Dry Hands: Remedies, Causes and Symptoms

Hand with care

5 minute read

  • What are the signs and symptoms of dry hands?
  • What causes dry hands?
  • How do you get rid of dry hands?
  • Your introduction to soft hands

Our Hands

Our hands are an essential body part that is used for a variety of tasks every day and while doing so is directly exposed to factors like, dirt, water and different weather conditions. As our hands work hard, it also makes them more vulnerable which can result in dry and sometimes even cracked hands, therefore they need some extra care to protect them and keep them soft.

Signs and Symptoms of Dry Hands

Dry skin occurs when your skin loses too much water and naturally occurring oils. Your skin needs both of these to be healthy and keep soft, stretchy and supple, without moisture and oils our skin can dry out which results in dry hands.

The signs and symptoms of dry hands vary per person, the severity of the dryness and the root of the problem, the below mentioned are common signs and symptoms one might experience.

  • A feeling of tightness
  • Skin that feels sensitive
  • Redness
  • Fine lines
  • A rough looking skin
  • Fine cracks or scaling skin
  • Itchiness
  • Dry knuckles

Causes of Dry Hands

Our hands are the body part that we use a lot, and is also directly exposed to a variety of elements since we rarely cover it. These are factors like, pollution, cold, frequent hand washing and dirt on a daily basis, and can eventually weaken the skins’ barrier and cause the hands to dry out. Aside from that, the skin on our hands has a different structure in comparison to other parts of our body. On the palm of our hands, balls of the fingers and thumbs, the skin is thick due to an extra layer in the epidermis; the uppermost section of the skin’s composition. Contrary, the skin on the back of our hands is thin, has hardly any fat tissue and is sensitive, making it more vulnerable.

Below you may find the external- and internal influences that can cause very dry skin on our hands in addition to the structural causes.

External influences
Environmental factors such as low humidity environments, deserts, windy conditions and cold winters can strip away the moisture of our skin. This also applies for the dry air inside the house caused by excessive heating or air conditioning.
Frequent hand washing and bathing with hot water can strip the skin from its natural oils causing the skin to become dehydrated and dry. This can eventually cause a damaged moisture barrier, which makes the skin feel rough, dull, flaky, itchy, red or inflamed.
Harsh soaps and detergents can strip your skin from it's natural oils and leave you with a skin that feels tight. A healthy skin has pH levels that are slightly acidic, soaps with a higher value will be harsher on your skin's acidity level and disrupt the pH balance.

Internal influences
With age our skin metabolism slows down; fewer natural oils and decreased cell renewal can cause dry and rougher skin.
People with skin conditions such as, atopic dermatitis (eczema) or psoriasis are more likely to have dry skin on the hands. Likewise for those who undergo medical treatments or take certain medications.

Getting rid of Dry Hands

As our hands have a lot to endure during the day, caring for this body part is even more important. You can do plenty on your own to improve your dry hands and care for them.

Hand Washing
It is inevitable that you have to wash your hands however, there are a few things you can do to make it less harmful for your hands. Try to wash your hands with a mild soap or allergen-free soap that supports the skin’s natural pH in combination with lukewarm water instead of hot water, this will prevent your skin from drying out. Moreover, when you dry your hands make sure to pat your skin dry instead of rubbing, this is gentler on the skin, minimizes chances of pulling or dragging, and helps with blood circulation.

Hand Moisturizer
Using a hydrating moisturizer helps to seal water in the outer layer of your skin which keeps your skin’s protective barrier healthy. Use a moisturizer after you wash your hands, applying the moisturizer on damp skin is an effective way to make your hands softer, as damp skin is hydrated this can help provide more hydration or lock the moisture in. Moreover, make sure to also use a moisturizer with SPF before going outdoors even on cloudy days to protect your hands from the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun. You can shop our hand cream with SPF here: Signature Hand Cream SPF 15.

Covering your hands with gloves can help protect them in different circumstances. Firstly, whenever you are outside with cold or windy weather, wearing warm gloves can help reduce moisture loss and keep natural oils in the skin, preventing them from drying. Secondly, using gloves while doing household chores like cleaning or washing the dishes can help protect your skin from the hot water and chemicals from the products, that can dry out your hands. Lastly, you can also use moisture gloves as overnight treatment to treat extremely dry hands; simply cover your hands and nails in a moisturizing cream and wear gloves overnight to allow the cream to fully absorb.

Introduction to Soft Hands

Although dry hands are common, they do not have to be, you just have to be willing to take care of your hands and give them the pampering they deserve. Simply using a hydrating hand cream with a sun protection factor after hand washing and leaving the house can already get you very far. You can find our hand cream for dry hands here: Signature Hand Cream SPF 15. 

Eucerin, 2022. Dry skin on hands
MayoClinic, 2022. Dry skin, symptoms and causes
HealthEssentials, 2020. Aging hands
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