Soothing Tips for Chapped Hands

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Of course, one of the ideal things for dealing with chapped hands is to avoid water, but sometimes that’s impossible.  However, repeated washing of your hands removes the skin’s natural oil alyer, which allows moisture.  So, just think twice about having your hands in water unnecessarily.  If you must wash your hands often, then try to do just the palms.  They have a thicker skin.  Instead of using soap, clean your hands with an oil free skin cleanser such as Cetaphil. 

You should use some type of topical emollient every time you wash your hands and at bedtime.  Lotions are the least moisturizing, followed by creams and then oinments.  Try a lotion first.  If that’s not enough to get you through the winter, then move on to a cream, and finally an ointment.

Many public restrooms have hot air blowers.  If at all possible, avoid them.  Use a throw away towel instead.  In research it has been proven that hot-air blowers have been associated with chapped hands.  Now if you must use one then keep your hands at least 6 inches from the nozzle.

Another way to smooth and soothe irritated hands, mix a few drops of glycerin with a few drops of lemon essential oil.  Massage this into your hands at bedtime.

Over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams and ointments are of value when treating chapped hands.  You can use Cortaid or any other .5% cream several times a days.  You should also put a heavier, greasier product on top of that.  Remember everytime you wash your hands you should reapply.

In case you didn’t know, the juices of raw meat and vegetables, like potatoes, onions, tomatoes and carrots are sometimes very toxic to the skin, especially if your skin is already irritated.  You should wear tissue-thin plastic gloves when handling food.  You don’t want to squeeze acidic fruits like oranges, lemons or grapefruit with your bare hands.  It will only dry your hands out more.

To remove the top layer of dead skin cells from chapped hands, a weekly sloughing treatment would be good.  Process 1 cup of uncooked, old-fashioned (not instant) rolled oats in a blender until you have very fine powder.  Place it in a large bowl, then rub your hands in the powder.  It will gently remove dry skin.  Rinse with cool water, pat dry and put on the hand cream.  Wait 2 minutes and apply more cream


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