Having dry hands is a very common problem, so there’s no need to worry if it occurs. In most cases, dry hands are caused by cold weather conditions, environmental irritants, exposure to cleaning chemicals or if you have to regularly wash or sanitise your hands due to where you work, such as at a hospital or restaurant.
How to Care For Dry Hands
If you are suffering from dry, cracked or irritated hands, the good news is that in most cases they can be easily restored. Try one of our five top tips to care for your dry hands.
1. Wash your hands with warm water, not hot
Although it may feel really nice on your hands, especially when it’s cold outside, but washing your hands with very hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils which can lead to dry hands. So, remember to turn the temperature down next time you go to wash.
2. Regularly moisturise your hands
Dry hands are often the result of your skin being parched of moisture, so applying a thick, rich hand cream will help them heal. Always apply a moisturiser after you have washed your hands to lock the water in and try to avoid any formulas which are heavily perfumed.
Hand creams are always useful to have with you, so pop one in your bag, have one in your car or leave it in your desk at work for when you need it most.
3. Wear gloves
If you work in an environment where you have to regularly immerse your hands in water, then it is advisable to always wear rubber gloves to prevent them from being stripped of their natural oils. Also, wearing cosy gloves in the winter aren’t just useful for keeping you warm - they can also slow down the amount of water which escapes from your skin when it’s cold and dry outside.
4. Treat them overnight
Most people will complete an evening skincare routine for their complexion, so why shouldn’t our hands enjoy some of that attention too? Apply a thick layer of cream or ointment to your hands just before you get into bed and let the formula work its way into your skin as you sleep. If you’re worried about the moisturiser transferring to your sheets in the night, you can cover your hands with gloves or clean socks to stop this from happening.
5. Know your hand cream ingredients
Hand creams contain occlusive and emollient ingredients. These group of ingredients work together to lock and seal in moisture to your skin. Look out for vitamin E, natural oils and shea butter for soft, nourished hands and glycerine to help keep your skins natural barrier healthy and strong.
What to do if your dry hands persist or get worse
For a small number of people, dry hands can be caused by a skin or medical condition. If you are regularly caring for your hands but the problem continues to irritate you, or if your hands appear to have discolouration, start to bleed, swell up or are looking extremely red - then book into see a specialist who will be able to advise you further.