Anyone can develop dry cracked hands especially, during the extreme cold and dry winter weather because the skin loses its moisture. We do almost everything using our hands whether it is light or heavy manual work exposing them to conditions that cause them to become dry and cracked. When hands are cracked there will be pain and even bleeding and these will make them prone to infection.
Causes of dry cracked hands
- Winter weather
- Frequent washing
- Lack of moisture
- Being exposed to skin-parching chemical-based household cleaners
- Prolonged immersion of hands in water
- Using harsh soap
- Getting older
Should we stop washing our hands to avoid dryness? Of course not, we have to give them proper nourishment and routine skin care along with the best hand creams.
Treatment for dry cracked hands
- Return the moisture to them
Remember that lack of moisture is one of the most causes of dry cracked hands. Moisturizing your hands means preventing the water escaping from your skin.
After bath pat your skin dry with towel and moisturize your hands and other area with your favorite oil based over the counter creams. When you choose moisturizer, it should be the right moisturizer that contains lubricants like lanolin, and humectants like glycerin to provide moisture to the skin’s surface. If your hands are damaged and cracked it is time to consider therapeutic moisturizer like petroleum jelly or other thick moisturizers that contain cocoa and Shea butter. Apply generous amount of petroleum jelly on affected area then wear cotton gloves to keep the petroleum jelly in place when you sleep. Make applying moisturizers several times a day your habit.
Try using the following natural oils as they are fundamentals to treat dry skin.
For centuries olive oil has been used for skin moisturizing purpose. It helps the skin to retain its moisture and also it is safe and natural alternative to other commercial moisturizers. Apply small drop and massage your hands with it then put on the cotton gloves in order to get soft and beautiful hands.
This is an excellent moisturizer especially if your hands become flaky and cracked. It provides vitamins, proteins and moisture to your dry hands. Extract the gel from the aloe leaf and apply the gel several times a day on the affected area for few months. By doing this you will get not only soft and beautiful hands but also healthy and glowing skin.
It has amazing moisturizing properties that help deal with dry skin on your hands. Coconut oil contains antioxidants that combat free radicals which accelerate the aging process of the skin. It absorbs onto the skin quickly and helps your hands feel soft and moist. Warm the coconut oil and rub it on the affected area to soften your hands. To get best result use virgin coconut oil every night before you go to bed.
- Wear rubber gloves
To prevent further dryness and cracks, it is good to wear rubber gloves whenever you wash dishes or if your job requires regular contact with chemical based house hold cleaners.
- Methods to wash your hands
If you wash your hands with hot water and harsh soap, they can get dried and cracked. To prevent this, consider the following hand washing methods.
- Wash gently
- Choose oil-based moisturizing soap
- Do not scrub your hands aggressively when you wash them
- Avoid frequent hand washing because this may cause the skin on your hands to lose its natural oils
- If your job requires frequent hand washing, protect your hands by using oil based soap and a moisturizing lotion
- Rinse off well don’t leave soap residue as it causes irritation and make the condition worse.
- Pat dry with a soft towel and apply a moisturizer.
- How to deal with the cracks
Start by checking the signs for infection on the affected area. In some cases, the affected area can be tender or blood oozing from it . You will need a professional treatment from your doctor or health worker if you see any sign or symptoms of infection.
Soak the cracked hands in warm soapy water for five minutes every night. Avoid soaking for long time. The longer you soak, the further your hands get dry. Dry them with clean towel and apply petroleum jelly then cover them with cotton gloves.
Apply bandages on the affected area. You may need to change bandages several times a day.
If the condition gets worse and no improvement despite proper home treatment, it indicates that there are underlying skin problems such as, eczema or psoriasis and you must see a dermatologist. He or she will prescribe medications for that particular condition.