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Remedies for Cracked Hands

Remedies for Cracked Hands

Cracked hands indicate severely dehydrated skin that may lack both oil and moisture. Skin conditions such as dermatitis, excessive exposure to wind and sun, and harsh chemicals or cosmetics may cause cracked hands. In many cases, home remedies can restore moisture to dry, cracked skin. If the problem remains after a few weeks, however, consult a dermatologist or qualified physician. This may be a sign of a nutritional deficiency or a more serious skin condition.

Wheat Germ Oil

According to the Mayo Clinic, oils and oil-based moisturizers work best to hydrate dry skin. Oils stay on the skin longer than cream-based moisturizers and better prevent water from evaporating. Wheat germ oil is especially nourishing for hands with dry, cracked skin. For best results, rub pure wheat germ oil into your cracked hands twice daily, once in the morning and again before bed. After a few weeks of consistent use, the skin will heal and cracks should disappear. If you don't have access to wheat germ oil, try using another light vegetable oil such as almond, grape seed or avocado.

Petroleum Jelly

Moisturizing overnight hydrates the skin while you sleep. Joe Graedon, author of "The People's Pharmacy Guide to Home and Herbal Remedies," recommends applying petroleum jelly onto cracked hands before bedtime. Completely cover all the dry areas of your hands with a thick layer of jelly, and then slip on a pair of white cotton gloves. This helps protect your sheets and keeps the jelly on your skin. Remove the gloves in the morning and rinse away any excess jelly. Repeat as often as necessary to reduce cracks and dry skin. You should notice results after a single treatment, though severe cases may require repeat applications.


Essential oils used in aromatherapy can also help soothe dry, cracked hands. In her book "Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for Vibrant Health and Beauty," Roberta Wilson suggests combining 1 oz. jojoba oil, 3 drops benzoin resin, 2 drops frankincense oil, 2 drops myrrh oil and 1 drop vetiver oil to make a remedy for cracked hands. Apply the oil to the cracked areas at least twice a day as needed. Some essential oils may cause irritation. Always perform a patch test before using any new oil by diluting 1 drop of the oil in 1/8 tsp. vegetable oil and applying the mixture to the inner arm. Wait 24 hours. If no irritation occurs, the oil is safe to use.

Calendula Salve

Calendula makes a soothing salve for dry, cracked hands. The herb has anti-inflammatory properties and when combined with beeswax, creates a soothing barrier that locks in moisture and protects the skin. Barbara Close, author of "Well Being: Rejuvenating Recipes for the Body and Soul," recommends making your own calendula salve for cracked hands. Pour 1/2 oz. calendula infused oil and 1/2 tbsp. grated beeswax into a heat-proof measuring cup. Place the measuring cup in a shallow pan of simmering water and stir constantly until the beeswax melts. Remove from the pan, add 5 drops benzoin extract and 4 drops lavender essential oil. Stir well, pour the mixture into an ointment jar and place in the refrigerator to set. Apply liberally to cracked hands as needed.

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