Care for your most valuable tool

BY CYNTHIA WAIRIMU

We cook, clean, drive, walk and yes, we live on, but in the process of all of these day-to-day activities, one is exposed to so many chemicals from different activities and it is not always that we are proactive about protecting ourselves from this in the first place.

Some of the cleaning agents we use are very drying to the hands and if you use them often, say, detergent or dishwashing soap, then you risk having much drier hands as they are meant to clean out oils and dirt and in the process, the moisture from your hands will not be spared. To avoid this, you can use protective gloves while cleaning and handling harsh chemicals.

You will also realize that if you work with hair chemicals and in a place where you need to clean your hands often, much like with doctors and nurses, you will run the risk of dried hands.

It is not just exposure to chemicals that could dry you out but other environmental factors like the sun. So yes, if you are out in the open often and are not wearing any protective layer of either sunscreen or clothes, read gloves, then yes, there is a high possibility of your hands darkening and getting dried out. It is advisable to wear sunscreen and if possible, gloves while driving, this will also help recover your radiant skin but will require patience.

Another reason your hands could be dried out would be due to an underlying issue such as skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, or any other medical condition and this should be handled by a health practitioner. 

If your hands are already suffering or if you would like to keep them soft and supple, here is what you need to do:

Use moisturizer. Use it as often as possible and after every wash so that your skin can retain its natural moisture. There are also oils such as coconut oil that can help with this problem, these products are easily attainable and you can carry a pocket fitting bottle or tube with you wherever you go to remind yourself to moisturize.

Use a good sunblock and use it often, remember you don’t use sunscreen once in a day, depending on the product, several applications will be needed for it to work as it should.

Avoid air dryers, when drying your hands and you have the option for paper towels, ditch the air dryer as the hot air will only serve to dry out the skin.

Exfoliate to get rid of dead dry and damaged kin to give way to new skin to thrive.

If you can avoid soap as soap is known to dry out hands especially when used often.

Overnight treatments where you douse tour hand or even feet in moisturizer and creams or oils, covering them in mittens or gloves overnight can help heal damaged hands by absorbing the moisture as you sleep.

Aloe Vera is known for its anti-inflammatory and antibiotic effects, it is easily accessible and can be applied as a natural moisturizer although some studies have shown it to have some drying effect. Do your research and find out what best works for your skin. 

If this is caused by a medical condition, ensure you take treatment seriously and the necessary steps to avoid or reduce flare-ups. Stress also plays a role in this problem and working through it should help maintain some form of balance by reducing the effects on your hands

Until the next time folks, happy holidays… 

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