Simple hand care for dry skin is really important to prevent chapping. I often see dry hands doing routine skin exams. Surprisingly, many people don't really understand the simple changes in hand care that could prevent rough and dry hand skin. It's easy. Here are the hand skin care tips that I teach my patients. They work fast and are a game changer, especially during winter or if your hard-working hands are prone to dryness.
Dermatologist's tips to prevent and heal dry, chapped hands
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 and apply it right after washing.
Three additional tips for your hand care 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:
Why it is important to use only mild soaps that rinse easily off of your hand skin. Use warm water not hot water to wash your hands.
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 when you wash your hands.
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. Unless you have gotten the back of your hands into germs or grime, you really only need to wash your palms because they are the part of your hand skin that usually touches things.
Use a good moisturizer right after toweling hands dry after washing.
We call this time "the magic 3 minutes" and it really is magic for preventing dry skin; water soaked up into skin during washing is trapped and can't evaporate when you apply a moisturizer right after toweling dry. - Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey
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 such as dimethicone.
My Dry Skin Hand Cream is a favorite. It contains dimethicone and glycerin, which both do a great job. Hand skin loves it and there is never a greasy feel or slippery! 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.
These hand care kits include my instructions – straight from a dermatologist - so they also make thoughtful gifts.
Dry hand skin is such a common problem that I’ve created three kits to give you the right products to prevent it.
You can also buy the dermatologist-recommend hand care product you need individually:
The perfect unscented hand cleanser - 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