Health Hands and nails

Ways to keep your hands and nails healthy

We all use our hands every day and they can go through a lot, so here's how to give them and your nails some attention

The skin on your hands goes through a lot. Most people’s hands and nails are constantly on show and being used. Despite this, we may not look after them as well as we look after other parts of our bodies.

Hand care The skin on the back of your hands is thin, so it can become sensitive and also age faster than skin elsewhere on the body. Because they have to deal with exposure to the sun, cold, heat and water, your hands can become dry. Good hand care starts with keeping

your hands as hydrated as possible. Ask your local Careway pharmacist to recommend a suitable hand cream, and use it frequently, especially after your hands have been in water. You may need a richer cream if your hands are very dry or itchy – again, your pharmacist can advise you which product would suit your needs. Using a hand scrub once a week

may also help keep the skin on your hands smooth. You can make the scrub yourself:

• Mix a small amount of olive oil with a few spoonfuls of sugar

• Apply the mixture to your hands and massage in gently. The sugar will help scrub away any dead skin cells while the oil will provide lots of moisture.

• Finish with a layer of hand cream.

Nail care Your nails will benefit from regular attention too, especially if they’re looking a little worse for wear. Here are some ways to keep them strong and healthy:

• Every time you moisturise your hands, try to make sure you massage some of the moisturiser into your nails too. Ask your pharmacist to recommend a good- quality hand and nail cream that will

42 All About health

nourish both your skin and your nails. You may also want to invest in a nail and cuticle oil to use on your nails once a day.

• Try to reduce your nails’ exposure to water by wearing gloves (when washing up, for instance).

• If you wear nail polish most of the time, let your nails breathe once in a while by removing all polish for a few days. If your nails are brittle, ask your pharmacist to recommend a gentle nail polish remover, as some chemicals in nail polish remover can be harsh.

• Give yourself a weekly manicure to make sure your nails are in the best possible condition. Don’t forget your toenails – give them a weekly pedicure too.

Find your nearest Careway pharmacy at pharmacy.

Summer tips

The warmer weather can mean your hands and nails work even harder, especially if you do a lot of gardening or play outdoor sports. At this time of year it’s important to keep them as nourished and protected as possible.

• Try wearing gardening gloves to protect your hands and nails from cuts and scratches. Also try a hand cream designed for gardeners – these are usually richer than other formulations.

• Don’t forget to protect your hands and nails from the sun. Use a suitable sunscreen product, and reapply often whenever you’re outdoors. Some nail products such as topcoats also offer UV protection to stop the sun drying them out – these are usually clear rather than coloured, so you can use them even if you don’t normally wear nail colour.

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