Dry, cracked skin on your hands can be painful and unsightly, making it difficult to do even basic tasks like cook or type on your phone. Though you may think that cracking skin on your hands is inevitable in winter weather, there are steps you can take to keep your hands comfortable and looking their best. If dry skin has left your hands feeling flaky or dry to the touch, look no further than this guide on how to soothe dry, cracked skin on your hands!

Keep hands moist

When you have cracked hands, moisturizing is key. Use a hand cream regularly to help keep your skin smooth and hydrated. Look for lotions or creams with glycerin or urea as one of their main ingredients. Another excellent moisturizer for cracked skin is an aloe vera gel.

Avoid chemicals

If you have cracked or chapped hands or fingers, steer clear of potentially irritating chemicals. Instead of using a lotion with fragrance in it, opt for an all-natural ointment that’s free of chemicals and fragrances. Also try not to use soap when you wash your hands. Chlorine from water and even some antibacterial soap can irritate cracked skin on your hands. If you do need soap—and it seems like we all do!—go for a mild one.

Use lotions with vitamins

When cracked skin is caused by dryness, it’s best to use lotions that are packed with vitamins. Vitamin E is a common ingredient in hand lotions that help prevent cracking skin. Also look for natural moisturizers like avocado and shea butter as well as glycerin; these ingredients attract water into your body and keep it from escaping from your skin. Just make sure you thoroughly wash off these oils after applying them; otherwise they can become rancid and cause more harm than good.

Consider what you eat

Before you can begin treating cracked skin, it’s important to consider what you’re putting into your body. Skin is made up of mostly water and minerals. If either of these two substances are compromised (which they very well might be if you eat processed foods or don’t drink enough water), then there will be an imbalance in your body—and that imbalance may cause cracks and fissures in tissue like that on our hands. If a doctor tells you there is no remedy for flaky skin and that hand-sanitizer is really as good as it gets, tell them they're wrong: Diet matters a lot when it comes to both healing from acne and preventing acne.

Use gloves at night

Chilly temperatures, washing dishes and harsh detergents are just a few of many reasons why you might wake up with dry and flaky skin around your knuckles. In order to properly treat these irritated areas, you’ll want to wear gloves at night. This prevents further cracking and provides a layer of protection that won’t interfere with how you sleep. When you wake up in the morning, take off your gloves and apply hand cream or a body lotion for extra hydration.

January 06, 2022 — Christopher Lindholm