Dryness of the hands is common during winters. Some people experience this condition throughout the year. While frequent hand washing can lead to extremely dry hands, exposure to harsh chemicals is another reason for this condition. Dry hands can be uncomfortable as well as unpleasant.
Dry hands is often caused by lack of moisture, which could be due to reduced intake of water or the inability of the skin cells to produce sebum. Sebum is the natural oil produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin and is responsible for sealing in the moisture. As water intake is reduced, the moisture level of the skin drops, thereby making it dry. Washing hands repeatedly, is another cause for extremely dry hands. The chemicals in the soap strip the skin of its natural oils, which are responsible for its suppleness. Regular exposure to dish soap and household cleaners (especially those with bleaching agents), may also lead to dry hands. Accumulation of dead skin cells is another cause for dry, cracked hands. In such cases, the dead cells form a layer over the skin surface, thereby blocking absorption and retention of moisture. Dry climatic conditions may also cause this problem.
Most of the causes mentioned above are preventable. If you can identify the cause, you can tackle the condition easily. If you want to increase moisture level of the skin, you have to drink lots of water, as much as 2 to 3 liters a day. At least two liters of water is required by the body, per day. You have to avoid repeated hand washing, especially with soap. If you cannot avoid this, apply a moisturizer, whenever you wash your hand. A moisturizing hand soap will be the best option for such people.
Avoid using harsh soap and household cleaners; or else, use rubber gloves to protect your hands. Avoid those skin care products, that may affect the normal functioning of the sebaceous glands. Aloe vera gel is an effective home remedy for dry hands. Apply a small amount of aloe gel on your hands, and keep it overnight. Make sure to use a scrub occasionally, so that the dead skin cells are removed. Apply Vaseline on the hands and keep it overnight for best results. Use a pair of cotton gloves, after applying Vaseline on the hands. You may replace Vaseline with vitamin E, which can be purchased as capsules or oil. Using lukewarm water for washing hands is another method to counter extremely dry hands. Some people use humidifiers in their home, if the air inside the home is very dry. This is also good for preventing the skin from getting dry.
There are some medical conditions, like eczema, that can cause extremely dry hands. In that case, these remedies may not work. So, you have to seek medical attention, if dryness is accompanied with other symptoms, or if there is no relief from the condition. You must consult your health care provider, if the condition worsens or persists.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.