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Everyday activities can take a toll on your hands.  Something simple like reading the newspaper can make your hands feel and look dry over time.  Here are some other reasons why hands become dry, red, itchy, cracked and rough:

1.         Lack of sufficient water intake/poor diet

2.         Use of household cleaning products

3.         Excessive hand washing w/very hot water

4.         Overuse of Anti-bacterial gels and wipes

5.         Hormone changes during Menopause

6.         Physical labor

7.         Handling of papers

8.         Dry and/or cold air

9.         Prescriptions and/or over-the-counter medications

There are steps to help your hands to stay moisturized and younger looking:

First thing, remember to drink your water.  It's not only good for your hands, but good for your entire body.  

When it is necessary to wash your hands, make sure the water is not too hot. Washing your hands with warm water will still get your hands clean.   Wash your hands with your palms up most of the time.  The tops of your hands and fingers are very sensitive.  If you use Anti-bacterial gels or wipes when you are out, please use them sparingly.  Many contain alcohol and just zap the moisture out of your hands.

Many women wear rubber/latex gloves when they clean or wash dishes.  However, this is not enough to protect your hands.  Although your hands aren't necessarily touching the cleaning products, rubber/latex gloves can cause friction and remove moisture from your hands.  Try putting on a thin pair of cotton gloves before you put on your rubber/latex gloves.  Cotton is soft to the skin and will not deplete moisture from your skin.  When outside, make sure you wear gloves, however, make sure they are cotton.  Any physical labor such as gardening, working with wood, hardscaping, etc., work gloves should be worn.  

If you are taking a medication that you think is causing you to have dry skin, speak with your pharmacist or doctor.  See if they can recommend alternatives to what you are currently taking.

There are some home remedies to relieve symptoms and heal dry hands.  

a.         Lightly apply vegetable or mineral oil to damp hands to seal in moisture.

b.         Nightly, you could soak your hands for 20 minutes in a water and oil solution.  You need to find a bath oil that has low fragrance and high lanoline oil.  Mix 4 capfuls of oil to 1 pint of water (make sure water in not hot).  

c.         To naturally exfoliate your hands, try taking 1 cup of Old-Fashion Oatmeal (not instant), put in blender and blend till it is a fine powder.  Put in large bowl.  Take powder and rub all over hands, removing dead, loose skin.  Then moisturize your hands with a good moisturizing cream.  Wait 2 minutes and repeat the use of the moisturizing cream.  This treatment is recommended to be done once a week.  

 d.       For a deep moisturizing treatment – purchase hand moisturizing gloves and a deep moisturizing hand cream (many beauty companies sell these separately or in sets). Remember to check the ingredients.  Look for low color content, low fragrance and high lanoline.  Liberally apply hand moisturizing cream and put on moisturizing gloves.  Leave gloves on for at least one hour or leave on overnight.


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