Hand Treatments: Olive Oil and a Hand Mask
Does anyone else have misshapen, curved, or bumpy fingernails due to their atopic dermatitis? I was thinking of this while I was giving myself a manicure the other night. A manicure with no polish as I don’t want to draw attention to my dry, eczema-scarred hands. For the same reason I don’t wear rings. A friend once suggested I should buy large statement rings which would make people see the ring and not my hands. I tried this once but decided I’d rather just not have them noticed at all.
A number of years ago, when I was visiting my parents before my father passed away, I took him in to see his doctor. While there, he called me into the office with him and asked his doctor to look at my fingernails. He had read somewhere that misshapen fingernails were a symptom of certain diseases. His doctor studied them and suggested the cause was only that the growth at the area under the cuticle was damaged from my life long battle with eczema, not a worrisome disease.
Using olive oil
After doing the basic cut, file, and buff, I normally soak my hands, one at a time in a small pot of warm olive oil. I keep it in a coffee can, easy to put in a little pan of water to warm up. I save and reuse the oil each week or so, and replace it regularly. I’ve used different herbs and infused oils over the years, but ordinary olive oil is a decent humectant now that I’m retired and not subjecting myself to so many irritants. If they’re extremely dry or flaring in any manner, I often cover that with plastic or nitrile gloves for the evening.
Years ago when I was still painting houses, my hands were always inflamed. I sometimes would use warmed local beeswax or paraffin in an attempt to make a homemade hand mask.
Trying a new hand mask
This time I decided to try the new hand mask which I had received from my lovely teenaged “bonus granddaughter” for Christmas. I had been saving it to use when my hands were clear, or at least as clear as they ever were. Which doesn’t happen often. But is the only way to get a true test.
A shea butter hand mask
This was a Shea Butter Nourishing Hand Mask from Bath and Body Works. As it contained a number of ingredients no one could pronounce, I originally had planned to only use one at a time in case I had a reaction, but without thinking, did both. As directed, I waited for about fifteen to twenty minutes. The instructions say to just massage any excess into the skin after removal, no need to rinse.
Did the mask work for my hand eczema?
I was surprised to find how soft and supple my skin actually felt! Almost as if it was covered with a silky film. I put gloves on before my bedtime routine to keep from washing that silky feeling away. Over the next couple of days, my hands still felt a bit more moisturized than usual, but of course, gradually went back to their normal state. I’ll use it again, but at close to $10.00 a treatment, it won’t become a routine. At the time, their website has a special “buy 3, get 3 free” deal, but sadly, it was out of stock. If you’ve used hand treatments, purchased or homemade, please let us know, as well as how well they’ve worked for you. We need all the helpful ideas we can get.
Have you shared your eczema story with us?