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Chapped hands

Definition

Alternative Names

Hands - chapped and dry

Information

To prevent chapped hands:

  • Avoid excessive sun exposure or exposure to extreme cold or wind
  • Avoid washing hands with hot water
  • Limit hand washing as much as possible while maintaining good hygiene
  • Try to keep the air in your home humid
  • Use mild soaps or non-soap cleansers
  • Use moisturizing lotions on your hands regularly, especially if you live in a dry climate

To soothe chapped and sore hands:

  • Apply skin lotion frequently (if this doesn't work, try creams or ointments)
  • Avoid putting your hands in water unless necessary
  • If your hands don't improve, contact a dermatologist
  • Very strong hydrocortisone creams (available by prescription) are recommended for badly chapped hands
  • Wear gloves for doing everyday chores (cotton is best)

References

Habif TP. Eczema and hand dermatitis. In: Habif TP, ed. . 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 3.

Encyclopedia content is provided as information only and not intended to replace the advice and instruction from your personal physician.