes the burning and helps soften your skin. In fact, that’s why it supports the extraction of ingrown nails.

How to use

  • For starters, clean the surface of the hangnail with warm soapy water.
  • Dry yourself well and cover the area with some Vicks VapoRub®.
  • Leave on without rinsing and repeat the treatment every night before bed.

3. Aloe vera and tea tree essential oil

Aloe vera gel.
Its moisturizing properties allow you to remove the hangnail after its regular use.

This interesting remedy for hangnails combines the moisturizing and antimicrobial properties of aloe vera gel with the powerful antiseptic action of tea tree essential oil. For this reason, its regular use promotes the relief of inflammation and reduces the risk of infection.


  • 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel (40 g)
  • 4 drops of tea tree essential oil


  • Firstly, extract a couple of tablespoons of aloe vera gel.
  • Then, combine them in a bowl with the tea tree essential oil.

How to use

  • Rub the remedy on the hangnails two times a day.

Read on to learn more: 6 Recommendations for the Prevention Of Ingrown Hairs

4. Oregano essential oil

Another remedy for hangnails that helps prevent infections is oregano essential oil. Due to its antibacterial and antiseptic effects, it protects the affected area against pathogenic bacteria growth. In addition, its analgesic effect acts as a pain reliever in case of pain.


  • 5 drops of oregano essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (15 ml)


  • Firstly, combine oregano essential oil with a tablespoon of olive oil. You should note that you should avoid using it undiluted, as it can be a little aggressive on the skin.
  • If you don’t have a base oil on hand, mix it in warm water.

How to use

  • Clean the affected area and gently massage the remedy on your skin.
  • Leave on without rinsing and repeat its use two times a day.
  • Follow the treatment until your hangnail disappears.

Tips to supplement these remedies for hangnails

A woman who suffers from hangnails.
Keep an eye out for the shoes you wear every day and their daily hygiene if you have toenail hangnails.
  • Moisturize the cuticles every day and cut your toenails regularly, avoiding edges.
  • Wear shoes and socks made of materials that don’t increase sweating. Sometimes, hangnails and infections result from bacterial growth from moisture retention in the feet.
  • Clean your nails constantly.
  • Observe your hangnail and toenail hygiene every day for alarm signs. If you detect the hangnails early, you’ll avoid pain and swelling.
  • See your doctor in case of pus, bleeding, or other signs of infection.

Have you tried these remedies for hangnails yet? Don’t hesitate to use them the next time you detect this on your nails!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Proksch E, Nissen H, Bremgartner M, Urquhart C. Bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in atopic dry skin. International Journal of Dermatology. 2005;44(2):151-157.
  • Vicks VapoRub might help fight toenail fungus. Consum Rep. 2006 Mar;71(3):49.
  • Udgire MS, & Pathade GR. Antibacerial Activity of Aloe vera Against Skin Pathogens. American Journal of Ethnomedicine. 2014.
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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.