Clean and well-groomed hands are as much a necessity for men as for women. Wash right, moisturise well and exfoliate, says an expert.

Latika Arya, who is the Managing Director and a consultant dermatologist, aesthetic and laser surgeon at LA Skin & Aesthetic Clinic, New Delhi, lists down some easy tips that can help you maintain your hands at home itself:

* Washing: Use a moisturising soap or liquid handwash containing olive oil, aloe vera or shea butter, to wash your hands. This will prevent stripping of natural oils from your skin. Use lukewarm water instead of very hot water, which can also dry the skin.

* Moisturising: If the skin tends to get dry after washing, apply a non-sticky, fast absorbing moisturising lotion or cream immediately after washing. This keeps skin smooth and soft and prevents cracking. Look for a formula that contains emollient ingredients, such as glycerin, shea butter, and natural oils. Massage the cream on hands at bedtime as well.

If you have cracks on your hands due to extreme dryness, treat them with a more intensive ointment-based moisturiser than a regular hand cream. Even regular petroleum jelly works just as well.

Nails –

* Once in a week, use a nail brush while washing your hands to scrub the dirt stuck beneath your nails.

* Do not chew your nails, as it not only makes the nails jagged and ugly, but it can also infect the nail folds with viral, bacterial or fungal infections. Further, it can also make you sick due to ingestion of the bacteria trapped under your nails.

* Use a pair of nail clippers to keep the nails at a comfortable length. Clip the nail following its natural curve, without going too much inside at the corners. File them with an emery board or a nail file to smooth the nail edges.

* Hangnails: This is a piece of skin that sticks out from the skin around the nails and not only can look unsightly but can also be painful. It should never be peeled off but clipped off gently after shower when its still soft.

* Exfoliation: Exfoliate your hands weekly with a scrub to buff away the dry, rough skin and keep your hands soft and healthy. Wet your hands with lukewarm water, and massage a small amount of hand scrub over both hands, working in circular motions. Rinse it off with warm water, and apply a hand cream.

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