|Hand Care -
Nails Care Tips
For many people especially housewives
and manual workers, the hands are the most overworked and ill-used part
of the body. They are exposed to all kinds of wear and tear: to the
effects of temperature and climate: to frequent wetting: to the
onslaughts of harsh chemicals: and to the risk of minor injury and
subsequent infection. Yet the care of the hands is often completely
overlooked until, say, the skin becomes rough and cracked or a nail is
The repeated use of soap and water damages
the top layer of the skin, and can cause excessive scaling, or chapping.
When washing hands lukewarm water and the simplest soap should be used.
Exposing unprotected hands to bleaches and other kitchen chemicals, and
also to shampoos, can aggravate chapping. To protect hands, wear plastic
gloves. Cold weather can also cause chapping of the hands. The skin
becomes sore and red and may begin to crack. One has to use cold cream
at this time.
In some extreme instances, chapping can
lead to eczema, or inflammation of the skin. Eczema can also affect
people who are allergic to certain materials. As the hands are almost
always in contact with some material, the condition can persist. One has
to see the doctor in this condition.
Children in particular are affected by warts, which develop on the hands
or fingers and are contagious. Most warts disappear spontaneously, as
immunity develops, though they persist for a year or more. There is no
way of preventing them. If they cause concern they should be seen by a
doctor, who can destroy them with corrosive or freezing fluids.
Nails and their problems
The main function of the finger nails
is to protect the sensitive tips of the fingers and concentrate the
sense of touch. On average, a nail grows from its base to its top edge
in about six months. If nails are not cut they will become split and
The top layers of nails can separate and start to flake off if they are
exposed to too much soap and water or detergent. If flaking occurs, wear
plastic gloves when washing dishes or clothes, and massage nail cream
into the nail base each day.
When nails easily crack or break they can be a permanent worry. Weak
nails are caused by general ill health or a protein deficiency in the
diet. You can increase your nutritional intake by eating more lean meat,
fish, fresh fruit and vegetables.
Brittle nails could also be suffering
from extreme dryness and, if this is the case, rub in a nail cream every
morning and night and keep the nails fairly short until the condition
The excessive use of nail hardeners containing formaldehyde can cause
the nail plate to separate from the nail bed. The space beneath the nail
may then become infected, causing discoloration. Loose nails can also
accompany diseases such as eczema and psoriasis.
If the nails are frequently immersed in water the outer skin layer may
split away from the cuticle. The splits, or hang nails, are painful and
can become infected. They can be snipped off with sharp nail scissors.
To prevent them occurring the skin should be kept flexible by nightly
applications of cold creams
A heavy blow on the nail---or jamming it in a door---can cause bleeding
under the nail which eventually fall off. New growth will cure the
condition. If the injury is very painful the nail may have to be removed
In both adults and children, nail biting is a common habit, sometimes
stemming from insecurity, boredom, anxiety or excitement. Excessive nail
biting results in very weak nails and in extreme cases, damaged fingers
caused by chewing the nail down to the quick---the sensitive skin
beneath the nail. The best remedy is often to appeal to the individual's
vanity. Failing this, the person concerned must use willpower to conquer
Nails Care Tips