I have had very dry hands for about two weeks now. I've put on tons of lotion and I also wash my hands constantly and apply lotion after. Nothing seems to help. What should I do?

Your problems with dry skin are unfortunately quite common, since almost 20 percent of people have a similar type of skin. In milder form, it can be rough and uncomfortable to the touch, while in severe forms it can lead to skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema. The main problem with dry skin is that has difficulty in retaining adequate amounts of moisture. This problem only gets worse with age, since skin looses its elasticity and ability to absorb moisture. In addition, cold weather also causes the skin to lose additional moisture, simply making the problem worse. The main challenge in dealing with dry skin is to provide adequate amounts of additional moisturizer and then prevent any loss. Luckily, a few simple measures can help you care for your dry hands.

You have already taken the right step in applying a lotion on your hands, on a regular basis. However, try and make sure you use an oil-based moisturizer. This will be more effective in trapping sebum, the natural moisturizer produced by the skin’s oil glands. This oil-like substance is important for healthy, glowing skin and your goal should be to avoid losing any of it. Unfortunately, your habit of constantly washing your hands is doing exactly that; you are losing out on precious natural skin oil and increasing the dryness of the skin! For better results, you can apply a small quantity of sesame oil to your hands while they are moist, before applying any lotion. For better results, wash your hands only when required and keep touching up with a good moisturizer. If you are often in the open, use a lotion that contains sunscreen protection. This is because the UV rays in sunlight can further dry and damage your skin. If possible, use comfortable gloves while driving. These should have perforations so your skin can “breathe” easily.

During your bath, use only lukewarm water since hot water removes moisture from the skin and dries it. Avoid deodorized or harsh soaps since they have chemicals that can dry the skin. Choose a mild soap that contains moisturizer or petroleum jelly. Make sure you pat your skin dry rather than scrubbing away the natural oils and moisture. Finally, remember to take care of your skin from inside out by paying attention to your diet. Drink adequate amounts of water and consult a dermatologist for a healthy diet that can do wonders for your skin, leaving it healthy, smooth and supple.

answered by M W

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