Healing Dry, Chapped Hands
Summer is on its way and it’s time to take care of those red, dry, rough, chapped hands (and other body parts!) and get them back to their former lustre. Lack of moisture, especially during the winter months or in dry climates, can really harm your skin.
This is often exacerbated by frequent hand washing, especially when trying to avoid catching the cold or a flu, not to mention the indoors can get quite dry due to indoor heating.
How well your skin withstands harsh conditions has a lot to do with the skin barrier. The skin barrier is a mix of proteins, lipids, and oils that protects the skin; how successful it is at doing so is dependent on your genes. If you have a weak barrier, you’ll be more prone to sensitive skin and have symptoms such as itching, flaking, and perhaps even eczema. Sometimes skin can become so dehydrated that it will crack, peel, or even bleed.
To treat your dry chapped hand you need to replace the moisture that it is missing. While drinking water is beneficial, it won’t solve this issue. Moisturizer applied directly to the skin will keep the water from evaporating out of the skin cells and keep your skin smooth and healthy.
Treatment of Dry Chapped Hands
The best offense is a good defense, start moisturizing before there’s a problem. Applying moisturizer just once a day is inadequate. If you apply it more frequently, the effects will last longer. Five or six applications per day will provide around the clock protection.
To reach that goal, you can either opt for homemade ingredients to take the place of a store-bought moisturizer or you can purchase a moisturizer that is safe for your skin. Beeswax is one of the best skin protectors out there, it is very effective and can also be found without any perfumes or scents. If you’re looking to go the homemade skin moisturizer route, honey is a great natural ingredient that both nourishes and keeps the skin hydrated. Try mixing a tablespoon of honey with half a mashed avocado and a little milk in a bowl, then apply and leave on for ten minutes. Doing this twice a week can help keep your face hydrated and healthy. Keep coconut oil or your favorite hydrating moisturizer in several places around the house that are within eyesight and easy to get to, this will help make moisturizing a habit throughout the day.
Over-the-counter skin treatments are categorized by their abilities to moisturize, soothe, and protect damaged skin. Some essential ingredients for skin care are shea butter, aloe, petroleum jelly (not my favorite), glycerin (hmmmm…), and lanolin. Lanolin soothes irritated skin and can ease the pain of cracked skin, particularly around the knuckles. Glycerin and shea butter infuse deep into the skin to restore dried-out cells, and aloe is so successful at healing and soothing dried-out or damaged skin that is often used to treat burns, including sunburn. Petroleum jelly protects skin from further environmental damage by blocking outside elements from entering the skin and preventing any water from leaving the cells.
Pay special attention to the cuticles and nails, as nails can become dry and brittle, often resulting in flaking and hangnails.
Protect hands by wearing gloves to bed, or for any dishwashing or food prep. Avoid hot water and detergent-based cleansers both around the home and in your laundry. (For more information about that, check out our other articles: LINK: Top 5 Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar – How to Add Vinegar to Laundry
If you have swollen or bleeding hands or red streaks on your wrists or arms, get help from your doctor.