As a dog groomer your hands can come in for a beating. Many dog groomers, like hairdressers can suffer with terrible skin irritations due to the rigours of the job. There are several reasons for this:
Exposure to water- Repeated exposure to water removes skin lipids that remove the natural moisturising barrier.
Regular contact with shampoo - Dog grooming shampoo can contain high levels of sodium chloride. The shampoo industry uses it as a thickening agent. This can be irritating to our skin if you are constantly bathing dogs.
Contact with hair- Pet hair can cause skin irritation. Sharp, freshly cut hair can penetrate our skin or get under our finger nails. This can be fiercely irritating as well as difficult to remove, and can open your skin to infections.
Equipment injuries - Injuries from scissors, clippers, dryers and hydraulic tables can cause concern.
Animal Bites - Sharp claws and teeth are a real concern. They can damage the skin, leaving open wounds that are irritating, and at the most can get infectious.
Dryers and Blasters - The air from dryers and blasters can dry your skin.
So what as a groomer, can you do?
Avoid wearing jewellery, especially rings. Water and shampoo can get trapped under that can cause irritation.
Apply a skin conditioner, such as Hand Medic that is developed to protect and restore the natural barrier skin requires to heal.
Wear gloves when you go outside to protect from chilblains.
Wear a pair of protective Anti-Bite Scratch Sleeves. Designed to be worn over or under your workwear. Protects against bites and scratches.
Wear a pair of protective Waterproof Sleeves. Elasticated at both ends, these waterproof sleeves are handy to pop on to protect against water and hair.
How to remove hair splinters? Removing a hair splinter can be particularly tricky, since hair is much thinner than other substances like wood and metal. Firstly, soak the skin in warm water with some Epsom Salts for about 30 minutes. If you can see the end of the hair, try and grip it with a pair of tweezers. If you still can't remove the hair splinter, ask your pharmacy for some drawing ointment. Place some over the splinter and cover with plaster. By the morning the hair splinter should have come to the top, for you to remove easier.
Your hands are the most valuable tool you will have as a groomer, and taking care of yourself is just part of running a grooming business.
Have any more hair removal tips? Let us hear from you!