How to Treat Dry Hands
You use your hands for almost every daily activity. Your hands can become rough, dry and chapped with repeated exposure to harsh cleaning products, hot water, dry weather, and numerous other factors. According to the University of Iowa Department of Dermatology, the skin on your hands is particularly susceptible to dryness and cracking, and may even bleed through the cracks. Luckily, you don't have to suffer endlessly from this common, painful condition. In most cases, you can help your hands heal without a visit to the dermatologist.
Shower or bathe in lukewarm water. According to dermatologist Jeanine Downie in a February 20, 2007, interview with ABC News' "Good Morning America On Call," hot water can dry out the skin on your hands quickly, so it's best to use warm water whenever possible. Downie also recommends showering for no longer than five minutes, as repeated exposure to water can also cause dryness.
Apply a thick, moisturizing cream to your hands several times a day. According to the University of Iowa Department of Dermatology, it's especially important to apply moisturizer several times daily and especially as soon as you come out of the shower or bath, as this can help to seal in moisture and keep your hands hydrated.
Use a humidifier in your home or office to help add moisture to dry, indoor air. At the very least, you should consider purchasing a basic humidifier to use in your bedroom at night when you sleep to keep the air moist, advises Downie.
Exfoliate your hands a few times a week with an exfoliating body scrub. According to Dr. Brent Agin and registered nurse Sharon Perkins in their book, "Healthy Aging for Dummies," exfoliating your hands can help to remove the top layer of dead, dry skin and allow moisturizers to penetrate deeply to your live skin cells.
Get a paraffin hand treatment at your local salon, or purchase a paraffin kit to treat your hands at home. According to authors Jeanine Connor, Sheila Godfrey and Gill Milsom in their book, "BTEC National Beauty Therapy Sciences," paraffin treatments are a beneficial and relaxing way to treat dry hands and can help to exfoliate dry, dead skin.
Seek the advice of a dermatologist if the condition of your hands doesn't improve with home treatment. According to the University of Iowa Department of Dermatology, severely dry skin can be a sign of an underlying illness or hormonal imbalance.
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