As our cold, winter weather drags on, you might be finding your hands getting drier and drier. A major cause is the lower humidity outside coupled with the dry inside heated air. Patients often complain about cracking, irritation, redness, and even scaling and bleeding. But, this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are four tips for avoiding dry winter hands:
- Be gentle — By this, I mean use gentle cleansers when you wash your hands. Avoid antibacterial or perfumed soaps. Instead, choose mild, fragrance-free cleansers, and ones that moisturize are even better. I know it may be important to use hand sanitizer to stay healthy, but remember they contain alcohol, which dries out your hands. So, if you do use them, always use a moisturizer as well.
- Stay away from the hot tap— Hot water tends to strip your natural oils, leaving your hands drier and more prone to cracking. Your hands will thank you when you use warm water instead.
- Moisturize — Every time you wash your hands, make sure to finish off by applying moisturizer. And, you’ll get the most “bang for your buck” when you apply it to slightly damp skin as that helps lock in the moisture.
- Put a glove on it — This may seem intuitive since it’s cold out there and who wants to walk around without gloves anyway. But, I have seen people on the street just jamming their hands into their pockets without gloves. Patients tell me they’ve done that when they are just dashing from their car to a store or their home, or in a parking deck. No matter. It’s still cold and your hands don’t like it! Gloves are your hands friends in the winter. So pair up and stay warm.
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Hands still hurt? Please feel free to contact us to make an appointment. We provide both medical and cosmetic dermatological services.