Some people will be washing their hands more frequently to avoid getting a cold or the flu now that it’s winter. Though it’s good to be cautious protecting yourself against disease, it also can create dangerous conditions for your skin. You can be stripping your skin’s protective natural oils and cause pain and dryness or even worse with cracking, peeling, and bleeding, which can lead to fissures and infection. Therefore, let me share some useful skin care advice on how to beat severely dry hands and stop suffering.
I’m not saying you should stop washing your hands. However, you might want to use warm water instead of hot when you do. Hot water will strip those natural oils from your skin far faster than washing with warm water.
The next thing to do is always remember to create a moisture barrier after each washing to keep the water on your hands from evaporating. Keep a bottle of hand lotion on your desk in plain view
and apply every time you return from the rest room or at least five times at day.
Look for formulas that contain ingredients for both emollients (lubricants) such as lanolin, squalene, and jojoba oil and humectants (moisturizing agents that can draw moisture from the air) like
hyaluronic acid, urea, aloe, and lactic acid.
Pay particular attention to lotions with shea butter since it is both an emollient and humectant, double the benefit!
You might also try to avoid hand creams and lotions with fragrance while your hands are not up to par. Fragrance at this time can make them extra sensitive.
If all else fails and you’re getting minimal relief from hand creams and lotions, there is a home remedy that you may want to try that will help heal the chapping. Soak a thin cloth napkin or a piece
of muslin in a mix of a half cup of milk to a half cup of water. Wring the wet cloth and place on your hands for about ten minutes. The protein from the milk is what helps heal that damaged dry, chapped skin.
For more help on how to beat severely dry hands, do read my post winter weather hand care.