Many people around the world suffer from chronic dry skin, often on the tops of the hands and along the fingers. But why does it occur, and what can you do to soothe it?
What does chronic mean?
Don’t worry, “chronic” might have some scary connotations, but when it comes to the body and its ailments, the word simply means reoccurring or persisting. So, “chronic atopic dermatitis”, for example, means an allergy-related (atopic) skin (derma) condition that occurs frequently (chronic).
Why do I suffer from dry skin on my hands?
Do the dry patches on your skin sting or itch? If not, it may well be that you’re just suffering from worn out hands (outdoor job? Gardening?) that need a good pampering. However, if you can see blisters, feel unbearable itching, and/or notice red inflammation in the affected areas, you’re possibly suffering from eczema.
Eczema is a skin condition that commonly comes hand in hand with other allergic reactions such as hayfever and asthma (it’s genetic too) and can manifest in a number of ways and all over the body, but a common place is on the hands, especially down and between the fingers.
How can I soothe my dry hands?
The important first step when it comes to treating dry or eczema-prone skin is to reduce the itching, because scratching at your skin can cause further damage – leading to blisters, oozing and even infection.
It’s important you take a look at the products you use to wash your hands and body. Are they gentle, alcohol-free and specifically formulated for dry skin? It could be that your shower gel or hand wash is making your condition worse. Soothe the skin with pH neutral, soothing cream-based products designed for your skin type, and always follow with a hydrating emollient-based moisturiser to lock in the water and prevent the skin from breaking out due to dehydration.