31 January 2018
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Winter can be harsh on your skin, especially your hands and face. Try these fast, easy and inexpensive steps to avoid the chapping and flaking that comes with the season. Resist taking hot showers and long soaks, both of which remove your skin’s natural oil barrier, causing it to dry out more easily, suggests the American Academy of Dermatology. The water temperature should be between the high 90s and 100 degrees, no higher. Immediately after bathing, seal in any moisture your skin absorbed by slathering on a thick moisturizer. Choose an ointment or a cream, not a thin lotion. For daytime, use nourishing products with sun protection. The sun’s rays can still age you, even in cold weather months. Washing hands frequently is essential to avoid the spread of cold and flu germs, but to avoid chapping, moisturize them after every rinse. And always wear warm gloves when outdoors and protective ones when using cleaning products or washing dishes. Don’t forget your lips, which can also fall prey to dryness. Dab on lip balm to prevent chapping. It can be as simple as plain petroleum jelly. Resist licking lips that are dry — that actually increases dryness. If your skin is easily irritated, avoid all scented products and harsh deodorant-type soaps. Wear cotton or silk clothes next to your skin before layering on woolens. If the air in your home is dry from your heating system, use a humidifier, especially at night, to put moisture back in the air. If the same situation exists at work, consider a desktop unit. Don’t wait to see signs of dryness. Be proactive to save your skin from winter’s wrath. More information Get additional winter skin tips from Wake Forest Baptist Health.
06 December 2017
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Good nail care is important, but it’s possible to overdo it. For instance, it turns out that too much clipping can actually be harmful. Trimming nails every day can create stress across the entire nail. Over time, it can change nail shape and even lead to conditions like ingrown toe nails. It’s fine to trim your nails with nail clippers or scissors, but no more than once every week or two. Fingernails should follow the shape of your fingertips, straight across and slightly rounded at the sides. Clip toenails straight across at the level of the toe. File in only one direction to keep nails strong. Here are other care tips: Keep nails clean and dry whenever possible. Moisturize nails and cuticles with hand lotion or cream. Nail polish offers some protection, but don’t use polish remover more than twice a month. Try to avoid all nail products with toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate. Avoid prolonged exposure to water when bathing and housecleaning. Protect nails from harsh chemicals by wearing cotton-lined rubber gloves when cleaning. It’s also important to check your nails regularly for warning signs of a problem that merits a doctor visit. Signs to look for include: Discoloration of the entire nail or a dark streak under a nail. Any change in shape. Any change in thickness — thinner or thicker. Separation of the nail from the surrounding skin or nail bed. Bleeding, redness, swelling or pain around the nails. If you see any worrisome signs, get prompt medical attention from your doctor or a dermatologist who specializes in nail problems. More information The Mayo Clinic has more do’s and don’ts for healthy nails.