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dry/damaged fingernails after working with clay


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Thanks for this ! I've just started again after a 20 year break and my hands are a mess ! And yes - it does seem to be worse with the porcelain.

 

Next question - where on earth do I get Bag Balm in Australia ?! :D

 

*Off to search the internet*

 

 

You can get bag balm from any vet clinics in Australia, but an aspiring business has clicked this is a popular product and now produce a fantastic range of products marketed as 'MooGoo' here. everything from bath milk, excema cream, body milk, hand cream etc etc available at most chemists- great stuff!

 

 

 

 

 

 

oooh yes - I know the Moo goo - in fact I have a spare tub of it in my bathroom. I use the deoderant as well - its fabulous. THANKYOU :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't know about Bag Balm, but I personally swear by Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme. It comes in a little tin and all you do is rub your fingers on the waxy stuff and then massage it into your nails and cuticles before bedtime (do it every night whether you've been potting or not). It helps moisturize without petroleum products, helps your nails to grow and strengthen, and also works on those little cuts as well as chapped lips. Lemon has antiseptic properties, plus it smells refreshing and tastes great! It's all natural as well and easily found at many stores including CVS.

 

If you don't want to spend money on the Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme, go with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Rub a dab into each nail/cuticle until your hands don't feel greasy. If you do it at night you don't have to worry about contaminating your clay, etc.

 

PS, clip your nails...don't bite! That can worsen your problem. But I do echo the sentiment about keeping them short.

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I don't know about Bag Balm, but I personally swear by Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme. It comes in a little tin and all you do is rub your fingers on the waxy stuff and then massage it into your nails and cuticles before bedtime (do it every night whether you've been potting or not). It helps moisturize without petroleum products, helps your nails to grow and strengthen, and also works on those little cuts as well as chapped lips. Lemon has antiseptic properties, plus it smells refreshing and tastes great! It's all natural as well and easily found at many stores including CVS.

 

If you don't want to spend money on the Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme, go with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Rub a dab into each nail/cuticle until your hands don't feel greasy. If you do it at night you don't have to worry about contaminating your clay, etc.

 

PS, clip your nails...don't bite! That can worsen your problem. But I do echo the sentiment about keeping them short.

 

 

Years ago, I had a colleague that taught in the same studio as I in a different period. I would often be in the room during my prep period getting ready for my next class. He complained about the cracking of his hands that would get really bad. I had the chance to observe his habits, and found that he would wash his hands with soap and water after nearly every thing that would get his hand dirty-often 4-5 times in a 50 minute period. He would teach 3 periods. One day I told him to only rinse his hands, except before eating and after restroom, as he was removing the protective oils from the hands. He tried doing that, and found that his hands healed up in a month. Next year no cracking. I always use a little hand cream in the studio, but don't obsess with it.

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I have been sculpting in porcelain for a while now and had the same problem. I make sure to scrub out all the clay with a nail brush and then I use A+D ointment.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Original-Ointment-All-Purpose-Skincare-Formula/dp/B000R37O18/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1349447414&sr=8-2&keywords=a+d+ointment

 

A manicurist told me about it years ago for my toenails. I use it in the winter too, for my feet, slather on A+D and then put some socks on before bed - it works wonders! I think the main ingredients are petroleum jelly and lanolin. I think I will give the vinegar a try too.

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I have a nail problem that I have not heard other potters discuss: my nails easily separate from the beds, not entirely, but maybe half the length. I have learned this is a condition called onycholysis. Even with nails clipped very short, stuff like clay (or garden dirt, or food) can easily get stuck in there and make it worse. I wish there was a better solution, but the only way to manage this is to wear gloves or finger cots. Tried throwing with taped fingers, tried painting finger tips with liquid bandage products, but these don't work for me. So I keep a box of tight fitting nitrile gloves in the studio and in the kitchen, and re-use a number of times before disposing. Any other ideas are welcome!

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I don't know about Bag Balm, but I personally swear by Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme. It comes in a little tin and all you do is rub your fingers on the waxy stuff and then massage it into your nails and cuticles before bedtime (do it every night whether you've been potting or not). It helps moisturize without petroleum products, helps your nails to grow and strengthen, and also works on those little cuts as well as chapped lips. Lemon has antiseptic properties, plus it smells refreshing and tastes great! It's all natural as well and easily found at many stores including CVS.

 

If you don't want to spend money on the Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme, go with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Rub a dab into each nail/cuticle until your hands don't feel greasy. If you do it at night you don't have to worry about contaminating your clay, etc.

 

PS, clip your nails...don't bite! That can worsen your problem. But I do echo the sentiment about keeping them short.

 

 

Years ago, I had a colleague that taught in the same studio as I in a different period. I would often be in the room during my prep period getting ready for my next class. He complained about the cracking of his hands that would get really bad. I had the chance to observe his habits, and found that he would wash his hands with soap and water after nearly every thing that would get his hand dirty-often 4-5 times in a 50 minute period. He would teach 3 periods. One day I told him to only rinse his hands, except before eating and after restroom, as he was removing the protective oils from the hands. He tried doing that, and found that his hands healed up in a month. Next year no cracking. I always use a little hand cream in the studio, but don't obsess with it.

 

 

 

I used to have the same issue, no doubt for the same reason. I still need to try to use less soap, when I "Wash" my hands. Between washing my hands during ceramics and washing my hands during photo, they get pretty dry, especially during the winter months.

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There is a product on the market that i have found helps. You put it on before you go to work. It is called "Gloves in a Bottle." I think it kinda locks in the moisture in your skin and nails. Wash the clay off after and use a old toothbrush on the nails. I sometimes put it back on after too. Hope it helps.

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There is a product on the market that i have found helps. You put it on before you go to work. It is called "Gloves in a Bottle." I think it kinda locks in the moisture in your skin and nails. Wash the clay off after and use a old toothbrush on the nails. I sometimes put it back on after too. Hope it helps.

 

 

I've used that product, or at least a similar one. However, I used it when using oil-base printmaking inks, so they washed off easier.

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  • 7 years later...
On 9/17/2012 at 3:02 PM, Edith Marie said:

 

 

Hello Armen,

 

Some times I bite my finger nails and when I throw my nails grow back fast, maybe it is the mud factor. After having my hands in water and clay I use lotion through out the day rubbing small amounts onto each nail/finger. Unsure what product to use, treat yourself to a manicure (hold the polish) and get tips from the professional for a good lotion.

 

Edie

Idk if you still get on this forum, but I agree, my nails seem to grow twice as fast after doing a few days of pottery. Unfortunately, I can't do it as often as I'd like or used to. I'm 32, but have pretty severe arthritis and other connective tissue problems. But, sometimes I just suck it up the best I can because I just want to be able to enjoy making something. Usually has to be pretty small or at least simple pieces because if I start hurting from doing it for the few days after, it's tough to get it completed the way I want. Obviously, that's not every time and usually I'm pretty good at preparing like I WILL be hurting by spray it down and covering it. Sorry for blabbing on, just saw your comment and have the same thing, nails just grow like crazy!

-Andrew

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On 9/18/2012 at 8:46 AM, Darla said:

So, this will sound a little silly, but use a lot of gentle soap and a nail brush (Gently) after you throw. Got all the little bits of clay. In my case, this is more important after a glazing session than a clay session.

 

Then use Neosporin-type cream.... Then use a bit more of the neosporin cream at bedtime... really working it into the nail bed and the cuticle. (If you have any skin allergies... be careful of the bag balm. I'm terribly allergic to bag balm... my hands swell and buff up - itch! horrible!)

Sounds not only silly, but incredibly obvious to wash my hands with soap after clay.  Not perfect, but huge improvement over water only.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I use this stuff, found in the sunscreen aftersun area at the store, when my hands get dry...it doesn't happen often unless i am throwing in the winter in a draft. But i have never had an issue with my nails as you can see from my thumb's nail in the photo. The lotion smells like a day at the beach so thats always nice.

E9AC7608-D7DB-4509-9A2F-AB588177C891.jpeg

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