Home Remedies For Cracked Hands
Dry, cracked hands are a common skin complaint – especially in cold weather and among those who are prone to over-washing their hands. But they can also cause pain and discomfort and may occasionally be a sign of more serious skin conditions.
Left untreated, dry hands may start to crack or bleed and can have a negative impact on your quality of life and ability to go about daily tasks.
So, it’s important to understand how to treat dry, cracked hands, what activities and products to avoid and when you should contact your doctor.
What causes dry, cracked hands?
Dry and cracked hands are caused by a range of activities, weather and health conditions. It’s often nothing to worry about and can be treated with common moisturisers or by avoiding certain behaviours.
It’s important to understand what causes dry hands, though, to avoid worsening symptoms.
Common causes of dry hands include:
- Weather – extremes of hot and cold can reduce humidity in the air and dry out skin
- Over-washing – washing your hands too often – or spending too long in hot baths or showers – can also leave your skin feeling dry
- Harsh products – certain soaps and handwashes – especially strong antibacterial gels – contain chemicals that strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving your hands feeling dry
Dry hands may also cause – or be a sign of – wider skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. This can have a negative impact on quality of life and potentially lead to infections.
If you’re struggling with dry hands long-term, experiencing extreme pain or cracking and are worried that it may be a sign of a serious skin condition, contact your doctor.
What are the risks of dry, cracked hands?
Dry, cracked hands can cause serious discomfort. This includes both the pain of irritated skin, as well as potential mental health implications for those struggling with flare-ups.
Some of the risks of dry hands include:
- Uncomfortable feelings of skin tightness
- Redness or bleeding
- Flaking or peeling skin
Severe cases of dry, cracked hands may leave you open to further health risks. Cracked skin is at risk of infection, which can lead to serious health complications in extreme cases. So, it’s important to treat dry hands at the earliest signs.
Dry skin can also worsen into a condition called dermatitis – leaving hands red and itchy and causing discomfort. If you’re worried you may have dermatitis, contact your doctor.
Preventing dry, cracked hands
Most cases of dry, cracked hands can be treated by making small changes to behaviour and keeping hands clean and hydrated.
Common home remedies for dry hands include:
- Moisturising – applying moisturisers and lotions to clean, dry hands hydrates skin and even provides a protective barrier against harmful UV rays. Moisturisers can also have a cooling effect, helping relieve the discomfort associated with dry, cracked skin.
- Wearing gloves – wearing gloves during the winter – and when washing up – keeps hands dry and protects them against extreme temperatures that can dry skin.
- Avoiding frequent use of harsh products – using strong soaps or hand sanitisers can strip skin of its natural oils. If you need to use anti-bacterial handwash, apply moisturiser afterwards to avoid the drying effects.
- Avoiding over-washing your hands – frequent handwashing can also leave skin dry and cracked. Apply moisturiser after washing to cool and hydrate dry hands.
- Dry your hands thoroughly – wet hands carry more bacteria than when they’re dry, which poses a risk to cracked hands.
If dry, cracked hands persist after making these changes, contact your doctor. They’ll be able to tell you if it’s a sign of a wider health condition and may be able to prescribe specialist treatments, like steroid creams.
Home remedies for dry, cracked hands
If you’re suffering from dry, cracked hands, there are plenty of home remedies that are proven to help heal and hydrate skin.
Common home remedies for dry hands include:
- Cucumber – we’ve all heard of cucumber eye masks, but the fruit can also be used to treat dry, cracked hands. Leave sliced cucumber to sit in a bowl of water for a few hours before soaking your hands. The nutrients in cucumber hydrate the skin, soothing dry, cracked hands in the same way they treat puffy and tired eyes.
- Drinking – or soaking in – milk – milk is proven to treat dry, cracked hands from the inside and out. The fats consumed when drinking milk provide a barrier of protection for skin, preventing cracked hands from worsening. Similarly, soaking dry hands in milk helps to remove flaky skin and moisturise hands.
- Olive oil and sugar – this DIY exfoliating scrub soothes dry hands. Mix two parts sugar with one part olive oil into a thick, crystalline paste and apply it to dry, cracked hands, then rinse off with warm water. The solution not only removes dry or flaky skin but also leaves hands feeling soft and exfoliated. Adding mashed avocado to the solution can provide an extra moisturising effect, too.
- Take an oatmeal bath – adding oats to a lukewarm bath can have a soothing effect on dry skin. Blend whole oats into a fine powder, add them to your bath and soak for around 10 minutes. Oats have anti-inflammatory properties that help skin retain its moisture and prevent dry skin from becoming itchy and irritated.
- Yoghurt – in addition to its cooling effect on sore or irritated skin, yoghurt also has hydrating properties that can leave dry hands feeling refreshed. Massage natural yoghurt into your hands – and leave for around 10 minutes before rinsing away – to reduce dryness and itching.
- Foods high in antioxidants – foods rich in antioxidants, like carrots, sweet potatoes, peppers, peas, blueberries and spinach have several skin benefits. Antioxidants not only protect skin against damage but also have anti-inflammatory effects to soothe dry or cracked hands.
- Honey – honey is a natural humectant, meaning it locks in moisture when applied to skin. Rub honey into dry hands in the same way as you would apply a standard moisturiser, leaving it for around 5 minutes before rinsing away. Dry, cracked hands will feel soft, smooth and hydrated.
A helping hand from StressNoMore:
If you’re still experiencing dry or cracked hands, StressNoMore is here to help. We stock a range of specialist hand and foot care products designed to relieve and hydrate dry, cracked skin.
Our Organic Where Possible hand scrub cleanses and nourishes damaged hands – repairing skin and healing wounds. Its anti-inflammatory properties also soothe irritated skin.
Plus, our range of B Skincare hand creams treat dry, cracked hands by hydrating and soothing skin.
B Skincare barrier cream softens dry, cracked skin and provides a protective barrier to prevent hands from further drying and damage.
For more information on our products and how they can help you treat dry or cracked hands, get in touch with us today. And for more information on how to treat dry skin, check out our guide on home remedies for cracked heels.