Hand & Nail Care
Wear rubber gloves lined with cotton when your hands are in contact with
harsh soaps, detergents or chemicals.
Wear gloves when doing work that might damage the hands or nails, such
as gardening or shovelling snow.
After washing your hands, pat dry and, while moist, use a moisturizer on
the hands, cuticles and nails. Chemically enhanced moisturizers that contain
urea of lactic acid are even more efficient in binding water to the skin (Uremol,
Calmurid, Lachydrin, Lacticare).
If your hands must be in and out of water frequently apply a silicone or
a similarly based protectant film that sheds water over the hands and nails
(Prevex, Atrixo, Barriere Cream).
If nails darken despite good cleansing habits, a drop of lemon oil
massaged twice weekly into the nail plate may work but must not be overdone
or irritation of the surrounding skin and drying of the nail plate may
Nail polish protects the nail from stains, physical trauma, and acts as
a barrier to chemicals. Use it but don`t overuse it or it may stain and dry
nails, particularly if nail polish hardeners are used frequently. A base
coat will allow your polish to last longer.
If your nails are dry, soak them for 10 minutes twice daily in warm
water, pat dry and immediately apply one of the chemically enhanced
moisturizers that contain urea, lactic acid or glycerin oil.
Sculpt and shape your nails by filling in one direction with a very fine
file. Avoid vigorous up and down or back and forth motions which may tear
apart the various layers of the nails. Avoid sharp angles. Attend to small
cracks, snags and breaks immediately.
Treat yourself to a weekly manicure if possible; it is relaxing and
keeps the nails healthy looking and attractive. Do not forget your toenails!
As they age, the nails thicken, grow more slowly, repair poorly and are
susceptible to various skin diseases. Watch for changes and see your
dermatologist early enough to treat problems.
Avoid digging blindly into a drawer or purse where a sharp object may
crack or break the nail or harm the delicate skin around the nail.
Avoid using the nails to do pick-up tasks. Use the soft ends of the
fingers rather that the fragile nail; they will soon chip and break if used
Avoid gluing on false or molded nails; allergic and painful reactions
may occur. "Mending paper" or tea-bag paper can be used to bridge large
Do not reapply nail hardener or polish more often than necessary; these
agents can discolor nails and make them brittle if overused. Try to repair
your manicure rather than replace it. Avoid chipping and peeling off nail
Do not bother adding gelatin and calcium supplements to an otherwise
well-balanced diet. They have no know positive effects on the nails despite
Do not use too much polish remover. Apply moisturizer after using nail
polish remover in order minimize the irritating and drying cation of the
Do not grow excessively long nails; they are too prone to breakage.
Wrapping nails is laborious and is difficult to do without help. Avoid
this technique unless your nails are particularly prone to breaking.
Do not push back your cuticles too vigorously or you will harm the
growing moon of the nail. Push them back only when the skin around the nails
is warms and wet and therefore softer and easier to manipulate.
Avoid applying sharp instruments under the nails. They might break the
nail to skin bond.
Do not ignore nails that separate from beds (it may be due to iron or
thyroid deficiency), nails that thicken (it may be fungus infection) or pit
(it may be psoriasis. See your doctor. The nail and skin reflect internal
well being or disturbance.
SOURCE: LOOK YOUNGER AT ANY AGE-Dr. Don Groot and Patricia