The battle with dry cuticles

Stop covering your hands, just fix your nails

Shamontiel L. Vaughn
Aug 24 · 3 min read
Photo credit: Clay Banks/Unsplash

Have you ever shaken someone’s hand or let someone hug you, and you could feel the dryness of her hands? Are you the person I’m talking about?

If you live in a cold-weather client, you can probably relate. Snow and frigid temperatures can do a number on your hands. But people in hot-weather climates can also have the same problems for different reasons.

If you’re someone who has a labor-intensive job (ex. chef), owns an active four-legged friend or enjoys a hands-on hobby (ex. gardening or ceramics), you can probably admit that your hands and nails leave much to be desired.

Pets are fun playmates. Gardening is therapeutic and economical for your grocery list. Painting and sculpting actively exercise your imagination and creative side. Arts n’ crafts add way more personalization to your gifts. And cooking, especially baking, is an opportunity to showcase some of your most delightful treats.

Photo credit: Create Her Stock

But you know what else all of these activities lead to? Excessive hand washing from dishwater, fur, clay, paint, etc. And your hands and nails pay the price for this too.

You can continue to enjoy digging in dirt. Continue creating fun Christmas and birthday gifts for loves ones. It’s therapeutic to play Fetch and pet your fluffy companions. And I definitely don’t want to antagonize your family and friends if they find out you didn’t make your best dish for the family picnic or Christmas gathering.

Just add hand and nail upkeep to your list of fun to-dos. Push “cuticle care” straight to the top of that checklist.

Photo credit: Jakob Owens/Unsplash

Tips for fixing your cuticles

One of your top priorities should be to keep your cuticles in tip-top shape. Why? Your cuticles are a layer of skin that are basically bodyguards against bacteria. And once that layer is cracked, peeling or flaking, it’s like laying out a welcome mat for bacteria to walk on in.

Here are a few items you should always have on hand to treat your cuticles:

  • Almond oil
  • Aloe vera
  • Biotin
  • Cuticle cream (with Vitamins A, C, E)
  • Cuticle oil (or coconut oil)
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Sunflower oil

Simply moisturizing your cuticles is an easy step to keep your nails neat and healthy. Are you doing this already? Then you may also want to lay off harsh soaps, body washes, hand sanitizer and acetone/nail polish removers. These also could be leading to dry cuticles.

Skip one of these for a week, and see if you notice a difference. Then try the next one. And the one after that. By process of elimination, you may be able to find out where the culprit is.

Photo credit: Create Her Stock

If you’re experiencing more serious issues with your cuticles (i.e., bleeding, swelling, pain or cracking when bending your fingers), talk to a medical professional. One of your medications may be hurting your cuticles no matter what kind of self-care you include in your daily regimen.

With the help of a watchful eye and moisturizer, your cuticles should be in good shape in a reasonable amount of time. And if you want to enjoy a day at your favorite nail salon, that’s great too. Pretty nails are cool, but healthy nails are even better.

Shamontiel L. Vaughn

Written by

14-year journalist; freelance writer/editor (Upwork); Wag! dog walker; Rover dog sitter; Toastmasters member/3x officer; cohost of Do Not Submit; Shamontiel.com

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