Here in Ohio, winter is in full effect. Not only do we feel the effects in our skin all over, but for many our hands particularly take a major hit. Dry, cracked hands can really be hard to manage during the winter.
Why do our hands get dry? The air in our environment is much less humid; cold outdoor temperatures as well as dry indoor air from our heating systems can both contribute to this. This causes a breakdown in our skin barrier and water tends to evaporate much more quickly. This can lead to dehydration. Common symptoms include redness, irritation, cracking and sometimes scaling.
Tips to prevent dry hands:
1. Use a gentle cleanser.
Soaps can be very harsh to the skin barrier. Soaps can strip natural oils from your skin. When selecting a cleanser, look for a mild, fragrance free soap with hydration. Our Non drying cleanser or Cerave hydrating cleansers are great choices. Soaps that have perfume or hand sanitizers with alcohol should be avoided.
2. Do not use hot water.
Hot water is also more prone to strip natural oils much more quickly. Try to use lukewarm water whenever possible.
3. Apply moisturizers after washing.
When you skin is moist, this is the best time to apply a moisturizer to your hands. This can lock in moisture and water into the skin. Creams or lotions are both ok to use. Lotions will be less greasy and often are a great daytime moisturizer, while creams are great for evening. Cerave or Cetaphil cream or lotion are both great choices.
4. Protect your skin.
When outdoors, make sure to protect your skin from environmental elements. Wearing gloves will slow down the water loss in your skin. This can help prevent dryness from occurring. If these tips don’t help and you continue to have problems. Please schedule an appointment with one our providers. They can provide additional advice or treatment options.