Easy Tips to Manage Dry, Chapped Hands

Medically Reviewed by: Davis Sugar, MD

Are you suffering with painful chapped hands and dry skin? Have you tried everything and nothing has helped? It’s possible you just haven’t found the right solution yet. Don’t give up.

Find out how fatty acids and nutrients in natural oils can help you manage dry hands. You’ll also learn how to choose the best hand cream.

What Causes Chapped Hands?

When it comes to dry, irritated skin, there may be more than one culprit at work. Here are some of the most common:

chapped hands | DermalMedixWeather – Changes in weather, especially those that involve a dry climate or dry air, can leave the skin parched, red, and irritated. The skin’s moisture is zapped and must be replenished.

Dry Skin Issues – Certain dry skin issues can lead to scaly, chapped, and irritated skin.

Working Environment – Some jobs require washing your hands a lot or constant exposure to harsh soaps, chemicals, or surfaces.

Aging – As you age, your skin naturally produces less oil, leaving your skin vulnerable to chapping.

Nutritional Deficiencies – A lack of essential vitamins and minerals can lead to drier skin texture. This includes a lack of proper hydration. Are you drinking enough water? Vitamins most important for overall skin health: Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin B3 and B5.

Ineffective Hand Lotions – All hand creams are not created equal. You may need something thicker, creamier, and oilier than what you’ve been using.1-3

Does Olive Oil Help Manage Dry Skin?

Olive oil is widely considered to be a delicious and healthy oil for cooking and dressings. As it turns out, olive oil is also a great DIY treatment for dry, chapped hands.

Olive oil has a lot going for it:

  • It’s brimming with antioxidants, which help to fight free radicals.4
  • It’s high in squalene. Squalene is an incredible emollient that’s often compared to the skin’s natural sebum (oil).5,6
  • Olive oil also contains olecanthal, a type of phenol that supports the bodies repair mechanisms. Olive oil is loaded with Vitamin E.

So, what’s the best way to apply oily olive oil to your hands – without leaving greasy fingerprints on everything you touch?

Here’s how: Rub a teaspoon of olive oil into your hands and nails (even your elbows!), then wrap them in cling film or pop on some cotton gloves. Sit back and relax, or sleep in your gloves.

chapped hands | DermalMedix

How About Coconut Oil? Is It Also An Effective Moisturizer?

While you’re in the kitchen, grab a jar of coconut oil or snag some at the store. Coconut oil is great for moisturizing and soothing irritated, red, and chapped skin. This is especially true when already using a skin-soothing solution.

Coconut oil is also:

  • Rich in lauric acid – a fatty acid (that’s found in breast milk) that’s naturally able to soothe irritation
  • Quickly absorbed into the skin
  • Coconut oil has shown great results for dry skin issues.
  • Coconut oil has been shown to have hydrating skin properties.7

chapped hands | DermalMedixJust remember that certain skin issues and their associated symptoms can be unique to each person’s sensitive skin, so try a patch test first.8

Moisturizing Magic: Don’t Forget About Your Hands

It’s easy to forget about moisturizing your hands when it comes to your skin care routine. But they take more wear and tear than any other area of your skin. And dry, chapped hands can easily make you look older than you are.

Hand creams work best when applied while your hands are still damp. This gives the cream some extra moisture to seal in.

You might be wondering, “How do I wash my hands without making them more dry?” Here are some tips:

  • Replace harsh soaps with moisture-rich cleansers (just like you’d use on your face).
  • Wash hands in lukewarm water (that’s not too hot or cold)
  • Avoid hand sanitizers, which are incredibly drying.
  • Smooth on a rich hand cream after hand washing.
  • If you must have your hands constantly wet for work, wear gloves.

If you’re suffering from painful, cracked, bleeding, or itchy skin on your hands, talk to your dermatologist.

Learn More:
3 Tips to Achieve Smooth Feet (goodbye dry, cracked feet!)
Aloe Vera Gel for Scars Or Skin- What You Really Need to Know
What to Soak Feet in to Remove Dead Skin

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4324104/
7. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ijd.12339
8. https://nationaleczema.org/get-facts-coconut-oil/