What Is Good for Extremely Dry Hands?
Having dry, chapped hands isn't only an issue of having unattractive flakes or merely a problem of obnoxious rough finger edges snagging on bed sheets and nylons. Extremely dry hands can also be painful. Many people work or live in environments that leave their hands more susceptible to drying out. The good news is that there are also ways to combat dryness and help prevent future problems.
If you are already susceptible to dry hands, pay attention to the way you care for them. For example, if you often take long hot showers or wash your hands regularly but don't apply skin moisturizer afterward, it's no wonder you have dry hands. Hot water, which has the capacity to strip cooking grease from a pan, can also remove much of your hands' natural oils if you often soak them in it. Neglecting to moisturize will just add to the problem.
Wash your hands in a mild, moisturizing soap. According to the University of Iowa Health Care website, people with dry skin would fare better if they bathed in soaps such as Oil of Olay Sensitive Skin Soap and washed their hands with cleansers such as Cetaphil. The Mayo Clinic recommends avoiding soaps with antibacterial agents or deodorants as they can be harsh on the skin. It also notes that your skin should always feel soft and smooth rather than dry or tight after it is washed. If it feels dry or tight, use a different soap.
The four major categories of hand moisturizers are: lotions, creams, oils and ointments. Lotions, which are typically oily chemicals mixed with water and alcohol, may be the least greasy of your options, but their water base can actually cause your skin to dry out if you use them repeatedly. According to University of Iowa Health Care online, the moisturizer you choose might need to leave at least a slight greasy film in order to sufficiently moisturize your extremely dry hands. Oils and ointments are generally more moisturizing, but some creams and lotions are specially formulated for chronic extremely dry skin.
If you continue to experience dry skin, supplement your moisturizing regimen with some home remedies. Living in a cold and dry outdoor climate generally means you are living in a dry indoor climate as well because you are likely cranking up the heat. Invest in an indoor humidifier, either portable or stationary on your furnace. Also grab some home remedies straight out of your pantry. Edible oils such as those from olives and coconuts can soften your skin and reduce itching better than many drugstore moisturizers. Oatmeal is also soothing to dry skin. Mix it with an egg yolk and apply it to your hands, and then contain it within gloves or mittens for 15 minutes before rinsing it off.
One major way to prevent dry hands is to keep them protected from extreme weather and harsh products. Wear gloves. Also wear cotton-lined cleaning gloves when you use cleaning products, particularly those that contain ammonia and bleach. Additionally, apply a moisturizer right after you bathe or wash your hands. Don't vigorously dry your hands, but blot them prior to applying a moisturizer to ensure that some of the water gets trapped within your skin's surface cells under the moisturizer.
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