Hands speak volumes about a man. But well-manicured pointers don’t just boost our confidence and attractiveness. They are also our greatest resource in getting things done. This makes them one of the most overworked parts of our bodies.
For these reasons, I seriously felt incapacitated when my hands would dry, flake, and painfully crack in those harsh New York winters. Since our hands have the fewest and smallest oil glands, they’re highly prone to dryness.
If you’re dealing with dry, chapped, or cracked hands, then this article is for you. We’re here to explain common causes, top prevention tips, and how to treat dry hands should you suffer their wrath.
What causes dry, cracked hands?
Several things can cause us men to have dry, cracked hands. Here are the 5 most common causes.
1. Overwashing hands
Diligent hand washing has never been more important in today’s world. But washing your hands too frequently can cause irritation. This is because when you wash your hands, you are literally drawing the moisture from your skin and rinsing away its natural oils. Without these oils, our hands are dryer and more prone to cracking.
When the temperature drops in winter, so do the moisture levels on our skin. This makes our hands dryer, but to top it off, we head inside and put our heating on. This decreases the humidity levels around us. Since our hands are already low in moisture, the reduced humidity can cause our skin to crack.
3. Hot water
A hot shower is perfect for warming us up in winter. But if you suffer from dry hands, then this could be the source of your issues. Hot water can damage the acid mantle and weaken your skin barrier. It can cause dry, cracked hands, and it can make any existing issues worse.
4. Exposure to harsh soaps or chemicals
Harsh, alcohol-based soaps can contain oil-stripping chemicals that diminish the top layer of your skin. Frequent handwashing combined with the use of strong soaps can be what causes your dry, cracked hands.
5. Decreased natural nutrients with age
A by-product of getting older is that we have to work harder to look after ourselves. As we age, we get wiser and more accomplished. But our skin can become dryer as we lose a lot of our natural nutrients. Simply the fact that we’re getting older can be what causes our dry, cracked hands.
6. How to treat dry, cracked hands
The good news is that there are lots of ways to treat your issues fast. Once you’ve figured out what’s causing your dry, cracked hands, treatment is easy.
Plus, routinely looking after your hands can strengthen your skin barrier and prevent dry skin issues from reoccurring in the future.
Here are some ways to treat and prevent your dry, cracked hands.
1. Moisturize daily
Ensuring your hands are moisturized is the greatest treatment and prevention for dry, cracked hands. Moisturizing will help maintain good moisture levels in your skin. It will also directly replace any nutrients your skin might be missing. It’s a great remedy to immediately soothe pain and prevent further issues.
2. Avoid long hot showers
Since hot water can quickly dry out our skin, it’s best to stick to lukewarm showers. Having very short hot showers will also do. Try and get into the habit of moisturizing your body immediately after showering, too. This will replace any lost oils and make your skin feel ultra smooth!
3. Avoid harsh body soap
Soaps are designed to eliminate germs from our hands. Since the friction of handwashing and chemicals in normal soaps can cause dry skin, ditch harsh soap, and use a moisturizing hand cleanser instead. This will prevent nutrient-stripping when we wash our hands, even if we have to wash them regularly.
4. Dab, don’t rub
Instead of rubbing your hands dry, dab them instead. This will reduce discomfort on damaged hands and will lessen the friction that causes our skin to crack.
5. Drink lots of water
Drinking more water has so many health benefits. Making sure you are drinking enough water every day is a great way to keep your skin hydrated and help you maintain strong, supple skin.
6. Try an overnight treatment
If your dry, cracked hands are causing you a lot of pain, try an overnight treatment. Apply a thick layer of hand cream at night and wear cotton gloves to bed. The gloves will help lock in the moisture and heal your skin overnight. Repeat every night until you see results.
7. Wear gloves
If your hands are constantly in contact with water, this could be aggravating your skin. If you’re always washing dishes or working outside in the rain, then consider wearing gloves to protect those precious oils on your hands from depreciating throughout the day.
8. Know when to see a dermatologist
In most cases, dry, cracked hands are caused by one of the reasons listed above and these tips will usually help treat and prevent future symptoms.
However, extreme redness, swelling, and constant open wounds can be a sign of something more serious. Similarly, dry skin that won’t heal could be a sign of eczema.
If you notice your symptoms are getting worse and the remedies above don’t help, it might be time to visit a dermatologist. They can look at your individual situation to determine what is causing your dry, cracked hands. They can help rule out anything major and suggest personalized treatment options.
Survive winter armed and empowered!
Armed with these tips, you can feel empowered to care for your hands properly and make dry, cracked hands a thing of the past!
Here at JESSE JIMZ, we are all about fostering self-care and providing our customers with the very best dermatologically tested grooming products.
Luckily for you, we have something special brewing – and it’s all about the hands! Sign up to be notified when our men’s intensive hand salve launches.