Nail Care

Modern kitchen chemicals (detergents, washing powders, bleaches etc.) are often very powerful and cause a high percentage of nail problems. Washing dishes, clothes and small children means that the average woman's nails are probably soaked more than a dozen times every day. Perhaps more important, they're usually dried properly only once or twice a day: the kitchen towel is probably damp, bald or missing when the telephone rings or the front door bell goes.

The simplest, most effective way to avoid nail damage is to wear rubber gloves. It is important that the gloves are large enough and that, if they don't contain cotton liners, you wear cotton gloves underneath (otherwise you can develop skin problems caused by the rubber). But it is important they should not be worn for more than twenty minutes or so a t a time bee a use they can ca use sweating and irritation.

I know that quite a lot of people argue that they cannot do certain household chores while wearing rubber gloves, but if you buy good, comfortable rubber gloves then you ought to be able to do most chores while wearing them, After all surgeons wear rubber gloves all the time.

If you can't wear gloves, the answer for some chores is a long-handled kitchen mop. Use one of these to help keep your hands out of the water and you will soon notice the benefit. I think long-handled kitchen mops and rubber gloves should be available on prescription!

On those occasions when neither long-handled mops nor rubber gloves are practical, make sure that you rinse your hands thoroughly, dry them very carefully (particularly between the fingers and around the nails) and then generously apply a good simple moisturizing cream.

There are other chores that can damage the nails, of course. And there are other ways to protect yourself. If you use the telephone a great deal, use a pencil to operate the dial; if you do a lot of heavy work or gardening wear protective gloves. You may find that gardening gloves wear out frequently but, if they do, just think how much damage you would have done to your hands if you hadn't been wearing gloves.

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