Help, My Hands Are So Dry!
| Posted On May 06, 2020 | By: Atrius Health
The message has been shared loud and clear; you need to make sure you wash your hands to prevent the spread of COVID-19!
Handwashing as a means to prevent the spread of disease is not a new concept, but you’re probably washing your hands more often and more thoroughly these days.
Treating Dry, Itchy, and Cracked Hands
Frequent handwashing can lead to itchy, cracking, or flaking dry skin. Here are some dermatologist-approved tips to help prevent and heal dry hands.
- Wash your hands with lukewarm water and a gentle skin cleanser such as CeraVe®, Dove®, or Aveeno®.
- Immediately after washing your hands, apply a fragrance-free moisturizer. Some good non-greasy moisturizer creams for daytime include CeraVe® Moisturizing Cream, Cetaphil® Moisturizing Cream, or Eucerin® Eczema Relief Cream. Try keeping a bottle of lotion in places where you frequently wash your hands.
- Look for lotions that contain glycerin, ceramides or hyaluronic acid. These ingredients help to moisturize and hydrate skin.
- If you have fissures (cracks) or thickened dry skin, use a lotion that contains the ingredient urea. Urea is an excellent ingredient that helps reduce the loss of moisture and helps the excess dry skin shed appropriately. Two products to consider are Aveeno® Cracked Skin Relief with CICA balm or Eucerin® Professional Repair.
- For those with sensitive skin or skin contact allergies, Vanicream® is a line of products that is free of fragrance, formaldehyde, dyes, and parabens. They make cleansers and moisturizers as well as sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, and shaving cream.
- For some added moisture at night, apply petroleum jelly or Aquaphor® to your hands, cover them in plastic wrap, and relax for 5-10 minutes. Sealing your hands with plastic wrap helps the moisturizer to penetrate better. Before you go to sleep, take the plastic wrap off, throw on some cotton gloves, and let the healing continue overnight. Doing this even once or twice a week helps to restore the skin barrier and decrease transepidermal water loss (TEWL), which is an official measure of the effectiveness of a moisturizer.
Although dry hands can be a nuisance, it’s essential to continue to wash your hands often to protect yourself and your family.