Your hands must be the most hardworking part of your body. See, even when you’re not actually moving from your desk, typing away your fingers to get your job done can possibly make your fingers run the total of a mile in just a couple of hours. Sadly, that dry skin on nails is hardly ever noticed just as your entire hand can be easily dismissed and lack day-to-day care and attention.
Why does skin around your fingernails dry out?
So, why does skin around your fingers keep getting dried out? Here are just some of the top reasons you probably didn’t think could peel off the skin on your fingernails:
- You are using harsh nail products. It could be your nail polish remover, cuticle remover or nail lacquer. The common denominator: they all contain harsh ingredients that dry out your skin. Look more closely at the labels and you’ll probably find denatured alcohol, acetaldehyde, and acetone in there. Not only do these ingredients cause your skin to become dry, these can also lead to permanent and irreversible skin damage. When such ingredients are present in your products, it is likely that you will find other toxic chemicals in there too, like toluene and formaldehyde, ingredients that can adversely affect your general health, not just your skin. Whenever you are getting your nails done at a salon, it’s always best to carry your own toxin-free nail kit with you.
- You do not use protection for your hands. As hardworking as your hands are, you shouldn’t miss out on every opportunity to level up your protection. Use gloves when doing your laundry, cleaning up the dishes or, handling just about any other chemical that you use on a regular basis. When you tend to your garden, use protective gloves to keep the dirt from seeping into the tiny creases on your fingernails and the skin around it. Make sure to always use the proper protective gear for your hands, even when you’re in the gym lifting weights.
- You don’t use the right products to help keep your hands moisturized. Just because similar products have “lotion” or “hand cream” on their labels do not make them perform on the same level. When you know that you have a drier skin type, always lean towards thicker creams which you may want to layer with hand gels. Gels absorb faster while creams will help deliver the oils and emollients that your skin needs to feel better moisturized over a longer period of time. At night, you may want to treat your hand skin to so-called “occlusives” or moisturizers that help trap the moisture in, like petroleum jelly. These products leave a protective layer of film on the surface of your skin which helps minimize surface water loss. These types of moisturizers also give your skin more opportunity to allow its natural mechanisms for healing and recovery to work overnight as you sleep.
- You are subjecting your skin to harsh environments and conditions.The worst part is that you’re not even doing anything to either influence the environment or, counter its potential effects on your skin. In general, environmental conditions, including indoor environments, are a major factor affecting your skin condition. Wearing sunscreen on your hands and fingers, areas that are just as exposed to sunlight as your face it, every day without fail could be a strategy. Choosing to be indoors whenever you can so you can try to influence the surroundings and how these might affect your skin could be another action. Other things that you can do include avoiding polluted environments, installing heating and air conditioning units, and installing a dehumidifier to keep the air around you filled with water so the air does not suck out moisture from your skin.
- You do not hydrate enough from within. Add to that, you might not be feeding your body with the proper nutrition to keep it, including your skin, healthy. Like other people, you also probably love to neglect the fact that your skin is part of a bigger system — your body — and that anything you do to your body, you also do to your skin. Keep hydrating with water and other fluids throughout the day. Make sure you eat a balanced meal so you get your daily dose of nutrients. Eating a wide variety of foods, that are in their most natural state as possible, helps your skin stay healthy.
- You like taking hot showers and soak in hot baths. You have been subjecting your skin to stressful conditions! When your shower or bath water is too hot, it not only makes your hands wrinkle but also strips away your skin’s natural oils. Even as you wash your hands throughout the day, make sure to use only lukewarm water, as very cold water will have the same drying effect on your skin too.
- You haven’t been sleeping well. Whether you’re just out most nights or can’t sleep because of your difficult boss or a promotion up for grabs, when it is causing you to sleep shorter periods, you have to quiet the noises around you and inside your head. Your body undergoes a major maintenance work while you sleep, that includes repairing any damage done to your skin. If you’re giving yourself short sleeping hours, you are also depriving your body of efficient recovery. So, make sure to establish a healthy sleeping habit. Try to hit the sheets at the same time every night to complete 7 up to 9 hours of sleep every night. Now, that’s some beauty rest!
- You haven’t gotten yourself checked for any possible underlying medical condition.If you’ve noticed the skin on your fingernails getting dried out severely and chronically, there could be an underlying skin or medical condition, most especially if you notice the dry skin on other parts of your body too. Some of the possible medical causes include eczema, psoriasis, allergic contact dermatitis, and diabetes.
It pays to give skin on your fingernails the same high-performance efficiency it provides to help you complete your day-to-day tasks. After all, when your hardworking fingers look and feel great, it could also help improve your performance at work and at play.