Everyone hates when their skin is dry and cracked—beyond looking bad, dry skin can be painful, especially on the hands. Here are some tips to staying moisturized and hydrated.
While it sure feels good, especially in the colder seasons (when skin is especially prone to dry out), you should resist the temptation to take too many showers. According to dermatologist Sandra Marchese Johnson, some dermatologists think you should limit your showers and baths. And everyone agrees that taking too long or too hot a shower is a bad idea. As Image Skincare explains, “Hot water actually dries your skin out by removing natural oils that help your skin retain moisture.”
Dry skin is just another kind of dehydration, and tried-and-true way to keep skin hydrated is to keep your whole body hydrated. Besides preventing dry, cracked skin, drinking enough water has tons of other health benefits—it’s a good idea all around!
Moisturizer is another excellent way to prevent dry skin. If you have a favorite moisturizer, it probably works just fine. Dr. Johnson recommends Vanicream, as well as good old-fashioned Vaseline petroleum jelly. The American Association of Dermatologists recommends that you apply moisturizer right after you get out of the shower or bath, and that you use an ointment or a cream rather than a lotion.
Cold, dry air is one of the biggest causes of dry skin—that’s why winter is the worst season for many. Using a humidifier in your home can go a long way.
Some homes may have humidifiers built into their home heating system. If your home has one, but it is malfunctioning, this could worsen dry skin—it’s worth checking up on.
The American Association of Dermatologists also recommends that those struggling with dry skin pay special attention to what they’re wearing. Since hands are often the first body parts to suffer from dry skin, wearing gloves can be helpful, especially before outdoor tasks. You should also make sure that rough materials, like wool, aren’t in direct contact with irritated skin, and that you’re using hypoallergenic laundry detergent.