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How to Treat Severely Cracked Hands

How to Treat Severely Cracked Hands How to Treat Severely Cracked Hands

Overview

Dry, cracked, red skin on your hands can be more than just an unsightly embarrassment. Itching, flaking and bleeding skin can slow you down at the office, at school or around the house. There are a number of proactive steps you can take to alleviate the problems associated with this condition. However, please note that not all natural remedies have been clinically tested to prove their claims.

Step 1

Replace oils in your skin by moisturizing with commercial or home remedies. You lose lipids in your skin primarily to weather conditions, such as dry air, cold weather, wind or sunburn. Harsh cleaning agents and dehydration also contribute. Use natural oils or store-bought topical preparations to help get fats back into your skin, using the following methods: use petroleum jelly directly on the skin; add 10 to 12 drops of essential oils to bathwater; buy soaps and skin creams with fat added; gently rub grapeseed oil, mineral oil, castor oil or any vegetable oil on your skin; use pure aloe vera or creams or lotions that contain aloe; add finely ground cornstarch, baking soda or oatmeal to bathwater; and use finely ground oatmeal as a substitute for soap.

Use moisturizers immediately after showers or baths, and apply them to damp (not completely dry) skin after a shower or bath to help maximize the absorption of oils. Your skin will absorb lipids better when it is damp. Avoid hot showers and baths, which rob the skin of lipids. Cleanse with warm or lukewarm water.

Step 2

Drink enough water to maintain your normal hydration levels. Do not drink extra water in an effort to hydrate skin. According to Dr. Kenneth Neldner, chairman of the Department of Dermatology at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, drinking more water does not help address the causes of dry skin if the sufferer is already sufficiently hydrated. Use an air humidifier to humidify the air in your office or home to help keep skin from drying. Dry air is a significant cause of skin redness, itching and flaking.

Step 3

Avoid harsh cleaning agents. Use oatmeal to clean your skin. Use it as a fine powder to clean and soothe the skin, without it abrading already-sensitive skin. This powdery form helps it dissolve more quickly in lukewarm water, which you should use when cleaning your skin. Avoid homemade soaps, especially if they contain caustic agents, like lye, and replace them with fat-dense soaps. Do not use scented, commercial soaps or those that contain deodorant.

Step 4

Eat foods rich in the following vitamins: A (e.g., egg yolks, milk, liver, cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach), B (e.g., turkey, avocados, bananas, Brazil nuts, oats and liver), and E (e.g., olives, almonds, spinach and blueberries). Foods rich in these vitamins can help replace lipids, prevent dry skin and ease symptoms.

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