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Take care of your hands

health and fitness Updated: Nov 27, 2012 14:13 IST
Dr Anjali Mukerjee
Dr Anjali Mukerjee
Hindustan Times
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Do you remember the last time you looked at your hands? Ever wondered that they might be holding some clues to your overall health? Physicians believe that the condition of your hands and fingernails can tell you surprising things about your overall health.

Hands are often the first part of you to show visible signs of ageing but they can also be a barometer of your general health and also hold clues to underlying health problems. Changes in the way your hands look and feel can be pointers to a range of illnesses.

Just like the skin on your face, your hands too need to be well nourished to stay smooth and soft.

Mentioned below are two of the most commonly found conditions of hands. In case you wake up one fine morning, horrified to see your palms dry and flaky, know that it could be due to the following reasons.

Dry and chapped hands

Exposure to the sun, wind, cold weather, harsh detergents, cleaning products and many other things can quickly dry out hands.

Moisturise your hands regularly, especially after contact with water. Try to limit the amount of time your hands spend in water and in contact with soaps and detergents, as this can lead to dryness. Wear rubber gloves when washing anything and massage with a hand cream after washing your hands. Use evening primrose oil at night to make your skin soft and supple.

Peeling of skin

The skin peels for a variety of reasons because of friction, exposure to sunlight and even dry weather. Besides the natural exfoliation process, certain viral infections or allergies can also cause skin peeling. If the peeling of the skin is accompanied by bleeding and infection, then one should consult a dermatologist. Some dietary changes for skin care is essential to revitalise the skin and reduce flaking. The peeling of hand’s skin caused by eczema can be reduced with the help of steroids taken both orally and topically.

Dietary guidelines

Drink one glass of carrot juice every day.

Take a high potency fish oil capsule. It will reduce dryness.

Avoid soft drinks, chocolate, alcohol and caffeine. These will aggravate dryness.

Apply aloe vera gel to moisturise your hand, it also helps slough off dead skin cells.

Keep a hand cream beside every basin in the house and apply religiously every time you wash hands. Keep a tube in your bag, car, office and by the bedside.

Take vitamin E supplements if the skin on the palm is peeling. It is a potent antioxidant and helps

protect cell membranes against free radical damage.

Take good care of your hands and treat them well as they are essential for your existence.