How to Heal Dry Hands
Most people don't take their hands into account when they think about a skin care regimen. However, taking good care of your hands can help to prevent or alleviate dry, chapped skin, especially during extreme weather conditions. Dry, chapped hands are usually the result of cold, windy weather or exposure to harsh household cleaning chemicals; however, they can also be caused by genetic or medical conditions such as eczema.
Wash your hands with lukewarm water. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, one of the main causes of dry skin is washing and bathing with water that is too hot. Hot water will cause your skin to lose moisture. Keep the water at a comfortable temperature that's not too hot each time you wash your hands and when you take a shower or bath.
Use only mild, moisturizing hand soap. Some hand soaps and deodorant body bars can cause excessive dryness or irritation.
Exfoliate your hands. You can use a store-bought exfoliating body scrub, however granulated sugar works just as well. Pour a tsp. of granulated sugar into the palm of your hand. Add a few squirts of a moisturizing liquid hand soap. Rub your hands together, making sure to exfoliate the top of your hands as well as the palms. Rinse well and dry gently with an absorbent towel.
Apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly to your hands before going to bed. Cover your hands with cotton gloves to help promote absorption and to protect your sheets and blankets.
Get a paraffin hand treatment at your local salon. If you prefer, you can purchase a home treatment kit in many beauty supply stores; however, these can be very messy to prepare and clean up. Paraffin softens and soothes your hands, helping them retain moisture. According to author Deborah Lipp in her book "The Way of Four: Create Elemental Balance in Your Life," paraffin treatments are not only very relaxing and soothing for dry skin, but they can also help to increase circulation and ease joint pain in your hands.
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