Use by dates: The balm has no preservatives, which are not needed if sealed hence the 3 year shelf life. Once you start using it, however, we recommend it is discarded after 3 months, especially if you are receiving chemotherapy and likely to have periods of lower immunity.
Consistency: Like all oils and waxes polybalm is influences by ambient temperatures. If too hot the balm can be a little too runny (in this case consider cooling in a fridge before use. If too cold it may be a little difficult to remove from the tube (in this case warm in your pocket or next to your skin).
Removing from the tube: The applicator needs to be rotated to the sides of the tube to apply the balm to its tip – as in the instructional video. If this is proving difficult after a weeks or so warm the tube slightly and give a good stir.
Hands and feet: We recommend you keep one tube for the nails on the hand and the other for the nails on the feet. Although the balm has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, this would provide even greater precaution against cross infection.
Using the balm:
Applying to the nails: Use the central applicator to massage the balm into the skin at the base of the nail and around the cuticle. You can also use the applicator to push the dead skin on the nail back into the cuticle. Massage into the cuticle would help the distribution of the oils into the tissues. Leave on for one minute then remove excess with a cloth or rinse hand in warm water, then dry.
How often should it be used: The original trial recommended its application three times a day. Patients on chemotherapy also used it more often if they wished – there is no upper limit. They reapplied before a shower (without wiping off first) and topped up after washing dishes or swimming. It is particularly important to use after nail varnish remover is used. For men and women with psoriasis we would recommend the same frequency.
Allergy: In the original trial there was no case of allergy but in unexpected redness does occur – discontinue use.
During chemotherapy: We recommend other precautions are used to help the nails during therapy (see advice page). In the trial some people still had problems with their nails but the trial clearly demonstrated less people had problems, the severity of damage was less which resulted in a significantly better quality of life.
General use: As polybalm significantly helps the nails under the extreme stress of chemotherapy it is very likely to help the stress and attach on the nails in everyday life. We recommend, in this situation it is used before a bath or shower, after using nail polish remover and once or twice a day.