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A hangnail is a strip of skin that separates from the side of the cuticle. A torn hangnail may become tender and swollen, and infection may develop.

A hangnail may be treated at home by trimming the skin of the hangnail with a pair of clean scissors. A hangnail should not be bitten or pulled off, as the skin may tear.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised October 12, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 12, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.