Polish and Pearls

Why Do My Cuticles Itch?

You pamper your nails every month, but do you also pay attention to your cuticles? Sadly, cuticles are the part of your nails that are often overlooked and even taken for granted. What most people don’t realize is that your cuticles are the ones that determine how healthy your nails are. If you leave your cuticles unkempt, it will make you end up with crusty and dry nails.

Why Do My Cuticles Itch?

But have you noticed how your cuticles itch? Why do your cuticles itch in the first place?

Itchy cuticles can actually mean a few things. First is when you cut them off or you failed to clean them. To prevent irritation and itchiness, you need to avoid cutting them, keep them moisturized, and follow proper manicure hygiene.

Continue reading below to know everything about cuticles, why they itch, and more:

The Cuticle Basics

Cuticles serve the purpose of serving as your nails’ protection from different types of fungus or bacteria. These also help fight off infections.

Cuticles are described as the dead skin found at the base of your fingernails and toenails. These serve as the barrier at the base of the nails to prevent infections.

You might not know it, but cuticles are very delicate parts of your nails. They can get itchy, cracked, or dry very fast. If your cuticles are unhealthy, you might risk suffering from different nail diseases. By taking proper care of your cuticles every day, you can be sure that they will also continue doing their job of keeping you healthy.

Top Reasons Why Your Cuticles Itch

Cuticles are the super sensitive smallest parts of your nails. Due to their sensitivity, cuticles also happen to be the main cause of nail problems. This means that the moment they start to itch, it indicates that you are also dealing with a serious problem.

What causes itchy nails, then? Here are some of the reasons why this itchy problem occurs:

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions are some of the most common reasons why cuticles become irritated. Your nails are exposed to different things. During a manicure session, for instance, there are 10 to 12 products applied to your nails. A product or two out of all these products can cause skin irritation.

When irritation occurs, both your nails and cuticles will turn red, with the allergy making your cuticles itchy. These allergic reactions can be the result of excessive use of nail products or the use of products of low quality. These two can cause damage to the skin below and make it itchy.


If your cuticles are dried up, this can also lead to itchiness. This drying up occurs if you don’t moisturize your cuticles properly. It is basically the consequence of ignoring your cuticles. Your cuticles turn dry and wrinkled that look the same as dead tree roots.

Once your cuticles start itching, the itchiness can spread to your nails, and this problem can get serious if you simply ignore it.


Infection is another common reason why your cuticles itch. While long nails may look gorgeous, especially when painted in exciting colors, there are also several disadvantages associated with them.

For starters, long nails tend to hold bacteria and other dirt in them that may go unnoticed. However, things can become an issue once you cut your nails.

Every time you trim your nails or even your hangnails, there is the possibility that you will cut your nails a bit to expose the skin underneath. The bacteria that got stuck in your long nails might end up entering this new open cut.

These dreaded bacteria will slowly start to multiply in numbers. This can make the nail problem worse, and your cuticles will also suffer as a result, making them itch.

After Manicure

One possible explanation for the cuticles itch after manicure is the use of acrylic nails and gel nails. Acrylic nails are made from a mixture of monomer and polymer. The monomer is liquid and the polymer is solid.

When these two components are mixed together, they create a hard plastic that can be shaped and sculpted to form fake nails. One potential side effect of using acrylic nails is that they can cause your natural nails to become brittle and dry.

The chemicals in the acrylic nail mixture can also seep into your cuticles, causing them to become dry, cracked, and itchy. If you are experiencing this type of discomfort after getting a manicure, try using a moisturizing cream or lotion on your cuticles several times a day until the itching subsides.

Tips to Prevent Itchy Cuticles

Now that you know why your cuticles itch, it’s time to put an end to the problem using the following tips:

Try DIY Solutions

DIY solutions are great options to try whether your cuticles itch because of an allergic reaction, bacterial infection, or dryness. Several mixtures can work wonders when it comes to relieving itchy cuticles. These include honey and banana mixture, oats and milk mixture, and oil mixture.

Use Warm Water for a Pampering Hand Soak

If your cuticles are itchy because of an infection, a warm soak might just be the solution you need. Prepare a bowl and fill it with 2 cups of warm water. Add a teaspoon of salt and stir it slightly. Put 3 to 4 drops of chamomile tea into the mix and stir everything together.

Soak your hands in the mixture, especially the infected nail. Repeat this process three times a day. Doing so will help calm your cuticles and encourage the healing process to stop the itching. Salt acts as a bacterial agent while chamomile treats the irritation.

You can soak your hands in the mixture for only 10 minutes per session. You don’t have to wash your hands after the soak. Instead, just let your fingers dry naturally. You can also grab a clean towel and use it to lightly wipe your fingers.

Ditch the Fake Nails

If you’re wearing acrylic nails and your cuticles are itchy, you might need to ditch your fake nails which could be the culprit behind the allergic reaction.

Be sure to remove your acrylic nails right away once your cuticles start itching before they end up damaging your cuticles further and making the problem worse.

Just so you know, acrylic nails contain chemicals that can be dangerous. If your skin is sensitive, your fake nails might be causing you some issues. Remove your acrylic nails carefully, wash and dry your hands afterward.


Make sure you moisturize not only your nails but also your cuticles. There are solutions available in stores or you can also try your own DIY solutions for utmost moisturization.

The next time your cuticles itch, avoid the temptation of rubbing them. Determine the true cause of your itchy problem and try any of the remedies above.