In winter, the humidity drops and dry air sucks moisture out of your skin. With less humidity, the moisture in your skin evaporates more quickly. When it’s cold outside, a long hot bath or shower may seem really appealing. However, within 15 minutes, that hot water starts degrading the lipid (fatty & oil) layer, and the removal of these natural fats dry your skin.

Try to treat dry hands at the very first sign of symptom. Large cracks or fissures can be difficult to treat if you wait too long. Apply a hand cream or treatment at least twice daily—but you really should be applying it after every hand wash or the moment they begin to feel dry again. If you’re prone to dry, cracked hands, try to avoid hand sanitizers, which are high in alcohol. Use gentle cleansing soaps that are lipid-free and are more moisturizing than traditional antibacterial soaps. If you develop cracks on your skin or fingers, apply bacitracin or hydrocortisone 1% ointment to the open area twice daily for up to two weeks, then wrap with a Band-Aid.

Category: Cold-Weather Health Issues