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A hangnail or agnail (also known as a stepmother's blessing) is a small, torn piece of skin next to a fingernail or toenail. Unlike whitlows, hangnails are usually caused by dry skin or nail biting and may be prevented with proper moisturization of the skin.
The most common cause of hangnails is dry skin which can result from cold weather, harsh chemicals, or frequent submersion in water. Another common cause is nail biting which damages the nail beds.
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