Treatments for Dry and Cracked Hands ~ HOME Remedies and Causes. Take a look at your hands. Are they dry, chapped, sore, or cracked? Ouch. Dry skin is a common complaint that can occur at any age for a number of reasons – and it’s often our hands that suffer the most.
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Cold weather, overwork, lack of hydration, or a poor skincare routine can all be contributing factors. When your hands are dry, they don’t look good – and no amount of nail polish will change that.
Luckily, there are loads of easy ways to get your hands feeling silky smooth again – and there’s no need to spend a fortune on expensive products or miracle cures.
All the suggestions below use products that you probably already have in your home.
Pretty convenient, right?
Keep reading to learn all about the best home remedies for dry cracked hands.
1. Avoid Excessive Handwashing
We’re all guilty of it. Whether you work in a kitchen, you’ve got a new soap you just love the smell of, or you’re extremely hygiene-conscious, there’s a good chance you’re washing your hands more than necessary.
Too much handwashing causes skin irritation, which can lead to painful, dry, cracked hands.
If possible, try to avoid washing your hands more than you need to. If you work in an environment like a restaurant, make sure you wear rubber gloves when washing up to avoid constant contact with water.
Rubber gloves are also a smart choice if you do a lot of cleaning, especially as the chemicals found in cleaning products will contribute to irritation.
You should also look for gentle, moisturizing soaps made from natural ingredients to keep around your home – steer clear of harsh soaps with strong scents.
2. Massage Coconut Oil Into Hands
Don’t want to splash out on an expensive moisturizer for your hands?
You don’t have to.
Coconut oil works amazingly as a moisturizer without any added ingredients. Simply massage into your hands and leave for as long as you can.
I found some great organic coconut oil on Amazon, check it out here.
Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so you might need to warm it in your hands before you can apply it properly. Don’t worry about this – it’s all part of the process.
The oil also works well as a moisturizer for the rest of your body and can even be applied to your hair and scalp. So, if you’re suffering from any other dry skin areas, grab a big tub of coconut oil and make it part of your daily routine.
If using plain coconut oil isn’t your style, look out for natural moisturizers that use it as an ingredient.
3. Create a Hand Soak
Fancy creating a little spa, just for your hands?
They deserve it.
Grab a bowl that’s large enough for you to comfortably rest both hands inside for a few minutes.
Then add two cups of warm water, one cup of apple cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Soak your hands for ten minutes, then dry thoroughly and apply moisturizer or oil.
The apple cider vinegar and warm water work to soften your hands and restore the skin to a healthy pH level, making it easier for them to stay hydrated. The olive oil will soothe and moisturize, helping promote cell growth.
This soak is so simple but it’s a lovely, relaxing way to get your hands back on track. Try using it once a week during periods with especially dry cracked hands – you’ll be surprised by the results.
If you want to make your hand soak feel extra-luxurious, try adding a few drops of essential oil. Lavender is a lovely soothing option, while citrus has antibacterial properties.
If you don’t want to make it yourself, here are some low-cost choices for you.
4. Apply Olive Oil Before Bed
Olive oil is another excellent natural moisturizer, and it’s a great option if you dislike coconut or don’t keep coconut oil around the house.
As well as being great at hydrating your skin, olive oil has antibacterial properties that reduce the risk of infection, especially if your hands are cracked or cut.
It also contains antioxidants and vitamin E, which are known to be great for your skin.
Olive oil is a great one to apply before bed since it can feel a little slimy if you put it on and then go about your day. So, keep a small container on your bedside table and give your hands a little love before you go to sleep.
Olive oil isn’t the cheapest option out there, but a little goes a long way so it’s shouldn’t break the bank.
5. Wear Gloves After Moisturizing
This is a great tip to combine with your use of coconut or olive oil.
When we apply oil and then instantly start touching things, some of the products will rub off, meaning we don’t get the full benefits.
Popping a pair of clean, soft gloves on right after you moisturize should increase absorption and help you to get better results. It also keeps your hands protected from dry, cold air which will prevent further dry skin or dry cracked hands.
Gloves are an essential item if you struggle with cracked hands. Always wear them if you’re going outside during wintery weather, and keep a few spare pairs close at hand.
Purchase gloves made from natural materials and avoid scratchy knits that could irritate your sore hands.
6. Exfoliate With a Homemade Sugar Scrub
Do your hands feel like sandpaper? Does moisturizing seem to have little effect?
Once you’ve got a build-up of dry skin on your hands, it can feel hard to shift.
Luckily, a simple sugar scrub is all you need to solve the problem.
Simply mix one cup of sugar with 2/3 cup olive oil, then mix to form a paste. If you’d like a fragranced scrub, add a few drops of essential oil or lemon juice, but make sure that these don’t irritate your skin further.
If your hands are very cracked and sore, it’s best to stick to just the oil and sugar.
Gently massage your hands using the scrub to remove dead, dry skin cells. Then wash your hands thoroughly, dry, and apply moisturizer or oil.
You should notice that your hands already feel much smoother, and it will now be a lot easier for oils to penetrate your skin and keep it hydrated.
This scrub is gentle enough to use as part of your daily routine, won’t harm the environment like some products, and is super cheap and easy to make.
7. Apply Aloe Vera Direct from the Plant
Got an Aloe Vera plant in the corner of your living room?
You might not know it yet, but this could be the secret to fixing your dry cracked hands for good.
Cut a leaf off your Aloe Vera and squeeze out the gel inside. Apply directly to your hands, concentrating on any very dry areas. The gel will form a protective barrier to keep your skin safe and soft.
Aloe Vera is naturally anti-inflammatory, so it will help soothe any sore, red areas. It also contains antioxidants and vitamins A and C, which boost the moisturizing effects.
The gel is best used straight from the plant, but it’s also available to buy in health food stores. You can also purchase moisturizers that contain Aloe Vera combined with other ingredients, which is handy if you want a product you can use on the go.
Aloe Vera is safe to use regularly and won’t cost much if you take good care of your plant to keep it growing. It’s best to purchase a plant that’s already mature as Aloe Vera can be tricky to grow from scratch.
Aloe Vera likes a moist environment without too much light, so the bathroom is an excellent place to keep your plant. Avoid overwatering, as this will cause mold and disease.
8. Take an Oat Bath
Ever heard of taking an oat bath to soothe dry skin on the body? Or deal with chickenpox?
Well, the same logic applies when it comes to dry hands.
While you could create another soak for just your hands, it’s just as easy to create an oat bath for your entire body, and you’ll get even more benefits.
Start by grabbing some oatmeal and grinding to a very fine powder using a food processor.
Test the consistency of your oatmeal by stirring a spoonful into a glass of warm water – the water should turn cloudy. Don’t worry if it doesn’t – it’s just a sign that you need to process your oats for longer to achieve a finer powder.
Once you have the right consistency, run a warm bath and pour one cup of ground oatmeal in. Stir using your hands and then soak for 15-20 minutes.
You should notice that your hands feel better immediately.
Oatmeal baths protect the skin, soothe irritation, and help to lock in moisture. They’re safe to have regularly, so make this a part of your routine if dry skin is a big issue for you.
Oats are extremely cheap so this is an excellent budget option.
9. Stay Hydrated to Avoid Dry Skin
It’s all well and good to spend time applying oils, creams, powders, and lotions to your skin, but what about treating the source of the problem?
If you’re not drinking enough water, your skin is bound to get dry.
Staying hydrated can make a huge difference to your skin, especially if you usually forget to drink water.
Try investing a bottle which helps you track how much you drink each day, or set an alarm to remind yourself to hydrate at regular intervals.
Stick to plain water if you can and avoid dehydrating drinks like tea, coffee, and alcohol. If you don’t enjoy drinking lots of liquid, try eating more of the following foods:
All of these foods naturally contain liquid, so they’re easy to boost your hydration levels without forcing yourself to drink an ocean.
Staying properly hydrated won’t just help alleviate dry hands – it will make you feel healthier and happier all around.
10. Get a Humidifier for Your Home
Does the air in your home feel extremely dry?
This is a common problem, particularly in winter, and it won’t help your hands one bit. When the air is dry, it leeches moisture from your hands and leaves them feeling sore.
The temptation to take hot baths and showers in winter only exacerbates the problem, removing the natural oils that protect your skin.
Thankfully, there’s a pretty simple solution to dry air in the home.
Basic humidifiers are very affordable, and all you need to do is add water. This is converted to steam which is released into the air, making your home much more comfortable.
Check this one out on Amazon, it’s one of the highest rated humidifiers out there.
You can also add essential oils to your humidifier for a nice air freshening effect.
Be sure to regularly clean out the humidifier and use it sparingly, or you could end up with issues like mold and damp.
If you want to humidify your home without a humidifier, there are a few tactics you can try. You could spray curtains with water, hang wet clothes to dry indoors, boil water on your stovetop, or adopt some houseplants.
All of these tactics are cheap or free and will introduce instant humidity.
When to Use
Home remedies are an excellent way to soothe dry hands when it’s cold outside or you’ve been working hard.
However, if you suspect that you have a skin condition or you’ve had dry hands for a long time with no improvement, it’s smart to get a medical opinion. Visit your doctor to make sure there’s nothing more serious going on.
The remedies above should be safe for most people, but be sure to avoid any products you’re allergic to and carry out small skin tests if there’s an ingredient you’re not sure about.
These tips will help keep your hands healthy all year round, so don’t feel like they’re only for the winter months.
If you’ve enjoyed learning about these home remedies for dry cracked hands, you’ll love our blog – check it out today to learn all about skin and nail care.