You are overworked and underrated. These words aptly describe the kind of treatment hands have been getting. You probably haven’t thought about how you have been mistreating yours. The dry skin around fingernails often get poor treatment too, and people only begin to notice when they start feeling it wrinkle or notice painful skin hanging by the sides of the nails. It does appear disgusting when your hands consistently wear the same poor look every time but, there’s one other reason for you to start paying more attention — chapped skin around your fingernails can lead to premature skin aging.
What Are The Causes Of Chapped Skin Around Your Fingernails?
Since you have generally been neglecting your hands, there’s a big chance you never really took note of what’s been causing your skin to dry out. Here are the Top 5 Causes of Chapped Skin Around Fingernails:
- Chemicals. It could be your nail lacquer, cuticle remover or, acetone-based nail polish remover. Have you ever given some thought that the chemicals in your dishwasher, toilet cleaner or, laundry soap might also be causing your fingernails to wrinkle and flake? These products contain chemicals that are too harsh for the skin. Immediate adverse effect could be negligible but, over the longer-term, you will be increasing your risk for not only premature skin aging but also chronic skin conditions and even cancer.
- Chronically Dry Skin. Since your hands are hard workers, you should increase the frequency of rewards to shower your hands with. After washing, follow through with a hand lotion to immediately lock in remaining moisture while simultaneously replenishing what’s been lost due to hand washing. The skin on your hands also tends to be either thinner or, thicker when it’s callused. In both conditions, the skin around fingernails are more prone to chapping and wounding.
- Poor Nail Care Habits. Once again, using the wrong nail care products can cause your skin to become dry and flaky. Nail biting can also damage your nails and the surrounding skin. Washing your hands or body with water that is anything but lukewarm, including long, hot showers, can cause your skin to become dry and damaged. Practice good grooming habits and you will halfway through achieving better, healthier looking skin on your hands.
- Prevailing Environmental Conditions. Weather that is too hot or, too cold can dry out your skin. Exposing your skin openly to the harsh winter winds or, the breeze by the beach without any form of protection will damage your skin.
- Medical condition and certain medications. Skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema can cause your skin to become chronically dry and weathered. While these conditions don’t have a cure, there are highly recommended tips to better manage these. The top pointer is to work closely with a health-care provider to pinpoint your triggers so that you can avoid these. You should also closely follow the regimen that you will be prescribed and make sure to keep hydrating your skin inside and out.
What To Do When You Have Dry Skin Around Your Fingernails?
There are no quick solutions. What’s more important is that you commit to a skin care regimen and you stay consistent following these to build up your chances of relieving chapped skin on your fingers. Here are some of the highly recommended home remedies to restore the health and moisture on your dried-out skin:
Home Remedy No. 1: Install an air humidifier. For your indoor environments, including both your home and your office, the air conditioning or heater has a high tendency of drying out the air circulating inside the room. A humidifier will help keep the moisture in the air at its ideal level so that your skin won’t have to compensate for lost moisture. Beyond preventing your skin from drying, a humidifier also redounds to other health benefits that include preventing dry throat and cough, preventing migraines and headaches, and relieve sinuses.
Home Remedy No. 2: Reach for petroleum jelly. Products that contain this ingredient have occlusive properties. That means they moisturize your skin by trapping your skin’s natural water and oil content, thereby effectively decreasing the rate and volume of surface water loss. You may also want to rub in a lighter moisturizer before layering with petroleum jelly so that you can get a combination of deep moisturizing and superficial surface conditioning. Keep applying throughout the day, most especially after washing your hands or after treating your nails with lacquer, cuticle remover or, polish remover.
Home Remedy No. 3: Use virgin coconut oil. Of course, you can always make one yourself by extracting the oil from the first wash of grated coconut but, this remedy has become increasingly popular and, therefore, widely available in pharmacies and even in supermarkets. Coconut oil has a low molecular weight and an excellent combination of essential fatty acids that not only soothe your skin from dryness but also, facilitates more efficient skin healing and repair. It also has infection-fighting properties that help protect your skin. Use coconut oil as a replacement to your commercial hand lotion and, soon enough; you will begin to see and feel the difference it makes to your skin.
Home Remedy No. 4: Use beeswax. Beeswax has some properties to boot when it comes to caring for your skin. The top qualities that it offers to help heal dry skin include being a humectant, providing a protective skin coating that keeps it from drying out, and having anti-allergenic properties which help calm itching caused by dryness. Its benefits go beyond these three qualities, however, and it even has age-defying properties owing to its rich Vitamin A content.
You can use beeswax combined with coconut oil to keep restoring moisture in your skin throughout the day and use it as a replacement to your usual hand lotion. Or, you can also choose to make moisturizing hand soap out of a combination of beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, honey, and lye. Melt and combine the first three ingredients on a hot saucepan. Combine the remaining ingredients in another pan — no need to heat. Once the first set of ingredients have come together, cool the mixture. Then, add the second set of ingredients while the first set is still lukewarm. Keep stirring at a slow, constant speed as you combine the two sets of ingredients. Pour the mixture into a soap mold. Set aside and wait for the soap to harden.
Having this home-made soap that uses all this wonderfully scented ingredients that leave a revitalized feeling to your skin in place of your drying, commercial hand soap or detergent soap will help keep the skin on your fingernails intact, and will even support faster healing and repair when necessary.
Home Remedy No. 5: Banana and honey hand soak. If you want fast remedy with minimal prep time or, when you simply can’t find the time to cook up remedies, this one is for you. Honey is a powerful humectant that readily brings back the optimal level of moisture to your skin as it simultaneously works to keep moisture trapped and prevented from escaping into thin air.
On the other hand, banana, other than its well-recognized skin moisturizing properties, also contains a rich amount of potassium. This mineral helps restore the optimal structure of your skin. By doing so, your skin’s natural ability to capture and retain moisture are also restored, effectively alleviating dry skin.
Simply mash about two pieces of banana, depending on size, before adding honey. Wash your hands and clear skin around your fingers from impurities either by washing thoroughly or, by scrubbing. Pat dry before soaking into the banana-honey mixture. Soak your hands for a good 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water — no need to wash off with soap.
Home Remedy No. 6: Oatmeal soak. Oats, colloidal or powdered oatmeal to be exact, also offers an anti-inflammatory benefit to dry skin around fingernails. It relieves your skin of irritation, swelling, and itchiness that often accompany dry skin.
Soaking your hands in an oatmeal solution that also folds in milk and essential oils that moisturize your skin at different levels will help soothe and heal chapped skin. Combine colloidal oatmeal with lukewarm milk. Stir it until all the ingredients come together to create a gel-like mixture. Add your choice of essential oils last. Essential oils have well-known skin healing and repairing properties, and are capable of sinking deep into your skin.
Home Remedy No. 7: Olive oil and brown sugar exfoliator. When the flaking on your hands and fingers get from bad to worse, it’s time to exfoliate. A combination of olive oil and brown sugar will work to simultaneously exfoliate and restore your skin’s lost moisture at the same time. Simply combine these ingredients in a bowl then massage on hands to slough off the flaked skin and make way for a new layer of skin to rise to the surface.
Other Tips To Follow To Get Rid Of Chapped Skin Around Your Fingernails
The skin, being the largest organ in the body, is easily influenced by a combination of internal and external factors. The fact that its health condition and appearance are a reflection of your general health and well-being should not be neglected. In which case, there are other more indirect tips that would do you good to follow if you’re seriously after improving the skin around your fingernails.
Here are five other tips for you to try:
Tip No. 1: Hydrate from within. Water inside your body will affect your skin as much as lack of moisture absorbed from the surface does. When your body is dehydrated, your cells compete for the meager amount of hydration available. In which case, your skin loses volume and becomes less dense. With chronic dehydration, your skin loses firmness and elasticity, and will likely become inflamed.
Tip No. 2: Get sufficient rest and sleep. When you fail to get sufficient hours of sleep at night, you wake up with your pores wide open. That alone causes your skin to dry out as more moisture escapes from the surface and evaporates into the surrounding air. Closely tied to this tip is learning to manage better matters that stress you.
Tip No. 3: Use protective hand gear. Gloves are a basic yet a key strategic component when you’re trying to keep your hands, including skin around fingernails, well hydrated. Have different sets of hand gloves ready and available around your home for performing different household chores. Gloves create a physical barrier between your skin and the chemicals in your detergents. If you lift weights or, drive a motorcycle, gloves will protect your skin from calluses caused by friction and repetitive movements.
Tip No. 4: Choose to wash and bathe with lukewarm water only. Otherwise, the water temp will strip off the natural water and oils that keep your skin well-conditioned and well-hydrated. Avoid long, hot showers and soaking in a tub of hot water. Have a water heater installed in your toilets and your sink, so you always have a choice to wash with lukewarm water.
Tip No. 5: Manage existing skin conditions. In some cases, chronic skin dryness is due to an existing skin condition like atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Among the top-rated tips to avoid dry skin under these circumstances is avoiding triggers — usually, that includes certain foods, dust, and dirt, dry indoor conditions, stress, chronic sleeplessness, and allergy-causing chemicals.
Most people focus only on caring for their face. Very few people appreciate the fact that skin on the hands are just as exposed to UV and other environmental elements as the face is. On top of that, it’s often harder to prevent skin on the hands from chapping and flaking simply because the hands are used constantly to serve different needs — for work, for play, for mundane things we do every day. A little more TLC may result in major changes in the health and appearance of skin on your hands and skin around fingernails.