Many people suffer from “dry hands”. This is extremely common in our area of Southern Oregon. The air in our environment is much less humid than other areas of the country; and cold outdoor temperatures as well as dry indoor air from our central heating systems further contribute to the low relative humidity. This causes water to evaporate from our skin quickly, making it vulnerable to dehydration. Comomon symptoms include scaling, redness, irritation and cracking.
So, how do you prevent dry hands?
1…Use a gentle Cleanser
Soaps strip oils from the skin. Look for either a mild, fragrance-free soap or a soap-substitute that moisturizes. Avoid using deodorant bars, antibacterial soap, perfumed soaps, and skin care products containing alcohol, like hand sanitizers.
2…Do not use hot water
Hot water is more likely to strip your natural skin oils more quickly. Instead, use water that is warm, or even lukewarm.
3…Apply moisturizers after washing
While the skin is still damp, apply a moisturizer to lock in moisture, thicker hand creams are more effective in this regard. At nighttime, use a cream or an ointment such as one containing petrolatum. This will soak in and hydrate your skin overnight.
Keep your hands warm and protected. Wearing gloves when outside will increase the humidity of the air next to your skin and slow down skin water loss. It also protects your hands from harmful UV radiation.
If your hands are painful, dry, cracked, or bleeding and are not responding to these measures, then book and appointment in our dermatology clinic; we can help!