Don't make your digits suffer; get rid of dry, cracked hands this winter!

Dry, cracked and bleeding hands can put you in an embarrassing situation, especially when you're entertaining guests or going out.

Zee Media Bureau/Udita Madan

​New Delhi: Winter season is upon us and as temperatures drop, heaters clank on and the wind whips up, the battle for healthy skin begins. Dry air takes away the thin layer of oil that traps moisture in the skin, flaring itchy and painful conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and severe dry skin. 

Even though you keep yourself well covered, the part of your body that takes the most damage because of the cold air are your hands. Dry, cracked and bleeding hands can put you in an embarrassing situation, especially when you're entertaining guests or going out.

Winter is hard on your hands. This is because during winter, the humidity in the outside air plunges. Inside, things are even drier, courtesy indoor heating. If you're washing your hands frequently to avoid catching a cold or the flu, you could sap whatever natural oils are left in your skin.

But you can minimize the toll the next few months will take on your skin by preparing now. Below, we give you all the why's and how's for cracked and dry hands!

Reasons for dryness:

As mentioned above, our hands get very dry in the winter because of the cold weather outside, the dry air inside, and frequent hand washing. These factors combine together in order to cause dry, irritated, cracked, and even bleeding skin on the hands.  When your hands are extremely dry you can get fissures or very deep cracks in your skin.  Fissures can make even everyday activities like washing the dishes or picking things up painful and annoying. If you have a weak skin barrier, you will be more prone to skin problems like eczema, psoriasis and fissures.

Prevention and healing:

Your hands are one of the busiest parts of your body, so preventing dry skin and other problems can be tough, but not impossible. Cracked and dry hands are quite hard to ignore so below we give you some tips that will help you prevent and/or heal the problem.

1. Wear gloves when washing dishes and cleaning the house:

Especially when you are handling material that are harsh and may harm your skin. It isn't very convenient, but it will certainly help your hands.

2. Use mild soaps to wash hands:

Wash your hands with gentle soaps; foam soaps can be too harsh on the skin. You can try a soap with glycerine in it for effective yet mild cleansing.

3. Always moisturize:

Apply moisturizer each time, immediately after washing your hands. Moisturizing should be a consistent part of your day where hands are concerned, in order to keep the skin on your hands feeling fresh. Keep a moisturizer in your car, in your purse, and in your desk at work so that you always have one handy. If nothing else, coconut oil is the best substitute for any moisturizer.

4. Humidify:

Last but not the least, consider buying or using a humidifier inside the house. This will add moisture to the dry winter air in your house and prevent cracking and bleeding skin.

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