How Can I Deal with Dry Skin on the Hands?

Larry Ray Palmer

Dry skin on the hands is a common cause of discomfort for many people. Chapped, dry hands can be painful, unsightly, and open a pathway for infection. Causes of dry skin may include eczema, exposure to extreme weather, frequent hand washing, natural predisposition, and other factors. In many cases, the symptoms can be alleviated by a few simple measures.

Wearing rubber gloves while washing dishes will help keep hands from drying out.
Wearing rubber gloves while washing dishes will help keep hands from drying out.

When treating dry skin on the hands, one of the first things recommended by many dermatologists is hand lotion. Lotion that contains ingredients such as lanolin or vitamin E can provide special benefits to people suffering from dry skin on the hands. Due to the varied compositions of many hand lotions, some individuals may respond better to one brand of lotion than another. In some cases, allergies to fragrances or other lotion ingredients may worsen the problem. If this happens, or if dryness does not improve with lotion treatment, dermatological testing may be needed.

Eczema can cause dry skin on the hands.
Eczema can cause dry skin on the hands.

Using lotion to treat dry skin of the hands is a simple proposition. Whenever the patient washes his or her hands, lotion should be applied immediately. In some cases, transitioning to a milder hand soap may also prove helpful. Throughout the day, a repeated application of lotion may also be beneficial to make sure the patient's hands are protected at all times.

Applying petroleum jelly to the hands helps provide soothing relief to dry skin.
Applying petroleum jelly to the hands helps provide soothing relief to dry skin.

For more advanced cases, an overnight lotion therapy may be beneficial. For this therapy, the patient applies a layer of hand lotion to the hands before retiring for the evening. Covering hands with a pair of cotton gloves after applying lotion keeps moisture from rubbing off on bed-clothes. The cotton gloves allow for air exchange while helping to moisten the patient's hands. By utilizing this method on a nightly basis, many patients suffering from dry skin on the hands can find relief from the condition.

Sugar, a common ingredient in body scrubs, helps exfoliate dry skin on the hands.
Sugar, a common ingredient in body scrubs, helps exfoliate dry skin on the hands.

For those suffering from extreme cases of dry skin on the hands, a visit to the dermatologist may be in order. A dermatological examination can be helpful in determining the causes of dry skin. In some cases, the dermatologist may also order additional testing for allergies or medical conditions. Once the causes of the patient's dry skin are discovered, the dermatologist can work with the individual to develop a personalized plan of action for treating dry skin on the hands.

Hand lotions containing vitamin E can be especially beneficial for people with dry skin.
Hand lotions containing vitamin E can be especially beneficial for people with dry skin.
Oatmeal lotion can help with dry hands.
Oatmeal lotion can help with dry hands.
Cutting back on manually washing dishes can help with dry skin on hands.
Cutting back on manually washing dishes can help with dry skin on hands.
Excessive hand washing can lead to dry skin.
Excessive hand washing can lead to dry skin.

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