Healing Cracked Skin On Hands

When winter winds whip up, do your hands feel like they’ve been through a sandstorm? You’re not alone. Cracked skin on hands is a common issue, particularly in colder climates or for those who frequently wash their hands. Understanding why your skin cracks and how to prevent it can save you from discomfort and potential skin infections. It’s important to learn about the causes, symptoms, and, most importantly, the solutions to this pesky problem. So, let’s get your hands back to their soft, supple best.

What Causes Cracked Skin on Hands?

Several factors trigger the onset of cracked skin on your hands. Environmental causes sit atop this list. Direct exposure to harsh winter climates and low humidity in the atmosphere often leads to skin discomfort and drying.

Similarly, chemical irritants present in cleansers, disinfectants, or detergents potentially disrupt your skin’s natural pH balance, leading to severe dryness and cracks.

Notably, medical conditions such as eczema or psoriasis exacerbate the issue. These diseases cause increased dryness and flaking, often resulting in cracked skin.

Besides these, poor hydration and inadequate nutrition contribute to a weakened skin barrier, promoting skin cracks. Excessive hand-washing, a health measure common in the current times, strips away essential skin oils, inflicting damage to your hands.

The Impact of Cracked Skin on Your Hands

Beyond the unsightly appearance, the influence of cracking skin goes much further. It’s not solely a cosmetic issue but can lead to serious complications if not properly addressed.

Pain and Discomfort Associated with Cracked Skin on Hands

preventing cracked skin on hands

Cracked skin, especially on your hands, can bring about quite a bit of pain and discomfort. This pain stems from the tears in the skin’s surface allowing air and other elements directly in contact with the nerves. In some cases, the cracks deepen, reaching the dermis and skin cells.

That’s the second layer of skin housing nerve endings and blood vessels. Unsurprisingly, deeper cracks lead to intense pain.

Aside from pain, cracked skin on hands also can trigger discomfort throughout the day. It may cause a stinging sensation each time your hands come into contact with strong substances, such as acidic foods, salt, or chemicals in cleaning products.

How Broken Skin on Hands Affects Daily Activities

If you’ve got cracked skin on your hands, it’s likely that your daily tasks aren’t breezing by as they do under normal circumstances. Simple tasks like buttoning a shirt, typing on a keyboard, or doing dishes tend to become a daunting challenge.

Widespread pain and sensitiveness that accompanies cracked skin can force a reevaluation of your daily tasks. Moreover, if your job involves manual work or constant exposure to water or detergents, it even amplifies the hurdles.

Caterers, nurses, manual laborers, and cleaners understand this all too well. Irritated skin, if not treated properly, also poses a risk of restricting hand function due to discomfort and potential immobilization from intense pain.

Ultimately, the implications of dry skin on hands stretch further than what initially meets the eye. It’s paramount to seek immediate treatment and engage in preventive measures to maintain your skin health, ease daily activities, and improve your quality of life.

Treating Cracked Skin

Addressing cracked skin necessitates a dual strategy: immediate relief and long-term prevention. Your first defense lies in comprehensive moisturization. Topical treatments, specifically lotions and creams, offer swift relief by replenishing the skin’s natural moisture.

Choose products containing ceramides, urea, or lanolin for better results. Following this, every night, cover your hands with petroleum jelly and wrap them with a pair of thin cotton gloves, creating an overnight moisture lock.

Additionally, consider over-the-counter corticosteroids for reducing inflammation and redness. For more severe cases, a dermatologist’s intervention may prove beneficial. They offer medical treatments like a prescription hand cream, light therapy, or, in minor cases of eczema, topical steroids.

Finally, bear in mind the importance of preventive measures. Maintain healthy skin by wearing gloves when dealing with irritants and applying sunscreen before exposing the hands to UV light.

Preventing Cracked Skin on Hands

Following the understanding of causes and implications, it becomes essential to explore steps for prevention. Lasting remedies and sustained skin health don’t come from temporary fixes but long-term, proactive measures.

Lifestyle Adjustments

An important facet in preventing cracked skin on hands involves making essential lifestyle adjustments. These changes play a dual role, mitigating current skin issues and staving off future occurrences.

First, protect your hands. Conditions such as cold or dry weather and water exposure exacerbate skin issues. Wear gloves in tough climates, during household chores, and when dealing with harsh chemicals.

Make sure that you wear gloves with breathable materials to avoid sweating-induced skin irritation. Next, proper body hydration minimizes the risk of dry and cracked skin on your hands.

Aim for at least eight glasses of water a day to sustain moisture levels within the body and on your skin’s surface. Lastly, adopt a healthier diet. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and flaxseeds, nourish the skin.

In addition, fruits and vegetables provide your skin cells with the necessary vitamins and antioxidants.

How to Use Moisturizers Effectively to Prevent Cracked Skin

While understanding the aspect of moisturizers is essential, knowing the proper way to use them is equally vital. First, comprehend the best time to apply. Dermatologists recommend moisture application right after a hand wash or shower.

This damp-skin application locks in moisture and provides lasting hydration. Second, acknowledge the importance of frequency. Apply your preferred moisturizer throughout the day, especially after exposure to water or harsh conditions, and before bed to repair skin overnight.

Lastly, emphasize deep hydration with overnight treatments. Applying a thick layer of hypoallergenic ointment or cream and covering it with cotton gloves can create an effective moisture barrier and provide a healing environment for your hands.

When To See A Doctor

Despite taking firm preventive measures, if your hand skin continues to crack and cause discomfort, a medical assessment becomes crucial. Persistent issues may be a warning sign of underlying health conditions that require professional intervention.

Take note of symptoms like severe pain, regular bleeding, deep cracks, or if your skin fails to improve after consistent self-care measures. If you experience itching, redness, or swelling that worsens over time, consult a dermatologist or doctor.

Evidence of a possible infection, such as pus or heat, also warrants swift medical attention. If you suffer from known skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, regular doctor visits help maintain skin health.

On occasions where an unexpected rapid deterioration of skin condition is experienced, immediate medical consultation is recommended. Remember, timely professional intervention can prevent the worsening of symptoms and pave the way for rapid recovery.

FAQs For Cracked Hands

What disease causes dry cracked hands?

Diseases like eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis can cause dry, cracked hands due to their impact on the skin’s ability to retain moisture and form a protective barrier.

What vitamin deficiency causes split skin on fingers?

Vitamin deficiency, particularly a lack of vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin C, and vitamin E, can lead to split skin on fingers, as these nutrients are vital for maintaining a healthy skin barrier and integrity.