Dry chapped hands in Winter

Dermatology Dec 28, 2023

Winter skin care can be particularly difficult, especially on the hands and other regions of the body that are frequently exposed to cold air. The skin’s protective layer is susceptible to damage from the extreme cold of wintertime as well as from repeated exposure to hot, forceful heating sources like fire and heaters. One contributing element to the current post-COVID period may be the regular usage of hand sanitizers and antiseptic handwashes.

Dry chapped hands in Winter and its remedies

When appropriate care is not done to restore the barrier and moisture, the skin can be severely impacted by dry, chapped, flaky skin, even in little cuts such as wounds that are bleeding and painful. A weaker skin barrier makes older people and children more vulnerable.

Many times, these issues are resolved by the person herself or himself using OTC creams containing urea, glycerin,glycolic acid, paraffin, etc. But occasionally it warrants a visit to a dermatologist when it is recalcitrant to any of these agents. These could be due to the exacerbation of eczema or psoriasis in winter, which is itchy, and morphology can really be deceiving as it simulates very dry, flaky, chapped skin.

Tips to treat or prevent chapped hands:

. Try to choose alcohol-based sanitizers, as they are less drying.

. Avoid using the air-dry system to dry hands after washing.

. Apply thick creams after washing your hands.

. Sometimes we need to opt for wrap therapy after applying moisturizer to seal the cracked skin.

Whatever the cause, the first line of defense is to moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize. It’s the moisturizer applied directly to the skin that will keep water from evaporating.

Chapped Hand

Avoid exposure to cold air by using warm woolen gloves or mittens; avoid direct heating systems or the use of humidifiers. Avoid direct use of detergents; use gloves. If the condition still doesn’t improve, you should consider visiting a dermatologist to recognize the culprit.

Dry and chapped hands can be a common problem, especially during cold weather or when exposed to harsh conditions.

Here are some tips to help alleviate and prevent dry, chapped hands:

Moisturize regularly:

. Use a good quality, fragrance-free hand cream or moisturizer.

. Apply moisturizer immediately after washing your hands, and carry a small bottle with you to reapply throughout the day.

. Consider using a thick ointment or petroleum jelly at night for intense hydration.

Choose the right soap:

. Use a mild, moisturizing soap when washing your hands.

. Avoid harsh, antibacterial soaps, as they can strip your skin of natural oils.

Protect your hands:

. Wear gloves when doing household chores, especially if you are using cleaning agents or washing dishes.

. Wear gloves in cold weather to protect your hands from harsh winds and low temperatures.

Avoid hot water:

. Hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils. Wash your hands with lukewarm water instead.

Exfoliate occasionally:

. Use a gentle exfoliating scrub to remove dead skin cells. This can help your moisturizer penetrate better.

Stay hydrated:

. Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.

Humidify your environment:

. If you live in a dry climate or use heating during the winter, consider using a humidifier to add moisture to the air.

Protect your hands from the sun:

. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your hands if you’ll be spending time in the sun.

Avoid irritants:

. Limit exposure to harsh chemicals and irritants. If you must use them, wear protective gloves.

Consult a dermatologist:

. If your dry, chapped hands persist or worsen despite home care, consult a dermatologist for personalized advice and possible prescription treatments.

Remember that consistent care is key to maintaining healthy skin. If you have any concerns about your skin condition, it’s always a good idea to seek professional advice.