I have suffered from dry cracked hands for the better part of my adult life. It starts in early November each year and continues until spring hits, only to flare again in the hot summer months when our air conditioner is working at full-force. Extreme weather and dryness are obviously triggers for me, and when I’m not diligent in keeping my chapped hands hydrated and happy, the cracks become extremely painful and often bleed, which can feel (and look) pretty miserable.
I’ve tried a ton of different treatments and remedies over the years with varying levels of success, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. I know that I need to be proactive rather than reactive in caring for my extremely dry hands, and with a few subtle changes to my daily routine, I’ve found the best dry skin treatment options for fast relief from painful cracked hands.
What are some of the causes of severely dry hands?
While certain skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can cause someone to suffer from extremely dry hands, there are other factors that can increase anyone’s risk of experiencing chapped hands throughout the year, including:
- Extreme weather conditions
- Dry air
- Spending too much time with your hands in water (i.e. washing dishes)
- Manual labor
What causes hands to crack?
There are many things that can cause your hands to crack and bleed, the most common being lack of moisture. Cold weather conditions, artificial heating and air conditioning, and frequent hand washing can all contribute to dry cracked hands as each of these things strips your hands of natural oils. And if you don’t take the necessary steps to replenish this moisture, the condition can get worse instead of better.
How can I treat my dry cracked hands?
If you suffer from extremely dry hands that crack and bleed, there are lots of things you can do to keep your skin properly hydrated to offset the negative effects of pre-existing skin conditions and environmental triggers. From staving off dryness to investing in the best lotion for dry hands, we’re sharing 8 of our best dry skin treatment remedies for soft, supple skin year-round below.
1. Invest in the right dry skin treatment remedies
While there are many prescription creams available to treat dry cracked hands, I often find they only treat the symptoms and aren’t meant for long-term use. Also? I’m not a fan of using medicated creams if I can avoid it. I much prefer using natural remedies that not only provide relief for my chapped hands, but also prevent flare-ups from occurring again. If you’re looking for the best dry skin treatment, I recommend choosing a product based on your individual skin challenges, and I’ve provided my top picks for the most common skin conditions below.
Best cream to reduce inflammation….
Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream: The combination of organic manuka honey and organic tree nut-free oils and beeswax make this a gentle, nourishing formula that soothes and calms irritated skin and reduces inflammation without a burning or stinging sensation. Top with a pair of Bamboo Gloves at night for added protection and to prevent nighttime scratching! Learn more about Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream HERE.
Best cream to reduce redness…
Emily Skin Soothers for Itchy Eczema: Suitable for babies, kids, and adults, this soothing cream is a dream come true for those who suffer from angry, itchy skin. Made from all natural ingredients – olive oil, beeswax, and 3 Chinese herbs – you will be amazed at how quickly it soothes skin and removes redness. Learn more about Emily Skin Soothers for Itchy Eczema HERE.
Best cream to relieve dryness and itching….
EczeHerbal #2 – Itchy Skin Rash Treatment: If you suffer from dry, flakey, and itchy skin, this is another of my favorite dry skin treatements. It uses different herbs, which isn’t for everyone, but having grown up in South East Asia, I’m a big believer in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Learn more about EczeHerbal #2 Itchy Skin Rash Treatment HERE.
Pro Tip: For painful cracks on your fingers and knuckles, apply a bit of Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream and then cover with a bandaid for overnight relief. It works like a charm!
2. Wear gloves in cold weather conditions
This may seem like a no-brainer, but since many of us (myself included!) lack the discipline to wear gloves every single time we leave the house during harsh weather conditions, it bears repeating. Keep a pair of gloves by your front door, in the pockets of each of your coats, and in your purse so you are always prepared.
3. Avoid scented soaps and antibacterial lotions
As much as we want to smell good (and keep germs at bay), scented soaps and antibacterial products can be extremely drying and contribute to challenges with cracked hands. Choose a natural, scent-free option like Emily Skin Soothing Soap which won’t strip your skin of its natural and protective oils. It’s rich and moisturizing, free of artificial colors and fragrances, and safe for babies and those with extremely dry hands due to skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Learn more HERE.
4. Invest in a humidifier
Adding moisture to the air with a humidifier is another great way to combat dry skin. You can buy portable humidifiers for specific areas in your house, or buy one that attaches to your furnace to ensure every room maintains an adequate moisture level. You probably won’t need a humidifier during fall and spring since moisture levels tend to be optimal at those times of year, but should strongly consider using one during the cold winter months and during the summer when your air conditioning is in use.
5. Limit water exposure
If you suffer from extremely dry hands, limiting the amount of time your hands are submerged in water is a great way to prevent cracking and bleeding. The more your skin comes into contact with water, the more it is stripped of its natural oils, so try to limit exposure as much as possible.
6. Use lukewarm water over hot water
Hot water is extremely dehydrating for the skin, so if avoiding H2O is impossible for you, consider switching from hot to lukewarm water instead. It’s a small change to make, but can make a world of difference to those who suffer from dry cracked hands!
7. Protect your hands from harsh chemicals
When washing dishes, using household cleaners, and/or engaging in activities that require the use of chemical-containing products, protect your hands with a pair of rubber gloves. Have a latex sensitivity? Consider putting a pair of Bamboo Gloves on your hands first to ensure they are adequately protected.
8. Wear gloves at night
My final tip for treating dry cracked hands is to wear gloves at night. It may feel a bit silly, but if you suffer from extremely dry hands, this will give your skin a chance to absorb moisture for several hours, offering you relief from painful cracks. I apply a generous amount of Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream all over my hands and then put a pair of Bamboo Gloves over top when my hands are sore and cracked. It took a bit of getting used to at first, but the benefits I’ve seen in treating my chapped hands has been so worth it.
Dry cracked hands are very common during the winter months, but many people suffer with this condition year-round due to their line of work and/or because they suffer from skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Whatever the reason, extremely dry hands that crack and bleed can be painful, not to mention embarrassing, and I hope these tips and remedies offer you fast relief when you need it most.