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Your hands and gardening

Posted by Sonhadora z7MD (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 21, 03 at 12:13

I wasn't sure in which forum I should post this question. Let's try it here. Last year was my fist year of serious gardening. Even though I thought I was protecting my hands most of the time, at one point (despite all the lotion I use all the time regardless of the season), my hands looked horrible: the skin was rough, lots of little cuts on my right hand, etc.) Now the season barely started and I already see the signs of gardening on my right hand - even though this time I am trying to be even more careful. Any tips?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Your hands and gardening

Good leather gloves, if you don't mind wearing them. Also using Neutrogena hand cream every night and leaving it on while I sleep really helps.
Mrs H


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Check out Foxgloves. They are wonderful for keeping your hands and nails looking nice. However, don't use them for pulling thorny stuff, for that you'll need to put a pair of leather gloves over them.

Diann

Here is a link that might be useful: Foxgloves Garden Gloves


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Ordinary glycerine, from the chemist. Cheap - not greasy, water soluble. Use a tiny amount abouut the size of a pearl. Rub well in. VERY EFFECTIVE


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RE: Your hands and gardening

  • Posted by Rosa 4 CO (My Page) on
    Fri, May 2, 03 at 21:13

I used a product that my boss bought to work when we were digging soil samples all summer last year. It's made for climbers and called "the bar". VERY expensive and can be found in outdoor/outfitter type shops. Worth every penny-best stuff I ever used.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Corn Husker's Lotion. Also glycerin and makes hands quite soft.

Julie


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Sometimes, I wear regular latex gloves then my cloth gloves or leather. I first put on hand lotion, then Vaseline, then the latex gloves and finally the cloth or leather gloves. Of course, it depends on what I'm doing that I'm able to do this, but it creates a nice little sauna and my hands are soft. If I gardening where I'm taking the gloves on and off, it won't work.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

For me, hand gloves and Aloe = ;-]

Supannee
Ankrara's Hobby Corner


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Gosh, I CAN NOT garden with gloves. I start off with the best intentions and then off they come with me not even realizing. I use Corn Huskers also, it's cheap and not at all greasy. You'll love it.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

re my previous note re glycerine - also before you start work - wash your hands with soap (not too much water) work up a good thick lather, and keep massaging until the soap has "dried in" Don't use a towel to dry your hands. Also make sure your nails are full of lather ( or scrape them on the soap). When you finish gardening, wash your hands as usual and the soap will come out of your skin and bring the dirt with it. Then use the glycerine.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

I put soap under my nails, put on a pair of disposable plastic gloves, the loose kind, 100 for $1.00 at the dollar store, then put on cotton garden gloves on top of those. I read in one of the Joey Green books that coating your hands with VO5 is good but never tried it. Sometimes I also slather my hands in vasleine before bed and put cotton socks or gloves over them. Sadly, my hands are usually a mess anyway, I have a kitten in a scratchy/bitey let's play mood for now!


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RE: Your hands and gardening

  • Posted by gerik z5 Chicago (My Page) on
    Sat, May 17, 03 at 7:40

I use lanolin. Very cheep 1lb about 10 dollars and lasts all season. If I think about it I put it (wared by the radiator) on my hands in the AM before doing any gardening and then at night.I have naturally dry skin and this protects them even in winter.There was a long udderly funny ( some gardeners use udder cream) thread on this about a year ago on this forum.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

i may try the soap trick(IF i remember)
i HATE gloves on!! i have to FEEL the whole experience!! what the point if i'm not? i dunno mayb ei am just crazy...
lol
also i never KNOW when i'm gonna do something in the yard...i just find myself doing it.....


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RE: Your hands and gardening

try not to use lotions that list water as the first ingredient. use stuff that is oil/wax/petroleum based. that way, the moisture is sealed in your skin, not evaporating out of it.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

I don't have much useful to add except my sympathy. I'm inmy early 50's and didn't wear gloves till last year. I felt the same way about "feeling the plants." It is true!However with all the changes accompanying later middle age the gloves just fell onto my hands....the growing dyness and discomfort was got too much.
And if you do any work in the "real" world (non gardening) I just couldn't get my cuticles clean enough not to look like a culture for bacteria.

I loved a rough little bar of soap by Burt's bees. It had lanolin and a little pumice...my dear mil threw it out cause it was rather nasty...well its the only annoying thing she's done in the 9 months living here. I forgive her.
idabean


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RE: Your hands and gardening

I used to share the same feeling about gardening with gloves on, but once I discovered blue nitrile "milkers" gloves, I use them for everything. They fit like the skin and I forget I have them on. Before I used them, I couldn't go anywhere civilized because of the black stain on my nails from digging and weeding until I had washed dishes two or three times. There is nothing like dishwater to clean up hands. I order mine from Valley Vet in Kansas. They are around $11. for a box of 100. Of course, they are not safe for pruning roses, etc. I notice now on all the potting mixes I use they suggest you wear gloves! I also use them in cleaning in the house, for painting projects, etc.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Bag Balm. Sold in farm stores to soften cow's udders after being chapped in wind and frozen precipitation and as a preventative to protect them from the elements. The teats get chapped and cracked and then the cows hurt when they are being milked which makes it dangerous for them and the milker. It's smelly (kind of a menthol smell, sort of), but works.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

I have never been able to find a pair of gloves I could use. The dirt always gets on the inside of the glove at the cuff because I have tiny wrists and then I end up throwing away the gloves. Also, like many of you, if I can't feel what I am doing I get very frustrated. But I found it increasingly difficult to get my cuticles clean and because I work in a professional environment, this was just not acceptable. So, after reading this post, I decided to try the foxgloves. I really like them! Unfortunately, I bought them last week and I already have a hole in the thumb. I am going to take them back tonight. I am sure I must have gotten a defective pair.

Tara


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Tara (SGFNY), what did the retailer do about your Foxgloves?? I bought 2 pairs last year and a seam let loose on one thumb of one pair, no problem, I just sewed it back up and it's been fine since. I got a new red pair this spring. ;) Just wanted something red. :) I really like these gloves, my nails haven't looked this good in years. ;)

Diann


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RE: Your hands and gardening

I use Shaver gloves that I get for $.99 at a local gas station where I use to work. Shaver is a "local" company (not sure how local, didn't know they were local until I happened to have a pair in the store I was working in & the men who owned the company, father & son it looked like, noticed them & asked me about them). I like them because they fit around my wrist & I can use them outside when gardening to keep blisters off my hands & I can use them inside the stores I work so when I touch metal dolleys, etc. I don't get the crap shocked out of me. I'm sure there's something similar in other areas. These are white with black dot-things all over that are raised alittle. I also use the Corn Huskers lotion.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

I try to use gloves, but sometimes I just have to feel what I'm doing directly! I couldn't stand the sensation of soap jammed under my nails . I use a toothbrush, dish soap, and very warm water, and have no problem getting my hands pristine-clean in a few minutes. When my hands start to dry out too much, any old lotion slathered on, covered with cotton gloves, and slept in, restores them to new. I also make sure I always use lotion after washing & drying them.

That said, I keep my nails short, never use polish, and don't have to fuss over my cuticles except to even them out a couple times a year.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Definitely BAG BALM. I always end up without gloves, and this stuff has worked better than anything. Coat it on nice and thick.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Hi There

After soaking my hands in Dove soap and using a brush - I use either Vitamin E oil (no additives) which comes in a small bottle at your local pharmacy and I also use Palmers Cocoa Butter in the jar NOT the lotion - a little goes a long way it sells for about $3.99 at our CVS. Make sure to massage them either product into our hands both sides well. It's good to especially use these at night NOT while you are outside gardening or you will FRY your skin!!! Also Aveeno works and I find lotions containing almond extract (ingredient listed first or at least second or third) work well and are good for my nails. Hope that helps! I don't like wearing gloves because I can't work well with them, if I have to wear gloves I use the disposable ones. I am just too clumpsy wearing gloves.

Happy Gardening
Chantel :-)


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RE: Your hands and gardening

OH Burt Bee's Almond Milk cream works well too!


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Anyone use Neutrogena Norwegian Formula? It quickly heals all the cracks and cuts I get.

I'm also going to try the glycerin -- sounds good & cheap!


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RE: Your hands and gardening

I too put soap under my nails, I keep a bar in the hose reel box, looks ugly but works fine, I too wear plastic gloves under the blue or green plastic coated well fitting gloves and its great, how ever I would prefer the really nice nitrile gloves but theyre too pricey where i find them. Sleeping in a pair of cotton gloves after generous lotion is applied does alot. For me its the moisture that takes its toll, so I change the minute i get my gloves wet any more. good luck
laurie


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Ido home repair and light construction as well as gardening. My hand were awful. Iused corn huskers followed by udder cream and my hands once again look like they belong on a woman. I swear by it.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Please use your gloves...I have about 6 or 7 pairs. Years later, you'll be glad you did. Also, they protect your hands from tiny little bugs or spiders, insects, etc..that might bite, and prevent other injuries.


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using gloves..con't

You'll eventually get used to the gloves. I have been gardening now for only 3 years and I grab them automatically when I know I'm going to the garden. I keep a couple in my kitchen by my back door and a couple in the garage....easiest way to get to my front yard for gardening.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

I use full-strength Aloe often when I come back indoors, to restore skin PH after rinsing hands in plain cool water. Then heavy cream a little later. Most soaps irritate, so go easy there. Even water is irritating to worn-out or reactive skin, so protection is helpful.

Don't waste money on lotions, bag balm, Vit E or other thin-greasy stuff that soaks in too fast to be of benefit to dishydrosis or irritant-type dermatitis affected skin. Constant re-application of this stuff makes irritant-type Dermatitis MUCH worse! That includes Eucerin lotion, and calendula-stuff often frequently given out by by pros.

Offering a sweetheart a leisirely backrub, often, in the evening however, using *loads* of baby oil is a good thing. Don't wash hands after -just snooze. When cooking with greasy stuff, do some mixing with hands, for temporary relief, as you are gonna rinse/wash hands again anyway. Don't rub heavily with towels when drying hands, go easy - these workhorses deserve some gentle treatment.

For dry or irritated skin, *THICK* heavy creams offer surface relief long enough for your skin to begin to heal itself. Nutrogena cream is a good example. Again, SKIP their lotion, as it is also too thin to be of benefit.

If you have deep, dry cracks - on hands or feet, rinse or soak the area a couple times and before bed with mashed Sword-leaf Plantain leaves (look near roadsides and yards) mixed with a little pure water. Cracks will close up overnight. This is a native American skin remedy that worked like a charm to help me recover from a disabling condition caused by NCR paper in the workplace.

For gloves, I also like the rubber hand ones, as they allow the skin to breathe. Latex & rubber make hands sweat - worsening your condition. I also like fitted soft leather, without linings, and GOLF gloves - if you can find them on Sale or at GoodWill. Even if solo and unmatched, they are great - fingers can feel what you are working on.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

After reaching into a thick bush to prune and getting nailed by wasps, I always wear my gloves. For dry skin I rub on a little olive oil.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

I recommend "No Crack" hand cream. My family fills my Christmas stocking with jars of it every year. It's available from Restoration Hardware and other sources, does not feel greasy or heavy, but is very healing. I MUST learn to wear gloves.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

  • Posted by Byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 21, 04 at 19:09

lavenderbuzzard

Try Bag balm, been using it for almost 50 years Nothing better

Byron


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Gloves aren't just for aesthetic purposes, they're also for health purposes. While it's nice to keep your hands clean, I recommend you get used to the feel of gloves because they keep your hands from being exposed to some nasty stuff (in addition to preventing bug bites). I know one gardener who got tetanus from working in the soil, and another who **(stop reading here if you're the queasy sort)** came in contact with the eggs of a parasitic worm that normally infects animals (dogs and cats), and now the skin of one of her hands is permanantly lumpy and scarred (and she was apparently at some risk of internal organ damage had she not been treated as quickly as she was).

Sorry if I grossed anyone out, but gloves are really a necessity.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Ooooph. I don't know if I should post this after reading that last post, but for those of us who will probably continue gardening without gloves I have a tip for getting your nails clean.

After gardening I would scrub, scrub, scrub, with a nail brush and detergent and still could not get the dirt _stains_ out from under my fingerails. I even tried the lemon juice trick - didn't work. I don't know if my nails are more porous than the average but they sure would get stained.

It is very important for me to have sparkling clean nails because working as a waitress my hands are in full close-up view to the customers. I wear my nais long but we are not allowed to wear nail polish at work which would cover up the undernail staining.

Here is what I have found works: Nair hair removal cream.

Nair is made to dissolve organic matter like hair, and it will actually dissolve skin if you accidentally leave it on too long.

After soaping and scrubbing, putting Nair under the nails will dissolve all the organic matter (AKA "dirt") that is trapped in the porous nail. Your nails will be sparkling WHITE. Doesn't hurt nails either.

It's easy to do if you use Nair on your legs anyway - just run your nails up your legs after applying and let the product accumulate thicky under your nails. Then leave on for the same amount of time as you would leave on your legs. (There are two types of Nair - the 2 min kind and the 15 min kind.)

Since I learned this trick I no longer show up at work with nails looking like 'my other job is auto mechanic'.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

  • Posted by cat2 z6 CT (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 27, 04 at 13:38

I try to wear gloves, they inevitably come off & the hands get dirty.

When I'm done, I scrub with a brush & soap- I'm mildly allergic to chemical based soaps, so I generally get home-made bars from someplace in Vermont, or soap from the health food stores made from an olive oil base. They are much less likely to make your skin react with itching & dryness. I didn't think of it, but I'm going to try a toothbrush on my nails for next year, I kept meaning to buy a nail brush. My hand brush is a soft type- not hard enough for the nails, really. Then I use a moisturizer from Kiss My Face with NaPC (or whatever they call it)- it seems to work well at helping my skin to stay moist & heal up for longer, especially if I mix it with the olive oil or Vit. A/E type. I totally stay away from the one with heavy calendula- I react to it. I use aloe before the lotion if they are really dry or nicks/scratches/bug bites. Definitely, do the overnight or double your tv time with cream or lotion on hands in plastic bags, socks, or gloves, and certainly take the time to rub some into your honey's back. Time length of exposure is what you are looking for.

Until I switched off regular chemical soaps & petroleum based skin products, I had to lotion up 2 or 3 times a day & still I'd itch & have dry patches.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Hi....I wear gloves most of the time, but only after (finally) finding ones small enough! If they're too big (fingers too long, etc.), I just end up taking them off, out of frustration. The best for me are the now-universal green 'rubber' ones with a bit of yellow knit on the top. I can usually find them in XS. Can't remember the brand name.

One of the best habits I've been trying to develop is to keep a tube of hand cream in the car and near my 'dog-walking' supplies spot at the back door. The goal is to slather on a bit of moisturizer every time I take the pooch for a walk (at least twice a day). Haven't 'trained' myself perfectly yet, but I figure every time I DO remember to do it means one less crack or callous to contend with.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

I know it sounds weird, but considering that I worked so many years as a nurse, I use hospital-type, powdered latex gloves for working with soil, compost or mulch. (The tight ones, not the loose vinyl ones.) I save regular gardening gloves for working with thorny roses. I keep a box in the garage just for this purpose. Put on a pair and then throw a couple of pair into a pocket. If I rip one or get a hole, I peel em off and put on another pair. I never get dirt under my fingernails. At most, might get a bit of dirt that comes in from the wrist area... And in warm weather, the sweat from your hands keeps the skin moist.

I look strange, but I don't have big skin problems. Just dont' try to deal with thorny plants with these puppies. Either strip em off or put regular gloves over them.

And they're cheap. A lot less expensive then buying special hand creams.

Btw, have a box in the house too. Use it for cleaning toilets or scrubbing tubs with Comet. Use once, throw em away.

I'd rather by latex then deal with skin breakage and possible infection.

And in the winter, making sure that I use lotion after washing my hands. I find that I have more to worry about from the cold, than from the dirt.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Udder and Bag Balm are excellent, but the best skin emollient I've ever used is the wonderful household standby--Crisco. Not the liquid in the bottle, the white cream in the can. It was recommended to me by a plastic surgeon to help reduce scarring. He owns horses and he uses Crisco to heal and protect his hands. It also avoids the problems of those who are allergic to aloe or lanolin.

As for gloves, check out the industrial safety and work gloves. They're designed for demanding environments and serious use. Most industrial safety gloves are only availble on a wholesale basis, but if you're friends with the manager of your local garden supply or a nursery, you can probably have them order a box or two for you. Turtleskin is my favorite among the anti-cut, anti-puncture gloves. Warwick Mills carries the Turtleskin. Kimberly-Clarke carries Safeskin. Do a search for protective gloves or industrial safety products to give you an idea.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Hi Grass isEvil- My grandma, who came from Germany in the 19th century, and had a beautiful yard including many rose bushes, used to put Crisco on her face. I don't know if it kept her young looking, she died in 1961 at age 77. I think she believed Crisco was a substitute for coldcream. I use Crisco in pie crusts! Tasty and cheap .


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Surgeon's Secret is 3 ingredients- beeswax, lanolin and mineral. Rub it into your hands before doing dirty work. It seals off the skin. Good for surgeons who have to scrub their hands raw. Walmart has been carrying tiny containers of a somewhat similar product in the sample-size section of their pharmacy called Palmer's Shea Butter Formula. It is is wax, coconut oil, ozokerite, vitamin E and fragrance. Smells like coconut. Looks like the white waxy stuff we used to use to spread on the connecting joints of my recorder (that's a wood musical instrument) and my sister's clarinet. I recently tried the Palmer product on my legs where I broke out in eczema and it really helped a lot to my surprise. I like both products because they don't stifle the skin like a lot of lotions and no horrible fragrances. I wipe my hands with kleenex after applying to remove the excess. The manufacturer's website for Surgeon's Secret is very interesting with old fashioned items like Bensons Bottom Paint (for babies or bedsores). There is an offer for a free sample of Surgeons Secret

Here is a link that might be useful: Surgeon's Secret


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RE: Your hands and gardening

though I wear gloves, always... the wear and tear is awful. I used to have glorious long fingernails... now, hideous but I still push back the cuticle and file the stump neatly and use clear polish.

My cure: DR SCHOLL'S CRACKED HEEL CREAM
Hear me out. It has serious moisture. It has an analgesic to help sooth pain and it has an antisteptic to fight infection. So, if scratch your face, you aren't putting icky thick petroleum-like hand treatment onto you pores... I hate my face breaking out because of my hand lotion. Try the Dr. Scholl's...


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Rubber gloves under garden gloves?? My hands get sweaty enough from regular gloves. After reading some of the horror stories here from ppl who became ill from plants (and insects!) that got into their skin, I make a point of wearing them.

I found a lotion and body oil at a craft show that I absolutely love. Bag Balm is great too; it was the only thing that would work on my daughters diaper rash, but it doesnt absorb very fast.

Here is a link that might be useful: Eve's Garden Products


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RE: Your hands and gardening

box of disposable latex gloves ... sometimes two pair on ... and a good hand cream!


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RE: Your hands and gardening

I worked as a rural mail carrier for 23 years in all kinds of weather and couldn't wear gloves because they did not permit me to sort through the mail. Consequently, I always had red, cracked, sore hands in the Winter. The only thing that seemed to help was to rub bag balm (available at pet supply stores, etc. very cheap) on my hands before bedtime and then wear white cotton gloves overnight. Now that I am retired I spend a lot of time gardening and wouldn't be caught without wearing latex gloves (the type that doctors and nurses wear but not sterile ones) when I garden. My hands are very sensitive and I don't have a problem when I wear these. I also wear them when I clean with any chemical products, bathroom cleaning and when I paint. I usually wear them when I mix things like meatloaf with my hands so that nothing gets under my nails and they are sanitary. They are a God-send and are quite inexpensive.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

I wear white cotton gloves under rubber gloves. I found the cotton gloves in the Vermont Country Store catalog. The rubber gloves are the kind you use for cleaning and dishwashing. My hands do get hot in warm weather, but I have never found a gardening glove that did a better job of keeping my hands and nails in good shape.

Juanita


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RE: Your hands and gardening

My hubby brought me home gloves from work, they are called superior touch and they work great. I find they last much longer then the other gardening gloves that I've used, and I can still feel everything.
I bought a really cute frog mailbox that I installed on my fence over one of my garden beds, I keep my gloves and pruners in there so its always handy.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Powdered disposable latex gloves for me! I got a very painful fungal infection in the cuticle from soil a few years ago. As if the swollen red finger wasn't bad enough, I had to have it lanced too, so I'm reaching for gloves always (well, maybe most of the time).


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Son't forget the best brush - surgeon's scrubs brushes are also economical

Here is a link that might be useful: Best nail brush


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RE: Your hands and gardening

the best gloves I've used in gardeing are found at the dollar store. They are a type of cotton glove dipped in some sort of (blue) latex. They are wonderful! The cotton helps your hands breathe and the latex protects from the throns and the "uglies". Occasionally I take them off to plant little things like radish seeds but you'd have that with any glove.
Also I heard if you scrape your fingernails over a bar of soap, it helps keep your nails clean after gardening.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

Forty years ago reumatologists often suggested gloves for any task like hoeing or shoveling that required gripping. It seems that it was considered better for the joints to uses gloves.

Should one be one the cusp of a decision, to glove or not to glove, this might be just the added nudge you need. Latex and rubber gloves were not retail products in those days. The doctors were talking about leather or fabric gloves.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

It's too hot here for gloves. I love the feel of soil. I like to toughen my hands by not using anything on them. They look fine- for my age! Occasionally I will use a cheap hand cream if they are extremely dry. Usually I don't pay any attention to my hands and have no problems.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

I use these, both the regular and the summer weight. They are by far, the best gloves I've ever used and I've been gardening for thirty years and worked in horticulture/floristry for over twenty.

They do come in size Small.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ultimate Gloves


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RE: Your hands and gardening

I am looking for a pair of garden gloves that don't let the dirt in. Most every pair I have ever had lets the dirt in at the tips of the fingers, and it destroys my manicure. If anyone has any suggestions, could you mention not only the brand but which ones are most protective, as each brand often has many styles and selections to choose from. I used some latex gloves yesterday, and today my hands are inflammed, red and itching. Guess i must be allergic to the gloves or else I got into some poison ivy or something. Anyway I am desperate for a pair of good, protective gloves that don't leak dirt and mud in.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

good leather gloves with teh drawstring at the wrist.

BTW, if you are serious then you need to decide whether the garden or the manicure is more important. i have never met a serious gardener that did NOT have dirt under their nails/in theirhair/on their face.


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RE: Your hands and gardening

crabtree and eveyln gardeners hand lotion, comes in a tin tube, don't take it outside if it gets too warm is liquid yuck


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