Cuticle scissors are small scissors used for trimming the dead skin around the base of the nail bed, the cuticle. They are necessary for proper skin care and to prevent infection if a hangnail develops. A hangnail is a torn strip of skin near the nail that can be very painful and can easily become infected.
Cuticle scissors, also known as cuticle trimmers, have extra sharp, curved blades to better fit the area around the nail. They are often used during manicures or pedicures once the cuticle has been gently pushed back with a cuticle stick, also called an orange stick. Some beauty experts say that you should cut your cuticles for a "perfect" manicure, while others say the cuticle should not be cut because it provides a barrier against infections. Ultimately, it remains your choice whether you trim your cuticles or not.
One suggested method is to spend a few weeks gently pushing back the cuticles with the cuticle stick. After a few weeks, you will see dried, dead skin pushed up around the nail bed, which most experts agree is safe to trim. In this way, you have less risk of cutting yourself and opening the skin to potential infections.
You should always sterilize cuticle scissors before using them. If you get manicures at a salon, be sure to check and verify that the cuticle scissors have been sterilized. A manicurist at a salon should never cut your cuticles enough to bleed, nor should you if you are giving yourself a manicure at home. If you do cut yourself, clean the cut thoroughly and apply antibiotic cream under a bandage.
If you want to give yourself a manicure at home, there are some general tips to follow. First, clean your hands thoroughly. Then file your nails in one direction only, without a back-and-forth motion. This prevents damage and cracking of the nail. You can then soak your nails in warm water or simply apply a cuticle cream to soften the cuticles and make them easier to push back and trim with cuticle scissors. Once this step is completed, you can apply your favorite color of nail polish. After the polish is dry, applying hand cream will soften the skin and keep hands looking nice.
Use your cuticle scissors only for your cuticles, so that they remain sharp. Use separate nail clippers and a nail file to trim your nails. Dull cuticle scissors can pull on the skin and cause damage; sharp scissors will clip the skin away neatly.