You don’t mind following exhaustive routines to take care of your facial skin and achieve that famous glow. True? But, what about the skin on your hands? Are your hands dry and cracked most of the time?
Well, given the amount of handwashing, chemicals and environmental aggressors your hands are repeatedly put through in a day, dry and chapped hands are not easy to avoid. It is not a surprise that dryness is one of the common concerns related to hands. If you wish to heal and prevent dry hands, keep scrolling.
What Are Dry Hands A Sign Of?
Dry hands mean that the skin on your hands is not able to produce enough sebum to keep them hydrated. Overwashing the hands, contact with chemicals and dry climatic conditions can trigger this concern.
Dry hands tend to age faster due to depleted levels of collagen (a protein that holds the skin cells together). You may notice wrinkles on the top on your palms. The skin on the underside of your palms is still thicker and does not get impacted by aggressors quickly.
Why Do My Hands Get Dry And Cracked?
Weather conditions like winters and extremely dry climatic conditions tend to make your hands drier. Lack of moisture in the air makes the hand go thirsty for hydration.
2. Medical Conditions
Medical conditions like diabetes and lupus can lower the blood circulation to your hands, causing dryness. Eczema and psoriasis (an autoimmune disorder) causes skin inflammation and eventually, dry hands, peeling and cracking of skin.
3. Workplace Conditions
People who work at hospitals (like doctors, nurses and medical staff) may be overusing sanitizers, which can rip off the natural oils from their hands, causing dryness. Air conditioners in offices too can strip the oils from your hands.
The chemicals present in hand sanitizers, hand washes, soaps, dishwashers, hair styling products, etc. can all cause dry hands. Factory workers and hairdressers dealing with chemical irritants are subjected to wear and tear of the skin on the hands.
How To Treat Dry Hands?
1. Apply Moisturizing Cream
Use a good moisturizer or hand cream to replenish the moisture lost from your hands. Hand creams may contain occlusives like petroleum, mineral oil, shea butter, etc. Occlusives form a thin film on the skin to prevent water from escaping. Humectants attract moisture from the air into the skin. Emollients provide smoothness to the skin.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and an extremely soothing ingredient for the skin. You can buy OTC (over-the counter) aloe vera moisturizers or just apply the natural and safe aloe vera gel from the plant directly.
Cover your hands with gloves when you are doing the dishes. Prolonged exposure to water can suck out the moisture from your hands.
Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells from the hands. Dead skin cell buildup often damages the skin and leads to dry and chapped hands. Use a pumice stone or olive oil mixed with granulation as exfoliators.
5. Oat Bath
Oats can be used in a bathtub to help rejuvenate the skin. Oats can be used in raw or cooked form and in combination with olive oil or just water.
Use a humidifier in your room to increase the moisture in the air, especially in Winters or dry areas. This will make up for the absence of moisture in the environment.
How To Prevent Dry Hands?
- Avoid any products that contain fragrances, as they can aggravate the dryness.
- Keep travel size moisturiser or hand creams in your bag, at your desk or in your gym bag.
- Avoid using too many sanitizers as they can be drying on the skin.
- During night, apply a moisturizer and cover your hands in gloves for increased absorption.
- If you are used to drying your hands using hot air dryers, stop! Hot air can remove the moisture from your skin. Use paper towels instead. Hot showers can also have a similar effect on your hands too.
- Use thick creams on hands as they offer better hydration.
Can Washing Your Hands Too Much Cause Dry Skin?
The outermost layer of your skin (epidermis) acts as a protective barrier by preventing the entry of bacteria and exit of water. Handwashing can disrupt the regular functions of the skin barrier and hence, water is lost way too quickly from the skin. This makes the hands dry and chapped.
Dry hands are a very common skin concern. The symptoms go away with a good moisturizer and some simple home remedies. If the dryness of hands is associated with bleeding or infection, consult your doctor.
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