Naturally, the surface of the skin holds a certain amount of water. However, when this water content decreases, the skin becomes dry, itchy, and painful. Chapped hands can affect anyone when under the proper circumstances. Luckily, there are home remedies for chapped hands that can help ease symptoms, as well as prevent the condition in the first place.
Chapped hands develop when the skin is very dry due to a later of moisture. Chapped skin is a condition that often affects people with very sensitive skin that becomes easily irritated. When left untreated, chapped hands can limit activities, cause other skin conditions such as eczema, or encourage infection to develop. For example, bacteria can enter a crack in the skin.
The harsh weather conditions of winter and other cold-weather climates are not the only reasons why your hands can become chapped. Being in places with low humidity in the air can cause hands to become chapped. As the body ages, the skin produces less oil, which is a natural lubricant that keeps hands healthy and full of moisture. There are some people who suffer from dry skin because it is in their family tree. Other causes for chapped hands include:
• Excessive contact with water, such as having a job as a dishwasher
• Frequent handwashing
• Sunburns and windburns
• Allergic reactions to skin care products
• High levels of indoor heat or excessive use of space heaters
• Sleeping close to a heating vent
• Taking long hot baths or showers
The symptoms of chapped hands include skin that is rough, dry, red, peeling, tender, or sensitive . Chapped hands also crack easily, which intensifies any current pain.
Having sore, cracked and painful skin is no fun and can really put a damper on your everyday activities. If you want to speed up the healing process and immediately treat symptoms, consider the following home remedies for chapped hands:
Your first priority to treat chapped hands is to avoid water. Coming in contact with water not only causes pain, but also slows down the healing process. If you repeatedly wash your hands, the natural oil layer of skin is removed – making it easier for moisture within the skin to evaporate. Extremely dry skin is the result.
Put your bath oils to your advantage by using as a wash for your hands. While they may not feel as clean as with soap – the oils will prevent your hands from drying out.
Grind one cup of uncooked, old-fashioned rolled oats in a blender or food processor until they become a fine powder. Place the powdered oats in a bowl. Rub your hands in the powder to remove dead skin from your hands. Thoroughly rinse your hands – making sure to pat dry with a towel. Finish up with an application of hand cream. After a couple of minutes have passed, apply more hand cream.
Keep the air in your rooms moisturized, especially where you sleep. A humidifier can help because it sends moisture into the air and helps prevent the dryness that can lead to chapped hands.
When battling chapped and tender hands, even shampooing your own hair can cause discomfort. A pair of plastic gloves can help protect healing hands when it comes time to wash your locks.
When doing simple tasks around the house, such as reading a book or cleaning the cupboards, wear white cotton gloves to protect your chapped hands. This will reduce the amount of friction against skin that is dry, cracked or irritated. Cotton allows the skin to breathe, as well as collects any excess moisture. The gloves also keep the skin clean, which can decrease the number of times you need to wash your hands.
Hard labor requires extra protection for chapped hands that leather gloves can provide. Also wear the gloves for when you need to get a better grip on an item, such as opening a stubborn jar.
An inexpensive home remedy for chapped hands is found in many kitchen cabinets. Crisco provides the skin with moisture and keeps water sealed in. Use a small amount so that when you rub it into the skin, your hands won’t feel greasy.
Another inexpensive way to treat and protect chapped hands is with petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, which effectively treats dry and normal skin.
Wearing rubber gloves is a popular method of protecting when it comes to cleaning the home and washing the dishes. If you plan on working under wet conditions, wear cotton gloves under your rubber gloves to protect chapped hands from water. Keep in mind that just wearing rubber gloves means that perspiration and moisture can easily accumulate and cause friction, which worsens chapped hands.
If you don’t like the idea of wearing gloves when washing the dishes, use a dish brush with a long handle to avoid contact with water.
If you are susceptible to chapped hands, apply a topical emollient after washing your hands and before retiring for bed. Ointments are the best option, followed by creams, and then your typical lotion.
When applying lotion to chapped hands, double up on the amount. First, apply a thin layer and wait a few minutes for it to absorb. Follow up with another thin layer of lotion to provide better protection.
The kind of hand lotion you choose for your chapped hands makes a difference. Aim for a product that contains aloe vera, which is perfect for healing chapped hands and preventing a recurrence of symptoms.
Once your chapped hands have healed, choose mild soaps that promote a better retention of moisture in the skin. Soaps, such as Cetaphil and Dove, come highly recommended.