How can I avoid health problems from working as a washer-woman

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If possible, use rubber or plastic gloves to protect your hands.

Keep your hands as dry as you can. Use lotion or the thick juice from an aloe plant after you finish working. If your nails begin to look thick or damaged, try painting them right away with gentian violet.

Try keeping a bowl of cool black tea or vinegar water (one capful of vinegar in one quart of water) next to the sink. Each time you use soapy water, soak your hands in the tea or vinegar for one minute.

Use the juices of fresh plants that are known in your area for helping skin problems like rashes, burns, or itching. Gather and wash fresh plants, and grind them into a watery paste. Put your hands in this mixture as often as you can.

  • Burns, A. A., Niemann, S., Lovich, R., Maxwell, J., & Shapiro, K. (2014). Where women have no doctor: A health guide for women. Hesperian Foundation.
  • Audiopedia ID: en030131