Having dry hands is common. Although not technically a dangerous condition, it can be a very irritating one.

In most cases, dry hands are caused by environmental conditions. Weather, for example, can cause dry hands. Frequent handwashing, exposure to chemicals, and certain medical conditions can dry out the skin on your hands, too.

That said, there are several ways to keep your thirsty skin hydrated, no matter the cause. Learn more about remedies for dryness, ways to prevent it, and what’s causing it in the first place.

1. Moisturize

Apply a quality moisturizing cream or lotion several times per day. Lotions and creams help restore moisture and seal it back into the skin.

2. Wear gloves

If your hands are frequently immersed in water, such as while washing dishes, consider wearing a pair of gloves. Gloves help prevent the water from stripping your skin of its natural oils.

3. Decrease stress

It might sound crazy, but there may be a small association between stress and eczema. So if you notice your hands going haywire from dry skin caused by eczema, take some time for self-care to reduce stress.

4. Treat them overnight

One of the best remedies for dry hands is to slather them at night with lotion or a petroleum-based moisturizer, such as Vaseline. After, cover your hands with a pair of soft gloves or socks. Trapping the moisturizer will help it absorb more fully into your skin, and you’ll wake up with baby-smooth hands.

5. Ask about prescription cream

For skin that’s very dry and scaly, your doctor may recommend special lotion that contains lactic acid or urea. These ingredients help get rid of the dry and scaly skin.

6. Apply hydrocortisone cream

In some cases, dry skin can worsen into a condition called dermatitis, where the skin becomes inflamed and red. In these cases, a lotion containing hydrocortisone may be the most helpful. Hydrocortisone can help soothe the irritated skin.

7. Use a wet dressing

Skin that has cracked from dryness will need to be treated before it can fully heal. Your doctor may recommend a wet dressing as your skin heals.

10. Apply a heavy-duty moisturizer

For deep moisturizing, pick up a moisturizer that was originally intended for animals. Yes, really! Products such as Bag Balm, which was designed to help heal the tough cracks of a cow’s udders, can penetrate skin to really help keep it moisturized.

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