10 Reasons You Have Dry Skin and Cracked Hands

Dry skin and cracked hands are common in nursing, firefighting, and construction work.

Although people often attribute dry hands to cold weather or perpetual hand washing, several factors affect hand health.

Over time untreated sensitive skin can worsen and take longer to heal.

Unfortunately, this creates scarring and tissue damage opportunities due to a lack of moisture, exfoliation, and treatment.

As a result, hand creams moisturize and protect/treat the hand’s skin properly.

They offer unique ingredients/moisturizers to provide more suitable protection for the hands than the body.

It’s beneficial for those often dealing with the following skin conditions.

  • Dry skin
  • Cracking hands
  • Skin chaffing
  • Cuts
  • Scarring
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Skin discoloration
  • Small wounds

The following section covers the most common causes of dry skin and cracked hands.

Ultimately, it provides information on what causes dry hands so you can properly and adequately tread them.

  1. Frequent Hand Washing

You’re familiar with handwashing practices if you work as a nurse or healthcare provider.

Depending on workplace conditions, you may be required to wash your hands frequently.

Consequently, this often leads to lead to skin dehydration and irritated hands.

Intensive hand creams designed for dehydrated skin make a massive difference in preventing dry skin and cracked hands.

Therefore, regular high-quality hand cream and taking extreme care of your hands after work will improve your hand health.

At night an adequate amount of hand cream to your skin before going to sleep.

It ensures they adequately moisturize throughout the night.

If necessary, go with a thicker hand cream like the O’Keeffe brand.

During the day, use adequate hand cream whenever necessary to prevent your hands from drying out or cracking.

As a nurse, proper hand care is essential for comfort and preventing unwanted bleeding.

It’s also essential for reducing the risk of infections due to cracked, bleeding hands.

  1. Excessive Bathing

Good bathing habits are essential for keeping skin clean, healthy, and odor free.

It’s also highly beneficial for minimizing the spread/growth of germs and bacteria and preventing cross-contamination.

Nevertheless, excessive bathing/showering can quickly strip the skin of essential oils and moisture, causing extreme dryness.

If you frequently bathe/shower, consider reducing your bathing length and sessions to minimize stripping oils from your skin.

In addition, use soaps, shower gels, bath bombs, shampoos/conditioners, Epsom sales, and scrubs that preserve skin moisture.

Some moisturizing bath products even help soothe the skin, alleviate irritation and improve moisture in the bath/shower.

After the bath or shower, ensure you utilize high-quality lotions or moisturizers.

These moisturizing skincare products help prevent further dryness while protecting the skin. 

  1. Skin Medications and Acidic Products

Some skin medications, topical ointments/antibiotics, acidic skin care products, and acne treatments dehydrate the skin.

If you use these products, minimize the application amount and read the instructions carefully to prevent overuse.

It’s highly beneficial to consult a skin care specialist or dermatologist to determine which products are skin safe.

Unfortunately, low-quality skin care products can exacerbate dry skin, cause irritation or provoke other skin issues.

You may also want to supplement with safe moisturizing lotions, oils, and creams that help replenish the skin’s moisture.

However, you’ll want to ensure that using these products won’t interfere with the skin medication or cause adverse reactions.

Immediately consult a skin care specialist/dermatologist if products cause excessive burning, irritation, or discoloration.

  1. Harsh Soaps and Chemicals

Aside from excessive hand washing, harsh soaps and chemicals also lead to dry hands.

These chemicals strip natural oils from the hands, which protects them from dryness and cracking.

Look for non-abrasive soaps designed for sensitive hands (aka hand soaps) to minimize hand dryness.

Also, wear gloves when dealing with harsh chemicals that pull moisture and oil from the skin.

Although this isn’t always avoidable at work, you can minimize the use of harmful soaps in your personal life.

If you use washcloths, hand scrubs, or other products, avoid frequently using ones with harsh/abrasive materials.

These products help remove dirt, germs, and debris from the skin, but frequent use also deprives the skin of essential oils. 

  1. High Demand Work Conditions

High-demand work conditions refer to work environments that require you to use your hands frequently.

It includes nursing, construction, firefighting, mechanic, and similar settings.

In any setting, constant lifting and touching of materials drys the hands or causes chaffing, cuts, bruises, and calluses.

Fundamentally, these environments strip natural oils from the hands throughout the day.

As a result, workers end up with dry, cracked hands requiring routine care.

Proper gloves and hand creams can limit natural oils from being stripped away in these settings.

It reduces skin damage and natural oil loss necessary to ensure good health.

  1. Excessive Heat/Cold Environments

Heat improves moisture by increasing sweating and encouraging natural oils to penetrate the skin’s surface.

However, excessive heat can dry out the skin and mucous membranes, causing dryness in the hands, nose, and face.

Extreme heat often occurs due to indoor heating, a fireplace, or a portable heater.

Set the heater at a comfortable temperature to reduce skin dryness from excessive heat.

Also, avoid standing too close to the heating source, which can cause unnecessary skin dryness.

If you’re hot and your skin is dry and not producing sweat/natural oil, you’re standing too close to the heater.

Occasionally, heating sources such as portable heaters blow hot air to provide warmth.

Unfortunately, it only heats the body’s surface while leaving a cold internal body temperature.

It causes the skin to dry out rather than acclimate the body to the room’s temperature.

As a result, the body doesn’t provide sweat or produce natural oils.

  1. Harsh Weather

One of the most common causes of dry skin is weather changes, especially during winter.

Fast temperature drops cause dryness and reduce moisture on the skin’s surface.

It can lead to dry and cracked hands, lips, and other body areas when the skin is exposed.

In harsh environments, gloves and hand cream can minimize moisture loss and better protect the skin.

In turn, it limits further skin damage while allowing the hands to heal better and recover.

Consider looking for lotions and hand cream designed for extreme environments.

They often utilize creamier ingredients and denser moisturizers to combat rough weather.

  1. Genetic Factors

Several direct/indirect factors affect how the skin drys and produces natural oils regarding genetics and skin conditions.

For example, some individuals have skin that naturally dries faster.

It causes skin sensitivity and other than other undesirable skin conditions.

For others, sensitivities to particular chemicals or sun exposure cause adverse effects that damage the skin.

Environmental factors such as poison ivy, harsh chemicals, sun radiation, or certain foods negatively impact skin health.

Essentially, these environmental circumstances lead to skin soreness, dryness, redness, and swelling.

To identify a skin condition, seek a medical specialist with experience in skincare, such as a dermatologist.

Also, consult an experienced professional specializing in detecting and treating allergic reactions.

  1. Age-Related Conditions

Numerous age-related skin conditions frequently occur in older individuals.

Some common conditions include wrinkles, rough patches, skin cancer, warts, elasticity loss, and age spots.

Older individuals also frequently experience bruising, discoloration, and dry and cracked skin.

The best way to minimize these conditions is to eat healthy, nutrient-dense foods, stay hydrated, and get plenty of rest.

Developing a good skincare routine and protecting the skin from the weather, harsh chemicals, strenuous activities, and environmental hazards is also essential.

Finally, consult a skin care specialist or dermatologist to combat the effects of aging more effectively.

They can offer healthy skincare routines and treatments to slow or reverse the effects of typical age-related skin ailments.

Age-Related Skin Conditions:

  • Skin tags
  • Warts
  • Wrinkles
  • Shingles
  • Skin cancer
  • Bed sores
  • Ulcers
  • Bruising
  • Age spots
  • Rough patches
  • Skin blemishes
  • Skin tears
  • Discoloration and bruising
  • Dry and cracked skin
  • Loss of eltascitiy
  • Increased fragility

The older you get, the more critical it is to keep skin properly moisturized, healthy, elastic, and protected from the sun.

Some undesirable age-related skin conditions and consequences cannot be prevented entirely.

However, careful planning and proper care can dramatically improve your skin health and minimize the impact of aging.

  1. Poor Lifestyle Habits

Poor lifestyle habits can contribute directly to having dry skin and cracked hands.

These habits include diet/nutrition, inadequate rest and recovery, intense activities, smoking, drinking, poor skincare, and other factors.

For those who want to improve skin moisture, staying hydrated and consuming nutrient-dense foods is highly beneficial.

It’s also vital to recover sufficiently and maintain a good skincare routine, especially when performing intense activities.

Even if you maintain a good lifestyle and dietary habits, too much sun exposure can negatively affect the skin without proper protection.

As a result, consider using hand creams and skin lotions with proper SPF and rich ingredients and minimize using tanning beds or other intense machines.

To improve your lifestyle habits, determine the routines that contribute the most to your dry skin and cracked hands.

After that, consider minimizing these activities and healing, eating healthier, and developing beneficial skincare practices.

Getting adequate exercise is also excellent for enhancing your skin’s appearance and overall health.

Exercise improves blood flow, increases oxygen, releases sweat, and strengthens the muscles.

Your skin, stomach, body, muscles, and brain will thank you for taking care of them.

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