"Hi Ana, do you have some nail care tips for nurses? We are either washing or gelling (alcohol sanitizer) our hands several times an hour. And I work in surgery, where I sometimes use a scrub brush and have to use a plastic thingy to clean under my nails. It’s not an option to skip since we do NOT want to give a patient any infection. I do wear polish, if for no other reason than to keep them from delaminating... another source of infection for my patients. Thank you for considering this subject!" ~Bonnie
Bonnie, this is such an important question that I get asked quite often.
I know you are very aware of how destructive water, soaps and hand sanitizers are to your skin and nails. All of them are solvents and they very effectively dissolve oil and moisture. Unfortunately, our body is most happy when we do not wash compulsively.
But everything changes when you’re a medical professional. The safety of the patient is critical. And oftentimes our skin and nails are sacrificed.
My mom worked as a nurse for 30 years and was always suffering from contact dermatitis flare-ups due to washing her hands all the time at work. Guess who got to wash the dishes all the time? Yep, me.
You are one of the lucky ones to be allowed to wear polish. I get many emails from people who can’t wear any nail enhancements, including regular polish.
The best suggestion I have is to do intensive hydration treatments when you are not at work.
Your body heat will warm the oil so it penetrates faster. The lotion stick creates a water resistant barrier that reduces sweating. Do this for 2 hours or more.
When my hands are really dry, I will do this treatment overnight. I’ve also done a lot of cleaning chores while doing an intensive treatment. I get a cleaner house and baby soft skin at the same time. That’s a win-win in my book.
I have seen many people with eczema and psoriasis try intensive hydration treatments too. They are amazed how good their skin feels and looks after a treatment.
Many people ask how many times you can do a treatment. Your skin and nails will tell you. When they’re grumpy... it’s time.
Here's a video that explains how to do a hydration treatment.