Hands – one of the essential part of the body in which we use them for almost everything we do daily. But do we give any utmost importance or care to them? Although, most of us don’t give any importance to them until they become unable to function properly due to dryness and cracks.
Dry cracked hands is a condition in which everyone experiences in cold weather (winter is the critical period) when there is no adequate attention given to their well being. If you left untreated then the dry and cracked hands will become painful and thereby restricts your daily activities.
For people who have dry skin, the cracks will get deep and thus eventually results in bleeding. We all know that skin works as a first line of defense against all the external elements. Never ever hide these cracks by wearing long sleeve clothes or gloves but make sure to treat them as soon as possible to get rid of the problem.
Causes of Dry Cracked Hands:
Here are some of the most common causes of dry cracked hands.
- Winter or cold season (less moisture in the air)
- Dry air
- Long steamy showers
- Usage of harsh chemical based soaps (moisture stripping products)
- Hand washing frequently (usage of alcohol-based sanitizers or hand washes)
- Clothes (like wool)
- Irritants (detergents, fabric softeners, perfumes or dryer sheets)
- Unhealthy diet
- Underlying skin problems (eczema, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, diabetes or underactive thyroid)
One can experience certain symptoms severe itching and rough, red patches on the skin, dryness while suffering from dry cracked hands. If left untreated, it results in fissures and cracks that even cause bleeding. The itching will result in worsening the problem and thereby results in forming tiny, red and raised bumps which further opens up and gets infected when scratched.
Even though there are many commercial moisturizers and lotions in the market to combat the dry and cracked hands but they are filled with some harsh chemicals and cost-effective that can cause skin dryness if used for the longer run.
The usage of natural remedies will moisturize and hydrate the dry skin effectively and helps to keep it back to its healthy state. Also, the natural remedies are easily available at home and are free from any kind of severe side effects.
Always remember that if your skin condition is worse and the usage of these remedies is not working properly then it is best to consult your dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment, as it can be a symptom of any severe conditions.
Home Remedies for Dry Cracked Hands:
Here are some best natural remedies that help to soothe and moisturize your dry skin. So, help your skin to rejuvenate and replenish with these home remedies.
Remedy – 1: (Olive Oil)
The rich source of healthy fatty acids and antioxidants in olive oil will help to soothe the dry and itchy skin. It replenishes the skin with all its essential oils to moisture. It exhibits antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that help to prevent the attack of microbes and also reduces the pain and itching.
Here are few ways of using olive oil for dry cracked hands.
- Take 1 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil and warm it slightly. Apply it all over the hands by massaging gently for few minutes. Leave it for few minutes to overnight and then rinse off with water. Repeat it 2 – 3 times daily until you get complete relief from this dryness.
- Massage your skin with olive oil to your dry, cracked hands 30 minutes before taking shower with warm water. This will help to clear the symptoms of dry cracked hands.
- Honey acts as antimicrobial, antioxidant and humectant that helps to moisturize your skin and makes it smooth and soft. This combination will help to maintain optimal health. Melt 2 tablespoons of beeswax in a pan and then add 2 tablespoons each of unprocessed honey and olive oil in it. Stir well and apply this mix on all over the hands. Leave for 10 – 15 minutes and take your shower. Repeat it once daily.
- Overripe banana along with honey and olive oil will ensure the skin to remain well moisturized, smooth and healthy. Mash 1/2 piece of an overripe banana and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of raw honey to it. Stir well to make a paste and apply on the hands. Rinse off after 30 minutes with lukewarm water and then cold water to ensure the moisture is locked in the skin. Repeat daily.
Remedy – 2: (Milk)
Milk has lactic acid that helps to improve the skin’s ability to retain your skin moisture and exfoliates the dead skin cells. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that heal your dry, itching and cracked hands. This helps to lighten the complexion along with dry and cracked hands.
Here are few ways of using milk for dry and cracked hands.
- Take 1/2 cup of cold milk in a bowl and soak a clean washcloth in this milk for few minutes. Wring out the cloth and place it on the affected areas of the hand. Let it soak for about 8 – 10 minutes and rinse your hands gently with another side of the cloth soaked in 1/2 cup of warm water. Continue doing the same process on every alternate day to get relief from dry cracked hands.
- Rose water and lemon juice helps to replenish the lost moisture of the skin and makes it smooth and soft. Mix 2 – 3 drops each of fresh lemon juice and rose water in 4 tablespoons of milk. Stir well and apply it all over the hands and rub it gently. Leave it for about 10 – 15 minutes and rinse your hands with cold water. Repeat it twice daily until you get rid of dry cracked hands.
- Milk cream acts as an exceptional moisturizer and soothing agent that helps to maintain the skin’s pH level. Mix 3 – 4 tablespoons of gram flour in 1/2 cup of milk cream till it makes a fine paste. Apply it on the hands and leave it for 10 – 15 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water. Do it once daily for 2 – 3 weeks to heal your dry and itchy hands.
- The natural oil content in peanuts will help to moisturize and replenish your skin to prevent dry cracked hands. Prepare a paste of 8 – 10 peanuts by mixing 1/2 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of honey to it. Apply this mix on the hands and rinse off with lukewarm water for about 15 – 20 minutes. Do it daily.
- The vitamin E content in almond oil acts as a lubricator and emollient of the skin and helps to maintain overall well being of the skin. Mix 1 teaspoon of almond oil in 1 glass of warm milk and stir well. Drink this warm milk at night before bedtime. Drink it on a daily basis to get rid of the dry cracked skin.
- Poppy seeds act as an exceptional moisturizer that helps to retain moisture and lighten your complexion. Soak 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds in 1/2 cup of milk for overnight. In the next morning, grind it with milk to make a paste. Apply this paste to the affected areas and rinse off after few minutes. Do it twice a week to get rid of dry chapped hands.
Remedy – 3: (Coconut Oil)
Coconut oil has an abundance of fatty acids that are beneficial in replenishing the lost essential oils and moisture your skin. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help to clear the microbial action on the skin and nourishes your skin to get rid of pain or swelling caused by dry cracked hands.
- Take 2 – 3 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil and warm it slightly.
- Apply it as a thin layer on the hands and massage gently for few minutes after taking your bath.
- Let it dry naturally on the skin and applying coconut oil after a shower will help to open the pores and absorb the oil effectively to prevent dryness.
- Continue this process for once daily until you get rid of dry chapped hands.
Note: Use castor oil or sesame oil or vitamin E oil (without warming) instead of coconut oil on the skin to get rid of dry cracked hands.
Remedy – 4: (Papaya and Yogurt)
The lactic acid in yogurt will help to eliminate the bacteria and other toxins causing dry cracked hands. Papain is a powerful enzyme in papaya will help to clear the dry hands. Both yogurt and papaya will aid in healing dry, chapped and itchy skin by moisturizing and nourish the skin.
- Mix 4 tablespoons of mashed papaya in 1/2 cup of yogurt and stir well.
- Add a drop of fresh lemon juice and raw honey this yogurt and mix well.
- Apply this mix on the hands and leave it for about 10 – 15 minutes.
- Finally, rinse the area with cold water and dry the skin gently.
- Repeat the same for 2 – 3 times a week to treat dry chapped hands.
Remedy – 5: (Oatmeal)
Oatmeal is rich in proteins and helps in reducing the water loss which in turn ensures that your body (hands) remains moisturized. It exfoliates and cleanses the body to keep the dryness and cracks on the hands at bay.
- Add 1 teaspoon of honey in 2 tablespoons of dry ground oatmeal.
- Stir well to make a fine paste and if you want, add some fresh lemon juice while making it into a paste.
- Apply it on the hands and leave it for about 10 minutes.
- Rinse off with warm water and continue doing the same process for twice a week to eliminate your dry, chapped hands and to maintain a healthy well-moisturized body.
Remedy – 6: (Avocado)
Avocado has various vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants that help to heal the skin from inside. It maintains optimal skin health and thus aids in restoring the silky and smooth skin.
- Mix 1/2 a mashed avocado in 3 – 4 tablespoons of honey and stir well.
- Apply it on the hands and massage gently for a couple of minutes.
- Allow it to sit for about 10 – 15 minutes and rinse off with warm water.
- Reapply the mix for at least twice a week will help to get quick relief from dry cracked hands.
Note: Or egg yolk along with avocado and yogurt will help to eliminate the germs and lock the moisture in your skin to prevent dry chapped hands. Mash 1/4 piece of ripe avocado and then add 1 egg yolk and 1 teaspoon of yogurt in it and stir well to make a paste. Spread it on the hands and rinse with lukewarm water after 15 minutes. Dry with a soft towel and repeat it 2 – 3 times a week.
Remedy – 7: (Rose Water and Glycerin)
Both glycerin and rose water will work wonders for dry skin by hydrating and moisturize the skin to keep it well nourished and clear dry cracked hands at away.
- Mix 1/4 cup of glycerin in 1 ½ cup of rose water and stir well.
- Pour this mix into an empty spray bottle and store it.
- Use it to spray into the dry hands and let it dry naturally.
- Spraying it for 3 – 4 times daily will help to moisture the dry cracked hands.
- But make sure that you have to shake your bottle well before each use.
Other Effective Remedies:
- Aloe vera is a natural moisturizer that replenishes the lost moisturizer of the skin and forms as a protective layer on the skin. Simply apply freshly extracted aloe vera gel on all over the hands and massage gently for few minutes. Rinse the area with lukewarm water after 10 – 15 minutes. Do it daily.
- Honey acts as a humectant and natural moisturizer that soothes the irritated skin and moisturizes it. So, apply honey on the affected areas regularly for few minutes and rinse off with water.
- You can find some natural moisturizers like pure clarified butter (ghee), beeswax, cocoa butter, peanut butter, shea butter, etc at home. Apply it all over the hands by massaging for a few minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water and repeat it 2 – 3 times daily.
- Apple cider vinegar will help to balance the skin’s pH levels and restore the moisture. Mix 1 tablespoon of ACV in 1/2 cup of water and apply it on the hands with the help of cotton balls. Wait for 10 minutes and rinse with water. Repeat it on every alternate day.
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Tips and Precautions:
- The usage of harsh chemical based soaps or sanitizers will strip the fats from the skin. So, avoid the usage of these soaps and prefer naturally made soaps to prevent dryness, itching, and cracks in the skin.
- Limit the exposure of your hands to water and use a pair of rubber gloves to work while using chemicals or cleaning clothes or other daily activities.
- Dry hands will enhance the spread of various contagious diseases. So, always rinse your hands with gentle hand washing to eliminate the spread of contagious diseases. But use warm water instead of hot water (as hot water will strip the moisture and natural oils).
- Drink plenty of water and other healthy drinks like herbal teas, fresh fruits, and vegetables, smoothie, etc.
- Avoid using hot air dryers to dry your skin instead use a soft towel or toilet paper to pat dry your hands to dry your wet hands.
- Regularly exfoliate your hands for at least once a week to eliminate the dead skin cells and prevent the loss of moisture.
- Run a humidifier in winters or cold temperature to prevent dry cracked hands, especially at night before going to bed.
- Limit or avoid the intake of caffeinated, carbonated or alcoholic beverages, as they dehydrate the body and strip the natural moisture and oils on the skin.
- Consume foods that are rich in good fats like omega – 3 fatty acids to replenish the skin’s natural fat stores. So, include flaxseeds, orange juice, tofu, soybeans, oily fishes (salmon, sardines & mackerel), etc. in your daily diet.
- Prefer to wear clothes that are made from cotton, silk and other smooth fabric that help to breathe your skin by absorbing the sweat.
- The best time to moisturize the hands every time is after washing them why because the skin pores get opened and well absorb the applied cream or remedy to get well moisturize the body.
- Soak your hands in warm water at night before going to sleep to remove all the impurities and dirt accumulation in the hands, which may result in cracks.
- After soaking your hands in warm water, apply petroleum jelly or any other natural moisturizer to prevent the dry, cracks in the skin and wear gloves for the whole night to retain the moisture.
- Consult your doctor if you’re suffering from chronic skin dryness for proper diagnose and treatment to get relief from dry cracked skin.
Dry cracked hands are quite common in cold weather but treat them as soon as possible to prevent it getting severe (pain, cracks, and bleeding). Try the above mentioned natural remedies at home to get rid of dry cracked hands.
Do you know any other successful remedies for dry chapped hands? Then share your experience with us in the below comments section.