Easy Steps to Take Care of Your Hands

Are you frequently hand sanitizing and washing? Here’s how to give yourself a hand.

Jun 8, 2020

(itakdalee / Shutterstock.com)

People do so much with their hands, at home, at work, indoors, and out.  Just consider how many times a day you use your hands. You’re probably using your fingers now to scroll down the page as you read this article. That’s why taking care of your hands is so important.

With constant washing, sanitizing scrubbing and drying due to the pandemic, your hands and nails take a beating, yet you most likely take them for granted. Dedicate a few minutes each day to hand health and you will have happier skin and smoother, softer hands.

When you are washing your hands frequently, the soap you use is very important. Dermatologists suggest using non drying soaps such as Neutrogena, Basis, Purpose, Oil of Olay, or Dove. Avoid antibacterial soaps says the Mayo Clinic, because they can cause your skin to dry out even more.  And they can also kill the good bacteria on your hands and encourage bad bacteria that resist antibiotics.

Another tip is to use warm water instead of washing your hands and body with very hot water. When you dry your hands, gently pat them dry and don’t rub them vigorously with a towel. This can cause irritation and dry out your skin even further.

If your skin is cracked, calloused and in pain, you should use an intensive formula hand cream or salve. This should be applied daily for the best results. Although they can be pricey, invest in a higher quality natural product or make your own. This will help heal your hands and protect them from cracking in the future.

Most of these creams are actually water-based so if you have extremely dry skin, you should buy a hand cream that is oil-based. Instead of constantly applying hand lotion, creams are made of a thicker consistency and last much longer than typical lotions. La Roche-Posay recommends that after you bathe or shower, put on cream since this is the best time to lock in moisture. For skin that is broken, apply an antibiotic cream and a band-aid to allow the medicine to completely soak in the area.

If you are washing dishes, you should wear gloves since dish soap can be very harsh on your skin. Buy a cheap pair of rubber gloves and place them by the sink so you can easily grab them when you do dishes or clean countertops.

With summer approaching, it is essential to apply sunscreen on the backs of your hands too. Use at least SPF 15 each day so your hands are protected and resistant to sunburn. If putting sunscreen on your hands seems like something you will constantly forget, SPF 15 can also be found within some facial moisturizers. Apply a bit on the backs of your hands after you rub this unto your face.

What you put into your body also has an impact on the health of your hands and fingernails. Research by the Mayo Clinic found that a diet rich in vitamin C, with less fats and carbohydrates, will help skin look younger. You should also make sure to drink enough water each day to help your skin maintain moisture. You can also buy a humidifier that will elevate the amount of moisture in the air. This helps hydrate your skin and hands.

Although your hands may be overlooked, they are essential to your everyday life. From daily tasks to comforting others, your hands allow you to experience the world through touch. By taking care of this important part of your body, you can improve your overall health and forget the feeling of cracked, painful hands.

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JACKIE SCHINDLER, CONTIRBUTOR
Jackie Schindler teaches EFL to students between the ages of 5-15. She is passionate about making English relevant, fun and memorable. She always tries to look on the bright side in every situation. She is an avid reader, writer, traveler and always on the hunt for the best iced coffee.