Dr Joanna Lovatt

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A Helping Hand in the Cold

Posted 5 February 2019
Dr Joanna Lovatt - Woman blowing into her cold hands

Snow, it’s snow joke. Well, not in the UK anyway. Whether you were stuck in traffic chaos or enjoying well-deserved snow days recently, those tiny flakes had a big impact. But did you know that snow can disrupt your skin too?

Cold, harsh weather can wreak havoc particularly on our hands, making winter a skin-unfriendly season. So what can we do to give ourselves a helping, well, hand?

The winter weather creates a perfect storm to leave our hands hankering after moisture, moisture, moisture. Without some TLC they can easily become dry, cracked and sore, but there are ways to keep your hands looking beautiful despite any beast.

Covering up is a good start, so when you’re out and about remember your warm gloves and swap them for marigolds if you’re using any sort of spray cleaners or wipes at home.

Also, use a good quality hand cream throughout the day. Generally creams are better than lotions and ones which contain things like liquid paraffin, lanolin or mineral oil are among the best. These ingredients help trap important water in the skin by leaving a layer of oil on the surface.

Watching how you wash your hands is also a top tip. We all want to keep hygienic during cold and flu season, but hot water can actually wash away valuable natural oils from our skin. Just think how well it cuts through grease and oil when it’s washing the dishes. Taking the temperature down a couple of degrees will help your hands while still keeping them nice and clean. Bonus points if you use a moisturising soap as well.

Finally, treat yourself to a manicure. More than just making your nails look pretty, manicures actually do a lot of good for hands. Removing cuticles and exfoliating both help to remove hard and dead skin so new growth is encouraged. New smooth, hydrated and happy skin growth.

Lots of manicures also include a hand massage, which is great if you suffer from arthritis. This condition is often made worse by cold weather, but treating yourself to a massage can really help. Massaging gets oxygen-rich blood flowing into seized and sore muscles, tendons and joints. This improves circulation and movement leaving you with healthier hands.

At this point, I imagine some of you are feeling disheartened, because whether you fancy a manicure or a massage, you may also worry your hands are not up to being in the spotlight. Unsightly warts, benign lesions and other skin blemishes on our hands can leave us embarrassed and uncomfortable. Like going for a spa day sporting hairy legs. Warts may even mean you are unable to have a manicure or massage for medical reasons.

There is a simple answer to solve these problems though – cryotherapy. This is a safe and effective treatment that uses a very cold temperature to freeze and destroy the cells of a blemish, leaving behind beautiful, healthy skin.

I offer cryotherapy at both my practice in Salisbury and Carl Hillwood Hair and Beauty in Fordingbridge.

Contact me by phoning 01722 632633 or 07493 520517 and give yourself a helping hand this winter.

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Southern Independent Medical Practice
5 Wyndham Road, Salisbury
Wiltshire SP1 3AA