Managing Painful, Dry, and Cracked Hands: Tips and Techniques.
As you age, you may notice that your hands become drier and more prone to cracking. They may also become red and flaky. These are all signs of dry skin.
Cracks in your fingers can make even the simplest tasks, such as typing, turning pages, or buttoning a shirt, very painful.
In the medical field, dry skin is known as atopic dermatitis. It is often a natural part of the aging process, although it can also be an early sign of dermatitis. This skin irritation comes in three types, and all cause dry skin, itching, and sometimes a rash.
This article explains the symptoms and causes of dry hands, what you can do to alleviate it, and what you should know before using super glue on cracked hands.
The most common signs of severe dry skin are rough, flaky, or scaly skin. You may also notice that your skin is red. If you have darker skin, it may appear gray. Itching is also common.
If your skin becomes too dry, the cracks can bleed. Then the pain can increase to the point of waking you up in the middle of the night.
Worse still, your hands can become infected if bacteria get into the open skin.
As people age, their skin becomes thinner, drier and produces less oil. The sun, wind and other factors also affect them.
Some people are still more susceptible to severe dry skin, says Dr. Barbara Reed, a dermatologist and clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado.
“Some people just make less oil on their skin, and others are more sensitive to chemicals,” she says. “If you have a predisposition to eczema or come from a family with allergies, you may have very sensitive skin that reacts to chemicals such as preservatives and fragrances, which can worsen the condition. rash and dry skin”.
People with psoriasis are prone to severe dry skin. So do people who wash their hands frequently, such as nurses, cooks, and even craftsmen.
People who regularly expose their skin to chemicals are very likely to find that their hands become dry and cracked.
The best treatment, Reed says, is prevention. If possible, avoid over-washing, especially with diluted soaps, which may contain chemical cleaners that can further dry the skin.
Moisturize several times a day with an emollient (lubricating) hand cream or hand cream. Look for ingredients like gasoline, wax, and shea butter.
A gentle, hypoallergenic cleanser like Cetaphil tends to cause less skin irritation than soaps containing potential detergents.
However, keep in mind that Cetaphil will not kill bacteria or viruses. So if you’re worried about spreading the flu or other germs, use an anti-bacterial gel or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
If your job requires frequent hand washing or wet work, wear rubber or vinyl gloves to protect your skin. For dry jobs like gardening, wear cloth gloves.
Other tips that can also soothe your skin:
- Apply moisturizer as soon as you get out of the shower or bath.
- Avoid products that contain artificial fragrances, which can irritate the skin.
- Turn on a humidifier to keep moisture in the air.
As you age, you may have to make adjustments to your daily routine, such as:
- Spend some time in the sun
- Wear sunscreen when you do
- Shorter, cooler showers and baths
- Drink more fluids
- To give up smoking
“Our skin becomes less oily as we age,” says Reed. “So overall, dry skin can get much worse over time.”
Is super glue safe?
Believe it or not, a popular solution to painful skin cracks is super glue. Contains binder chemicals known as cyanoacrylatesSuper glue can be used for cuts and cracks in surfaces, says Reed.
Glue should never be used for deep wounds. And it can be toxic if swallowed.
But it’s “quick, easy and just where you put it” on cuts and cracks, says Reed. Just don’t use it often, as it can also dry out the skin.
She also recommends caution when using so-called “liquid ice” solutions.
“Many liquid dressings contain too much alcohol for patients whose skin is already too dry,” says Reed.
A product called Dermabond is specifically designed to seal skin tissues. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it for use in surgery and superficial cuts.
The skin must be thoroughly cleaned before applying the medicine to avoid infection. Ask your healthcare provider if they can recommend a similar over-the-counter product if you want to use it regularly.
When to see a healthcare provider
Reed recommends talking to a dermatologist or healthcare provider if your hands are bothering you. And get medical help right away if your hands are swollen, bleeding, have a honey-colored crust on any cracks, or if you see moving red streaks on your arm. These are symptoms of a more serious infection.
Do not let your skin dry out without being checked by a medical professional. It could be a sign of a more serious condition, such as dermatitis, diabetes, or even kidney disease.
You know dry skin when you see it. It may become rough, flaky, and red. It can even bleed. Determining the cause can be difficult as there can be a number of contributing factors, such as how often you wash your hands during the day and your age.
You can reduce discomfort by taking steps like being cautious with your moisturizer and avoiding irritating chemicals. Many people use super glue to seal cracks in the skin. But do your research before choosing a product. And consult your healthcare provider for advice.
A very good word
It is natural for your skin to become drier as you age. And you may notice more change during the cold or winter months. Keep your skin moisturized. If using moisturizer is a new habit for you, give it time to become part of your daily routine. You will probably be glad you did.
frequently asked Questions
What causes dry, cracked hands?
Some people are prone to dry, cracked hands. Things that can contribute to dry hands include:
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Cold weather
- Wash your hands often
- Low humidity
- Sensitivity to chemical ingredients in soaps and detergents
- Too much sun
- Wash clothes or dishes by hand without wearing gloves
How are dry cracked hands treated?
Dry, chapped hands can often be treated at home with a two-pronged preventative and moisturizing approach. Don’t wash your hands too thoroughly, wear waterproof gloves when washing dishes or cleaning, and wear gloves when going out in the winter.
Some soaps are drier than others. Choose those labeled for dry or sensitive skin and avoid any products that contain artificial fragrances.
Moisturize your hands often throughout the day, especially after bathing or washing hands. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water or herbal tea. Use a humidifier around the house during the winter to combat dry air.
What is the best hand cream for dry cracked hands?
There is no one best skin cream for everyone. Look for products that don’t contain artificial fragrances or are labeled for sensitive skin. Thicker lotions like shea butter or lanolin tend to work better at healing chapped skin than creams with thinner formulations.
The most important thing is to apply moisturizer regularly during the day. Some people find that applying lotion or kerosene at bedtime and then covering their hands with gloves or socks helps repair dry cracked skin faster.
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