If you have ever experienced the irritation and discomfort of dry hands or skin, you understand how frustrating and unpleasant the ailment can be. Dry hands can have many causes but while some can be avoided, others cannot. Treatment for dry hands and skin can differ depending on the cause. I have compiled a list of reasons for dry hands and remedies that can be used to treat the problem.
What causes dry hands and skin?
Cold Weather: Cold weather presents itself as a dry skin culprit because of a perfect storm of circumstances. Winter weather has far less humidity in the air than Spring and Summer. On top of that, heating in the building is cranked up, drying out the air even further. This can lead to drying out skin as well.
Frequent Hand Washing/Harsh Soaps: Hand washing may kill germs and keep you clean, but soap can also dry out the skin and the more often it is used, the more your skin dries out.
Pregnancy: It’s quite common for the hormones coursing through your body during pregnancy to suck the moisture out of your skin, leaving behind dryness and a scaly appearance in some cases.
Hot Showers: Unfortunately, hot water and steam from the shower can dry out your skin. It may feel good, but it’s robbing your skin of moisture.
Aging: As we age (yes, all of us), our skin loses it’s elasticity and becomes thinner, which dries out much easier than in your youth.
Sun Damage: Love the sun? Well, the sun does not like you. Sunbathers and people who spend a lot of time outside in the elements run the risk of dry skin through sun exposure.
Illness or Medication: Dry skin can sometimes be a symptom of an illness; Diabetes for example. There are also some medications that have dry skin as a side effect.
What can you do?
Use Gentle Cleansers: Mild cleansers can be found for specially made for dry skin and hands and should help prevent moisture loss in the skin. Cleansers containing glycerin would be another helpful recommendation, but this is not always easy to find at your local store.
Apply Dry Skin Creams: There are many creams and lotions for dry skin on the shelves, but dermatologists recommend creams fortified with glycerin, lanolin or other rich hydrating oils. Cetaphil, Pond’s, Burt’s Bees, and Nutraderm are just a few of the many products that are sold at varying prices. Lanolin is highly recommended because of its ability to lock moisture into the skin.
Natural Remedies for Dry Hands:
Vinegar: Apply vinegar to clean hands and put on a pair of gloves overnight for softer hands.
Olive Oil: Rubbing in a thin layer of grease over your skin after a shower replenishes the moisture.
Dry Hands Prevention:
Change your soap: Changing out your soap for milder versions will help keep your skin from drying out, especially when frequents hand washing is called for during flu season.
Avoid the sun: The sun causes nothing but damage. Wear a hat and apply sunscreen.
Wear gloves: Wearing gloves while using cleaners and doing work that may expose your skin to irritants is an excellent preventative measure.
Colder Showers: The cooler the shower, the better for your skin. It may not be comfortable, but your skin will thank you.
Despite the cause, dry hands and skin shouldn’t have to be endured. Finding a solution that works for you may take a bit of trial and error but there are plenty of options. For severely dry skin issues, consult a dermatologist for treatment recommendations or a proper diagnosis. Don’t tolerate the pain of dry hands another moment!