I have been suffering from infections in the nails for the past several months. One of my friends suggested it could be due to a manicure I had undergone at a salon. Is it possible?

This condition is medically known as paronychia. The initial onset of paronychia is mostly seen after an injury to the nail folds or to the nail cuticle. This sort of injury can be inflicted through several ways. However, we believe that particularly in women, such an injury is most commonly caused during manicure/pedicure procedures. Cutting the nail margins very deep often results in causing a collateral damage to the skin around the nail. At the same time, cutting the cuticles is medically unadvisable as it is nature’s protective mechanism for protection of the nail matrix. There is a two-fold treatment plan to treat paronychia. First, we have to treat the acute complaints by prescribing a course of oral antibiotics together with topical antiseptic and antibacterial solutions. During the entire treatment period until complete recovery, you should extremely minimise water and soap contact. Stop doing aggressive manicure procedures which will result in restarting the complaints again.

Can you suggest an easy hydrating facial for dry skin to do at home?

Firstly, start with a mild skin cleanser such as cleansing milk to remove any traces of make-up. Rinse your face with water after removing the cleansing milk but skip face wash altogether as that can cause excess dryness. You should also skip the facial steam process at home because, if not done correctly, it can result in dehydrating the skin even further. But, of course, exfoliating with a cream-based scrub is an essential step towards getting rid of dead skin cells during this home facial. Rinse off the cream scrub with water and follow this step with the application of a sheet mask. Enriched with hydrating serum, sheet masks repair and restore the skin’s glow and elasticity. Also, it’s vital that you pay extra attention to your lip and eye areas as these are prone to premature wrinkles. Use a good eye cream and lip mask to ensure these areas don’t feel neglected. Next, massage a dollop of facial oil onto the face and neck and leave it on 15 minutes for it to absorb. This extra dose of nourishment helps to rejuvenate dry, parched skin. Follow this with a hydrating gel cream as your final step and you’re done.