We’re deep into winter and hand dermatitis is everywhere. Hand dermatitis is a common rash caused by things such as allergies, irritants, or eczema. In the winter it is most often caused by dry hands.
Cold air holds little moisture and dries your skin all over, especially exposed lips and hands. Constant hand washing to ward off a cold that’s going around only exacerbates the problem by stripping your hands of natural oils. Once your hands have become dry and irritated, every time they get wet and soapy, it exacerbates the problem.
Here are four tips for hand dermatitis:
- Minimize hand washing. Use sanitizer alcohol gels instead.
- Apply a good hand cream to your hands after every time you do wash them. I often recommend Eucerin Intensive Repair Hand Cream® because it has dimethicone (silicone) to help protect your hands against further assault from water.
- Wash your hands before bed then don’t dry them completely. While they are still moist apply a layer of Vaseline® or other hand ointment to them. Then put on cotton gloves like the ones pictured here. These help to lock in the moisture overnight, and you will wake with softer, soothed hands. Do this for a week and your hand dermatitis will begin to thaw.
- This technique also works for medicated cream such as AmLactin®, an over the counter cream with lactic acid, which helps soften the scale on your hands. Cotton gloves can also be used with prescription steroids, which are sometimes needed for particularly irritated hand dermatitis.