How to Prevent Dry Hands
Dry hands can often be a problem in the dry, winter months. The lack of moisture in the air and indoor heating can cause your hands to feel parched. To stop the cycle of dry skin on your hands, it's important that you do what you can to prevent dry hands and keep them continually moisturized. You may be surprised to realize that some of your better hygiene practices are the very things that are causing your dry hands.
Switch to a soap that contains moisturizers. When you wash your hands with typical soap, the detergents can strip your hands of natural oils. This can be especially harmful for those who wash their hands excessively throughout the day, like those in the health care profession. Look for soaps with vitamin E or switch to a cream-based hand sanitizer for frequent usage.
Wear gloves whenever your hands are going to be in the cold or submerged in water for long periods of time, suggests the American Academy of Dermatology. The cold can remove moisture from the skin, so gloves and mittens are a good idea. When washing dishes, wear a pair of plastic gloves or the prolonged exposure to hot water could make your hands drier.
Apply moisturizer liberally throughout the day, especially if you're prone to dry hands, suggests the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. A moisturizer that contains ingredients such as vitamin E, shea butter and cocoa butter helps to moisturize skin and attract moisture to the surface of the skin for longer lasting protection from dry hands.
Coat your hands in petroleum jelly once each week, or whenever you suffer from especially dry hands. Slide a pair of cotton gloves over your hands and sleep with your hands in the gloves, suggests FamilyDoctor.org, a division of the American Academy of Family Physicians. The gloves will help warm and insulate the petroleum jelly for better penetration and softer hands in the morning.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist if lifestyle changes don't seem to prevent your problem with dry hands. You could have a more serious skin consideration such as eczema and require prescription creams and lotions to help prevent dry hands. Your doctor may also have some other suggestions regarding your daily activities and how they affect your hands.
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