Friday 20 April 2018

Beauty Dilemma: Dry hands

Image posed. Photo: Getty Images
Image posed. Photo: Getty Images

Sinead Van Kampen

My hands have become really dry and cracked over the past few weeks and I can't seem to get them to heal. I've tried quite a few lotions and potions but I'm finding that they do more harm than good. Is there anything I can do to calm things down and keep it at bay in the future?

Our hands are one of most active body parts, so it is not surprising that they bear the brunt of things. From time to time this may lead to dry and cracked skin - too much contact with water, going from warm to cold air or even the wrong beauty products can leave paws parched in no time. However, there are plenty of things you can do to smooth things out.

As we wash our hands often during the day swapping your regular soap for a moisturising alternative should make a big difference. Frequent washing can strip skin of the protective layer and alter the acidic ph balance, so reducing the amount of soap used will help prevent the damage.

With soap contact reduced it may also be worthwhile to apply some hydrating lotion to damp hands which will lock in moisture and help toward repair. As with all products, the more natural you can get them the kinder they will be, so try and stay away from harsh products that are likely to increase irritation and head for products with vitamins B5, A and E which will help protect the natural barrier of skin and in turn help the healing process. Overnight hand treatments also work well for intensive repairs.

Exposure to the elements can also dry out skin, so protect your hands by wearing gloves. When you venture outside during the colder months skin can be more irritable than usual. Strong household cleaners have also been known to play havoc with our paws so avoiding products containing bleach and donning rubber gloves when cleaning will also help.

Finally, a common sign that we're not getting enough water is when skin becomes irritable through dehydration. Reducing contact with water may work well for preventing sore hands, but drinking more water will help keep your skin hydrated.

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