Everyone suffers from dry skin on their hands occasionally. For most, applying a good moisturizer throughout the day is all that is needed. However, sometimes a little dry skin goes a little further and becomes chapped hands. The next thing you know, your hands are cracked and painful. What causes this progression? What can we do to soothe our hands when moisturizer isn't enough?
What causes chapped hands?
- Aging and genetics - both can play a part in whether a person is especially susceptible to dry hands
- Climate - weather not only plays havoc with our hair, it does the same with our skin; sun, cold, dry, lack of humidity, all of these can cause dry skin that leads to chapped or cracked hands
- Water - hydrate from the inside (good), hydrate from outside (not so good); over-exposure to water dries out our skin fast
- Medication - certain prescription medications can cause your skin to become dry
- Exposure to chemicals - dishwashing detergent and other cleaning solutions are especially harmful to our skin
How to soothe dry, chapped, or cracked hands?
- Limit the time your hands are in the water and wear rubber gloves for protection.
- When drying hands, pat them dry rather than rub. Use a moisturizing lotion often, making sure it is fragrance-free and does not contain alcohol.
- Limit showers and baths to 20 minutes in cool or lukewarm water. There are several moisturizers on the market designed specifically to be used on wet skin.
- Use hand sanitizer to kill germs in place of washing with soap.
- Massage your hands for 10 minutes with your favorite plant-based oil (i.e., olive, safflower) before rinsing with warm water.
- Before bed, add a layer of shea butter and put a pair of old (clean) socks or cotton gloves on your hands for the night.
- When home remedies aren't enough, use a paraffin wax treatment. There are several products available at our website that will do wonders for your skin.