Causes of Cracked Hands
Cracked hands affect many people for a variety of different reasons. When the skin on your hands becomes cracked, any task that requires you to use your hands can result in pain. Treatment options for cracked hands vary depending on your situation. Consult your doctor if the skin on your hands is cracked and causing you pain.
The primary cause of cracked hands is drying of the skin. It is important for the skin on your hands to maintain its flexibility so as not to be torn while performing regular activities. A protective layer of oil and water content create and maintain skin that is strong and flexible, says the University of Wisconsin Madison.
Living in a dry climate has the tendency to draw moisture out of your hands and cause cracking. Whether it is a hot climate such as a desert, or cold winter climate, keeping your hands moist when the air is dry is important to avoid cracked hands.
Eczema is a skin condition that can occur on different parts of the body, including hands. Symptoms include red patches of skin, flaking or cracking, says the National Eczema Association. Eczema can be the result of chemical exposure, frequent wet hands or having had similar skin issues or allergies in childhood.
Maintaining moisture levels in your hands is the best way to prevent your skin from cracking. Wearing rubber gloves when you do dishes can help, as can applying moisturizing substances like shea butter, cocoa butter and olive oil to your hands. Petroleum jelly will keep the air out to avoid cracks and using a humidifier at night in a dry climate may add enough moisture to the air to keep dryness away.
Having cracked hands can result in an infection if the fissures in the skin open enough to allow bacteria inside. If you notice cracks forming on your hands, visit your doctor for treatment suggestions before the condition regresses.
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