Tips to heal dry, chapped hands from the dermatologist
The two most important steps to fix dry, chapped hand skin are:
First, stop washing your hands with harsh soaps.
Second, use a good hand moisturizer.
There are three other refinements to your hand care that deserve mention if you suffer from dry hands (aka irritant hand eczema):
- Minimize the use of hand sanitizers, especially on the back of your hands where skin is thinner.
- Use warm instead of hot water to wash your hands.
- Protect your hands from cold and windy weather, or harsh chemicals and solvents, by wearing gloves.
Here are the details, so that you can better understand how to put these tips into action:
Use mild soaps that rinse off skin well.
The best hand soaps are foaming, mild soaps because the foamer lets you use bubbled soap that will rinse off faster. Retained soap on your hand skin dries you skin by pulling out natural lipids and damaging skin-barrier protein.
Be certain to rinse soap off.
Start with a gentle foaming hand soap. Avoid products with antibacterial ingredients. They aren’t good for you or the environment, and they don’t work. They also are usually found in harsh soaps.
Aim for a product like my All Natural Foaming Liquid Hand Soap. Buy one for every sink so that you are NOT tempted to use a harsh soap (like dish washing soap).
Use warm water not hot water.
Notice how hot water gets the grease off pots and pans? Your hand skin is too fragile. Use warm water. It gets soap off without stripping your skin’s natural oils – especially if you use a gentle foaming hand soap.
Lather up only the palm side of your hand. It’s thicker and can take more washing than the thin skin on the back of your hands. Be sure to get soap out from behind your rings and between your fingers.
Use a good moisturizer right after toweling hands dry after washing.
Apply it in the magic 3 minutes that traps water soaked up during washing. This really is magic!
Choose a moisturizer that is not slippery. You get even better results if there is a barrier-ingredient to help protect delicate hand skin from chapping.
My Dry Skin Hand Cream is a favorite. It contains dimethicone which does a great job. It also contains glycerin – hand skin loves it! It’s not slippery, either.
My hands crave this cream.
Another great option is my Natural Lotion.
It goes from head to toe so it’s a multi-purpose moisturizer made more effective because it is rich in coconut oil, glycerin, and aloe vera. I keep this in my bathroom for when I step out of the shower.
If your hands are really chapped, give them a therapeutic drink with Bag Balm Ointment covered with cotton gloves.
Bag Balm will soften the driest and cracked hand skin of even the worst irritant hand eczema.
Hand eczema is such a common problem that I’ve created three kits for you.
They include my instructions – Yes, straight from a dermatologist. These kits make thoughtful gifts, too.
Or buy the product you need individually:
Keep one at EVERY sink where you might wash your hands just to be safe.
Dry Skin Hand Cream
Keep one in your bag, at every sink where you regularly wash – I keep one in the pocket of my lab coat because my hands crave this cream.
Natural Face, Hand and Body Lotion