|Left untreated extreme dryness can lead to painful cracks and possible infection.|
This is the time of year that our hands are more prone to developing splits and cracks of the skin due to more dryness in the air, which can be extremely painful and a problem to heal if not treated properly. However, there are several options that you may want to try to remedy the situation.
Before the skin opens enough to bleed, you need heavy lubrication with a greasy moisturizing cream. At this stage, a thinner hand lotion formula won’t be sufficient enough for your needs. Look for a moisturizing cream that has emollients and humectants such as petroleum jelly, lanolin and coconut oil, which is harder to wash off as fast as typical hand lotion. Reapply often.
|A few simple changes can make all the difference for the health of your hands.|
For those difficult spots between the fingers and their tips, you might even want to try a diaper ointment. It is geared for extra sensitive skin, provides a water barrier and packed with healing power, especially if you look for one with vitamin A, D, and E in the formula.
Another helpful tip before those rough lines turn into cracks is applying a thin coat of petroleum jelly to the hands before covering them with a pair of gloves upon turning in for the night.
Once that skin starts to split, crack and bleed, you need to prevent infection with an antibiotic ointment. My dermatologist recommends Polysporin because it is less likely to cause contact dermatitis having just the Polymixin B Sulfate (antibiotic) and the Bacitracin (to handle the bacteria) over something like Neosporin that has an extra ingredient that your skin could react too. Apply as directed and always cover with a bandage. Keep lubricating the uncovered areas as well.
If your skin still doesn’t respond, a fungus could be responsible for the problem. You might want to try using Vicks VapoRub. With camphor, menthol, eucalyptus oil, cedar leaf oil, nutmeg oil, petrolatum, and proven fungus fighting ingredient of thymol, it could be the solution that ends your misery.
Something else that you should think about involves the type of soap that you normally wash your hands with. Try changing strong antibacterial soaps for something milder for washing your hands. A bar that has lotion built in the formula could help reduce irritation.
Washing dishes manually also contributes to increasing the likelihood of drying out our hands. Though it is clumsy to use rubber gloves, they can help defend the hands from harsh, drying detergents and water better than going without.
Since the air inside your home is extra dry, which increases your chances of this problem, you may want to get a humidifier to put more moisture in the air. Then again, you can always put some water in a dish by your heating vents to help accomplish the same thing, if price is a factor.
Finally, you might want to increase your vitamin C intake for your overall body’s health. Being deficient in this vitamin could be another cause of the skin cracking.
Hopefully, the information that I shared will help prevent or bring you relief because suffering is not beautiful!