Playing in the summer sun is all fun and games until someone breaks a nail! The sun that provides summer fun can also be a vicious enemy if proper sun protection is not followed.
In addition to skin, cuticles and nail folds are the most vulnerable areas of the hands that are susceptible to sun damage. Cuticles protect new nail growth as it emerges from the base of the nail. Sun, among other elements, can dry cuticles out, affecting the growth of nails. Nail folds are the areas of skin that frame your nails; the lateral nail folds framing each side and the proximal nail fold at the base. Extended sun exposure to the nail folds can also harm the growth of nails.
Dried and damaged nails are more likely to contract a fungal or bacterial infection. If nails harden, become inflamed or are painful to touch, consult a doctor.
Always remember to:
- Wear sunscreen – this will prevent hands and cuticles from sun damage including burning and drying out.
- Coat nails with a polish, base coat or ridge-filler – this helps protect nails against the elements of the summer, including sun, water and sand. It will also prevent breaking and splitting.
- Moisturize hands and nails – to prevent cracks and peeling, constantly keep hands and nails hydrated.
- Wear gloves – when cleaning, gardening and washing dishes. Gloves will protect hands and nails from harsh chemicals found in pesticides, cleaning solutions and detergents.
While enjoying the weather and relaxing in the rays, make sure to stay covered up. Continuously apply sunscreen, and be sure not to neglect your hands and feet. Beyond your fingers and toes keep the rest of your body covered while basking in the sun. During these hot months always keep water on hand to prevent dehydration and sport a large, floppy hat to shade your head and face. Enjoy the sunshine, but take necessary precautions to stay safe in the summertime.
Article and photo courtesy of Cutex