Currently I’m sporting an excellent torn cuticle on my right hand which snags annoyingly and painfully on insignificant jutting things. It looks horrible and is probably allowing bacteria and fungi to pour into my hand. It feels like a symptom of poor health but is more than likely a sign of failure to moisturise. My daughter has twice ignored a torn cuticle at her peril and ended up on antibiotics.
I consulted both the local chemist and the local beautician. The solution is twofold: prevention and treatment. You prevent a torn cuticle by moisturising your nails and cuticles and by keeping your cuticles trimmed. You can buy cuticle trimmers and gougers and pushers back but I didn’t because the thought of trimming and gouging and pushing made me feel ill. Instead I bought a product called Cutipeel which contains silica beads to exfoliate and lavender oil to soothe. I also bought a cuticle massage cream containing vitamin E and jojoba oil for for the constant massaging nails and cuticles demand. The beautician recommended for the same purpose Avoplex nail and cuticle replenishing oil which is apparently a wonder product if used twice a day.
Should you have a torn cuticle, under no circumstances must you chew or tear at the skin, however anxious you are. You immediately treat the tear with an antibacterial cream and a Bandaid and, if you must put your hands in water for any length of time, wear rubber gloves. Continue to massage with antibacterial cream until the tear has healed then you can use any of the above products to stop it happening again. But not just for a week. A cuticle is for life in some form or another and the best form if you ask me is out of sight so out of mind.