How to treat nail wrinkles

Joli NSC

17 May 2021

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How to treat nail wrinkles

How to treat nail wrinkles

above: image of mild nail wrinkles running down from cuticle to nail edge.

I’ve talked about nail wrinkles in passing, however, I wanted to discuss them in more detail.


Nail wrinkles are much like face and body wrinkles, in that they are a sign of lack of moisturisation/dehydration.  They are a normal part of life and become more prominent with age.


That being said, like all wrinkles they can be warded off and/or softened with the right care and products.

What causes nail wrinkles?

1/ Dehydration.  This can occur when you wash dishes or clean without using gloves to protect your hands from drying out.  This can also occur from too much sweating and not replenishing water content.


2/ Age.  As we age our hands and nails show signs of ageing.  It’s just how life goes.  Genetics may play a part in how prominent your nail wrinkles are – though this can be fought off to a certain degree.


3/ Lack of moisture (protection).  If your skin is too dry this will, in turn, cause your nails to lack moisture as well.  Being outdoors a lot can cause your skin to lose moisture and a good way to avoid this is by applying protective products before and after being outdoors.


4/ Medications can cause your skin to dry out.  If you’re taking medicines that cause dry mouth, this will also be drying out the rest of your body (skin, internal organs).

How to avoid nail wrinkles

Here are a few tips on how to avoid nail wrinkles, or at least ward them off for as long as possible.


1/ Wear gloves whenever you do dishes, clean the house, garden etc.  You want to avoid prolonged exposure to water.  When skin is in water osmosis occurs, that is: water from the body leaches out into a body of water (i.e. dish water, bath, shower, water in the soil).


2/ Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise.  I can’t stress this enough.  Moisturise twice daily, in the morning and before bed.  Moisturise after you’ve cleaned, done dishes, washed the car, gardened etc. (even if you used gloves).


DO NOT: apply moisturiser just prior to putting on rubber gloves as this can lead to build up of excess moisture and cause skin rashes.

How to repair nail wrinkles

Let’s say you have nail wrinkles already so avoiding them is not an option, let’s talk minimising the effects.


1/ Protect.  It’s never too late to start wearing protective gloves when doing dishes, cleaning bathroom, gardening, washing the car etc.  If you want to, you can wear cotton gloves inside rubber gloves to stop skin reacting to the rubber gloves.


2/ Moisturise as often as possible, paying special attention to the cuticles (your nails last defense).  If you’re a nurse, or similar, and you’re often washing your hands, moisturise as often as you can with a really enriching mosituriser.

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