They do it all. They greet friends, prepare your meals and type your emails. What are you offering your hands in return? You rely on your hands for so many things, and all they ask in return is a little attention! Here are some tips for keeping your hands protected, happy and ready to serve you further!
Keep Them Clean…Gently!
Your hands touch so many different surfaces throughout a day. Exposure to germs, dirt, grease and harsh substances is all just part of the job. It’s important that you regularly wash your hands to prevent transference of germs that could be harmful to your health. Maybe pass on the lye soap. The skin on your hands might look tough, but is actually extremely sensitive and responsive to any treatment you subject it to.
- Use warm, not scalding, water. Warm water is sufficient in killing germs and bacteria, and will do less damage to the skin on your hands.
- Avoid harsh soaps. Soaps that are meant to be “heavy duty” aren’t necessary when washing your hands. Choose a nondrying, gentle soap.
- Pat or blot your hands dry. Roughly rubbing them can damage your top layer of skin.
Hydrate Your Hands
Depending on the level of dryness you’ve come to expect from your hands (dependent upon your skin’s natural tendencies, and the work you do) buy a moisturizer that can offer them appropriate relief. Smoother, softer hands are better for everyone!
- If you have extremely dry hands try a moisturizer that is oil based. Although it might take a little longer to absorb it will ultimately offer more moisture for longer.
- Lotions with a strong fragrance most likely contain a lot of perfumed chemicals that can irritate skin and cause allergic reactions.
Make A Point To Protect
If you regularly work your hands raw, provide them some form of protection. Leaving hands constantly exposed and vulnerable can cause unwanted side effects.
- When washing the dishes wear rubber gloves. You probably like to run the water pretty hot when washing and this way your hands don’t suffer from the temperature or the length of time exposed to water.
- If preparing highly acidic foods (e.g. onion, citrus) wear a pair of disposable gloves.
- Even if you don’t feel it necessary, wear gloves during cold weather. Your hands get colder faster than the rest of your body. Keeping them warm and the blood circulating is crucial.
Nails Need Love Too
Why not throw in a little extra care and attention for your nails? Generally keeping your nails well groomed, and protected can prevent any sort of negative side effects that nails are prone to.
- Don’t bite, don’t pick! Do what you need to to avoid these harmful habits.
- Keep nails trimmed. Long nails can break, damaging the nail bed.
- Use a non-acetone nail polish remover. Acetone is extremely drying and weakens the nail.
- Get a manicure! If the look of your nails pleases you you’re less likely to mistreat them and more likely to love them.
Dr. Scott Darling of the Healthy Skin and Vein Center knows that caring for your hands is just as crucial as caring for the rest of your skin and body.