Nail Clinic: Peeling Skin In Exfoliative Keratolysis

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Nail Clinic: Peeling Skin In Exfoliative Keratolysis

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What can help treat it?
If clients often have wet hands, gloves should be worn to keep them dry instead.


For chapped hands, moisturizing can make a world of difference. Lotions or creams containing urea or lipids (often ingredients ending in –ate) help protect skin.

For very chronic cases that resist all other remedies, “photo chemotherapy” may be used by a dermatologist. This essentially entails the patient applying ointment sensitive to the UV light, leaving it on for thirty minutes, removing it, and then putting the affected area under a UV light box for another thirty minutes.

What should you do?
As a tech, remember it is not your place to diagnosis or treat any conditions you see in your clients. And if you do see a major issue, you should not attempt to continue servicing your client, as this could make any unknown condition worse. In minor peeling, avoid doing any electric filing on the skin of your client. In fact, dermatologists recommend you stay away from the skin altogether – you can gently clean around the nails – but avoid the skin itself. Acetone especially can further irritate skin, so if using acetone is necessary, apply a layer of white petroleum jelly to skin first. This protects the skin from the acetone, and a gentle over-the-counter cleanser can then remove the petroleum jelly.

[Image: Thinkstock/iStockphoto]