The anatomical term for the human cuticle is the Epichomium. The cuticle is the thin layer of skin that forms a ridge around the base of the fingernail. It is actually a protective layer of dead skin cells.
Why is the cuticle the frequent target of compulsive skin pickers?
- The cuticle skin is ridged and more tempting to pick at
- The fact that the skin on the cuticle is dead means it is painless to pick — at least superficially
The cuticle functions much like a tight weather seal on a window or door frame — it insulates the soft skin underneath the nail (the nail bed) from the often rough conditions of day-to-day work that you do with your hands.
Some keys to cuticle care:
- Keep your cuticles moist (but not saturated) — Go easy on nail polish remover and use moisturizer after every hand washing — especially during dry season
- Wear rubber gloves when cleaning up (harsh cleansers harm cuticles)
- Make sure your nail salon sterilizes their instruments and keeps the shop very clean (keeps communicable fungus not among-us
- Don’t PICK THEM!!!
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