Cuticle care a must during winter

Cuticle care a must during winter

For most people, taking care of one’s hands means roughly applying a moisturiser every second day and clipping the nails every week or two. However, only when the skin adjoining the nails starts peeling off in winters, leading to painful lesions as well, do they notice the existence of the ‘cuticle’ too.

Add to that, not everyone has the time, money or inclination to get a manicure done weekly, but having that painful hard skin tearaways is not an option either. So what does one do to keep the skin holding the nails smooth and healthy?

Dr Amit Luthra, Dermatologist and aesthetic surgeon, Ishira Skin Clinic, says you don’t need to go for a manicure at all. “I am not in favour of taking off the cuticles which parlours do. Cuticle is the skin covering the inner portion of our nails, protecting the matrix from which the nails grow. They serve an important role of shielding the nails.

Taking them off means leaving your nails naked, exposing them to dirt and infections,” he
explains.

“Instead,” he suggests, “Let your cuticles be. When moisturising your hands, make sure some of that cream reaches the cuticles and side skin of the nails too. This is especially needed in winters so they don’t dry out and peel.”

Dr Namita Khullar of Care & Comfort Skin Clinic cautions one about harsh body soaps and detergents used in washing clothes and utensils. “These can really damage the skin of your hand and cuticles especially. Make sure that you use only good quality soaps and detergents which also don’t cause any allergies.”

Other than that, buying the right quality of nail polish is also important. Namita says, “I have had a couple of patients with damaged cuticles because of repeated application of nail polish and nail polish remover, that too, of bad quality. This repeated application and removal can tear the cuticle away, so refrain, and buy only good brands of nail polish and remover.”

As regards removal of dead skin and nail hangouts, it is best gotten done professionally. Pallavi Verma, skin expert, says, “Many people either bite it off, tear it away with their teeth or use a nail clipper to remove it. Now, that can leave your cuticle and side skin of the nail cobbled unevenly and exposed to germs.”

“Best is to get it done with the help of an expert who will do it in such a way that the right amount of skin is removed and evenly. This will ensure healthy and smooth cuticles in winters as well.”   

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