What Are Cuticles?

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Cuticles are the you-shaped membrane that joins the base of the nail to the skin on the exterior with the end of the nail embedded inside the skin. Cuticles are situated above the nail root from where the nail commences to grow and mainly function as a protective layer for the newly grown nail, helping to keep out dirt and bacteria.

When the cuticles become dry and start breaking off it leads to a condition known as hangnails. One can treat this condition by regularly moisturizing the nails and cuticles and after they have grown sufficiently by grooming them occasionally; however one should never try to cut the cuticles which may cause infection and in some cases bleeding.

There are various moisturizing oils and creams that one can use; healthy cuticles lead to beautiful nails and as such need to be cared for. Also while polishing nails care should be taken to avoid putting them on the cuticles which in addition to not looking good also may be a cause for irritation.      

The tough exterior covering of invertebrate creatures like earthworms is also called as cuticle.

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