Your hands are more important than you might realize. Many of us experience problems with dry hands, ragged cuticles, or weak nails, but we may brush it off as a lousy habit, that we don't have the time, or that we don't know what to do. There are many things you can do to protect your hands and keep them healthy.
wash your hands
Regularly washing your hands, especially after going to the toilet or touching anything unclean, can prevent the spread of germs. One thing to remember is that you need to clean all over your hands, including the tops and in between the fingers. You should also regularly clean under your nails - a nail brush is helpful for this.
remember to moisturize
Washing your hands can sometimes dry out your skin. This is especially true if your job requires you to wash your hands frequently (e.g., a healthcare role). Dry hands may crack, leading to more issues down the road. Hand creams will help you to moisturize without having to deal with a heavy or sticky residue left on your hands. Find the best time of day to moisturize your hands, whether before you go to bed, or by keeping a lotion on your person and using it after you wash your hands.
protect your hands from the weather
There are other causes of dry hands too. The environment and weather are big culprits when it comes to causing problems like cracked fingertips and dry cuticles. Cold weather can cause dry hands, as can spending a lot of time indoors in heated or air-conditioned spaces. It's important to protect your hands all year. Wear gloves during the winter to keep your hands warm and protected from the harsh air. Keep moisturizing your hands to prevent dryness too.
keep your nails healthy
Many things can affect the health of your nails, and abnormalities in your nails can be an indicator of health issues. If your nails are brittle, weak or have changed recently, they could be trying to tell you something. Some of the things you can do to care for your nails include eating a healthy diet, cutting them regularly, and caring for your cuticles. Cleaning under your nails is important so that you don't transfer bacteria or fungus from your nails to your skin or open wounds. If you like to paint your nails or wear false nails, watch them closely to ensure they're not being damaged, inspecting them regularly between nail polish changes.
protect your hands when working
A lot of people use their hands a lot at work. You might also have hobbies that involve a lot of manual work, from woodworking to sewing. Whatever you're doing with your hands, it's important to protect them. Sometimes that can just mean making sure you keep them clean and moisturized. But there can also be times when it's important to wear protective gloves or make sure you're taking the right steps to keep your hands safe. When you're using certain tools or performing tasks like lifting and carrying, you need to follow the best practices to keep your hands safe to protect them from injury and cuts.
massage your hands
Massaging your hands definitely isn't essential, but it's something that can help to keep your hands healthy. It's also a good way to relax and give yourself a little treat. Massaging your hands can help to relieve pain and soreness in your hands.
look at your diet
One of the best things you can do to improve your hands in several ways is to take a look at your diet. The nutrients you get from your diet help to keep your skin and nails healthy. Another important lifestyle change, if you're a smoker, is to quit smoking. Smoking restricts your blood flow and can prevent those important nutrients from getting to where they need to be. Nicotine can also make your nails and fingers yellow.
a blog about health, wellness, nutrition, and fitness from an epidemiologist / dietitian with personal trainer experience
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