Dry Skin On Hands – Why Is It Formed And How To Treat It? June 24, 2016

While we take the utmost care of our skin and hair, one area that we often tend to ignore are our hands. It is only when the skin on our hands feels excessively dry that we think of a remedy.

Understanding your skin better

Our skin is coated with a very thin layer of natural lipids. This layer keeps your skin soft and supple and locks in the natural moisture of the skin.

When this natural layer protecting your skin is ripped off, you find your skin feeling dry and scaly. Xerosis, which is the medical term for dryness, is caused when this layer of fatty acids are eroded, leaving your skin unprotected.

[ Read: Dry skin ]

What causes dry skin on hands?

There can be more than one reason for dry skin though many attribute the condition only to winter. Here are a few causes that lead to dry skin on hands.

  • Your environment can play a leading role in causing dry hands
  • Winter can dehydrate your skin and leave it scaly and dry
  • Washing your hands or submerging your hands in water too often or for prolonged times
  • Exposure to skin parching chemicals
  • High humidity can inhibit the production of natural oils on the hand and thus cause dryness
  • Genetic makeup can also play a vital role in causing dry skin

We can’t give up on our regular work in order to keep our hands soft and supple. But we can always surely take care. Following the right skin care regimen and using the right products can go a long way in keeping your hands soft as a feather.

Home Remedies for Dry Hands

1. Protect your hands:

We use our hands all through the day except while sleeping, so it can be hard to keep moisturizers in place. Moisturize your hands before you hit the bed. If that is not possible wear a pair of clean gloves and keep it on for half an hour after lathering your hands with a good moisturizer. This will ensure that the emollients work on your dry skin.

2. Wash wisely:

Do not skimp on cleanliness, however do not over wash your hands either. Regular washing helps keep a number of contagious illnesses at bay. Wash your hands gently and preferably with lukewarm water. Avoid hot water as this strips the skin off essential oils.

3. Steer clear of artificial products:

Do not use deodorants or heavily scented soaps. These erode the top layer of fatty oils that protect your skin and keep it soft. Anti-bacterial foams too do more harm than good! All of these contain chemical additives that can leave your hands parched and aggravate itching. Use soap-less cleansers that are easily available in most stores. These are soft on the hands and also cleanse them thoroughly. Cleansers like cetaphil, aquanil and oilatum are recommended for those who suffer from very dry skin on the hands.

4. Avoid fabric softeners:

Only use fragrance free detergents to wash your laundry. Strange as it may seem, the chemicals in these softeners can aggravate dry skin and itchiness.

[ Read: Top 10 Dry Skin Care Treatments ]

5. Do not use scrub brushes:

Using hard scrub brushes and wash clothes can further aggravate dry skin. If you feel you cannot do without them, opt for softer variations of the brushes and use them lightly. Always pat dry and avoid rubbing hard after a shower.

6. Wear comfortable clothing:

Do not wear clothes that are too tight, this can chafe your skin and cause irritation. Avoid wools, opt for cashmere instead.

7. Moisturize your hands generously:

Moisturizing is the key remedy to combat dry hands. Establish a routine and ensure that you moisturize your hands after each wash. Use oil based moisturizers for best results. Ointments are generally the oiliest emollients that will help nourish your skin. Test the moisturizer by putting some lotion in your palm and flip it over. If it runs or drips, simply discard for it is not good enough to treat dry skin. Look for products that have.

  • Petroleum jelly, lanolin and a good proportion of mineral oil, this will trap the water in the skin and keep it hydrated.
  • Urea and lactic acid as main constituents; this will treat severe dry skin.
  • Hyaluronic acid, as it helps skin retain moisture
  • Glycerin and dimethicone, these components draw water to the skin

8. Go for regular medical checkups:

Dry skin may be the personification of underlying health conditions like diabetes, psoriasis eczema, and hypothyroidism. Malnutrition can also cause dryness. A regular check up will keep you abreast of any ailment that needs to be looked into.

[ Read: Fairness Tips For Dry And Dull Skin ]

Always use natural products, eat healthy and drink water in plenty. If you still suffer from dry skin on the hands, visit a dermatologist who will prescribe strong emollients to combat the dryness.

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