Hand Cream for Extremely Dry Skin
Very dry skin or xerosis is a common condition that often gets worse in dry, cold weather, notes the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Dry hands can feel rough, have a dull appearance and become itchy and flaky. Net-like cracks can develop when skin becomes extremely dry. Certain hand creams can help restore moisture to very dry skin and help your hands feel softer, smoother and less irritated.
Skin becomes dry when there isn't enough moisturizing water in the outermost layer of the skin or stratum corneum, notes the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Water may escape from the skin when factors such as aging, harsh chemicals and soapy water deplete protective skin oils.
Hand moisturizing creams provide a protective seal over your skin that prevents water from escaping, notes the Mayo Clinic. Some moisturizers contain fragrances, preservatives and other chemicals that can be irritating or cause allergic reactions in some people. If one brand of moisturizer is irritating, switch to another cream with a different set of ingredients.
Cream moisturizers are typically white and disappear when rubbed into the hands, without leaving a greasy residue. Effective cream moisturizers include Original Eucerin Cream, Aquaphilic, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, Complex-15, Carmol, Vaseline Cream, Moisturel, Nivea and Nutraplus, notes the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Neutrogena Hand Cream may be especially beneficial for extremely dry, chapped hands.
Creams and moisturizers usually relieve dry hands and skin. Additional home TLC remedies include limiting shower and bath time, keeping your hands out of water as much as possible and wearing gloves for household chores, advises the Mayo Clinic. Also avoid exposing your hands to extreme wind, cold or sun. A portable humidifier will add moisture to the dry air in your house to help relieve dry skin.
Many over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and itch-suppressing creams contain chemicals that can further irritate dry skin, notes the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Anti-itch creams that contain pramoxine, sold with the brand names Prax or Pramosone, are generally regarded as safe, as are creams with menthol and camphor, sold under the name Sarna.
If over-the-counter creams don't relieve very dry, chapped hands, you may want to apply baby oil to moist skin. Oils can prevent water from escaping from the surface of your skin, reports the Mayo Clinic. In severe cases your doctor may prescribe hydrocortisone creams.
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