SYMPTOMS—Red, dry, cracked hands.
CAUSES of cracked hands and fingers
The low humidity in the fall and winter dries and irritates the skin. The skin of older people has less natural oils. This prepares you for problems. But the other causes, listed below, you can do something about.
PREVENTION for cracked hands and fingers
If you find you have this problem, there are several things you can do, to prevent or lessen it.
- Water removes oils on the skin. But a special kind of water is especially devastating: soapy wateDishwaterter not only removes oil from the plates, but also from your hands. That is part of the reason why your hands are chapped and your arms are not! When you must wash your hands, try washing only the palms and not the backs—which, having thinner skin, tends to dry out more easily.
- Soak your hands in warm (not soapy) water for a few moments. As you do this, some of the water is absorbed by the dry skin. Then pat dry and gently rub a little vegetable oil on your hands.
- What you place on your skin is absorbed into your body, so beware of all the creams and lotions on the market. The makers of these products are not required, by the FDA, to include food grade ingredients; yet those lotions are absorbed into your system for the body to have to deal with.
- Massage a few drops of glycerine, combined with a few drops of lemon oil (both are available at pharmacies), into your hands at bedtime.
- Put oil on your hands at night, and then slip cotton gloves over them.
- Hot-air blowers tend to chap the hands; use a towel instead.
- Wear white cotton gloves while doing dry work. For harder work, use leather gloves. Regarding gloves, avoid vinyl ones, if you can; they make the hands worse! The rubber traps the moisture and keeps the skin from breathing.
- Use a long-handled brush, when washing dishes.
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