Summer, winter, or any other season in between, our tireless hands and feet never stop working. You don't mind going through laborious regimens to maintain the skin on your face and obtain that well-known glow. True? How about the skin on your hands and feet?
In the winter, it's pretty typical to experience flaky, itchy and dry skin on hands and feet. This occurs because the skin loses its natural moisture due to the cold air. If neglected, dry skin can lead to more serious conditions including allergies, eczema, pruritus, etc
What’s happening to your hands and feet?
Skin that is intact serves as a barrier of defense. Frequent hand washing, the use of soaps that remove oil from the skin, and dried alcohol present in hand sanitizers all reduce the amount of beneficial fatty molecules in the epidermis. The skin barrier is damaged as a result. Dry palms of hands and feet can irritate the skin and be uncomfortable, and skin breaks and cracks may raise the risk of surface skin infections and painful skin conditions.
Why do hands and feet appear dry?
Weather: Less moisture in air during cold weather is a major contributor to dry hands and feet. Skin loses its moisture content as the humidity in the air decreases.
Harsh soaps/ hand washes: Soaps and washes remove oil and dirt, so some of the well known products available in the market tend to remove moisture content and skin’s natural oil from the skin leaving them dry and itchy. Washing hands and feet several times a day can make them dry and cracked.
Ageing: 40 years of age or above have higher chances of developing dry skin. About 50 percent of the people are affected by this problem. As we age, our oil glands in the skin begins to produce less oil, making the skin drier and brittle. It might also be connected to hormonal changes brought on by menopause in women.
Medical conditions: Although having dry hands is a problem worldwide, occasionally it can be a sign of a more serious illness. It's time to see a dermatologist if you have severely dry hands that don't have a clear reason.
Hot baths: During the winter, many of us like to take a long, hot shower to end a hard day. However, if you don't moisturize after taking these hot showers, it might lead to serious dryness.
Work Environment: People who work in factories, hair salons, and dry cleaners may frequently be exposed to strong irritants and chemicals. The same is true for some occupations, including those of nurses, doctors, teachers, therapists, and many more. All of these needs for the workplace make our hands extremely dry.
How do you take care of dry hands and feet?
Moisturize Use a good moisturizer or hand/foot cream to replenish the moisture lost from your hands and feet. You don’t need to do anything extra. When you start your skincare routine just add your hands and feet into it. When you wash your face also wash your hands and feet. After cleaning with the towel, moisturize your hands and feet with the same moisturizer you use on your face. You can also use creams or moisturizers specifically made for feet and hands.
Exfoliation Exfoliation is removing dead skin cells from the skin's surface. Every 30 days or so, our skin's outer layer loses dead cells, and exfoliating once or twice a week might help your skin do the same. It's important to exfoliate your hands and feet just like you do your face. Weekly home manicures and pedicures are other effective options.
How to exfoliate at home?
Create Epsom salt scrubs while showering or bathing. To do this, combine a tablespoon of bath oil or olive oil with a handful of Epsom salt in your hand or on a bath sponge. Before rinsing off with water, gently rub over moist hands and feet to exfoliate, soften, and eliminate dead skin.
Overnight treatment One of the greatest ways to treat dry hands is to cover them in petroleum-based moisturizers like Vaseline at night. This treatment is excellent for cracked feet and dry hands. After that, put on some soft gloves or stockings or socks to protect your hands and feet. You'll have baby-smooth hands when you wake up since trapping the moisturiser will aid in its deeper penetration into your skin.
Trim your nails Hygiene tasks, like trimming nails, can easily be forgotten. Doctors and researchers recommend that you should cut your nails on a weekly basis.
If you don't regularly trim your nails, they can quickly break unevenly or get damaged and are more likely to collect bacteria and dirt that could lead to an infection.
Cellulitis and fungal skin infections are common if you don’t trim toenails when required. Moreover long toenails make wearing shoes and walking pretty difficult and painful.
Fungal infections from nails can spread to your skin making it itchy and painful and ugly to look at. A study of Dermatology says that a specific skin cancer often shows up as "black or brown discoloration is seen within the nail." It mostly affects one nail, "specifically the thumb or index finger."
Gloves and socks You need appropriate protection if the cold, windy weather makes your hands and feet dry, chapped, and brittle, or if smoke and dust make them rough. Gloves and socks are an effective option. Before leaving the house, thoroughly wash your hands and feet with a mild soap and moisturize them. Next, put socks and wear gloves over them. If it's summer, wear cotton gloves and stockings, and if it's winter, wear woollen ones. This will also prevent the effects of sun damage on your hands and feet.
What you can do to prevent dry hands and feet
- Always carry hand creams or moisturizing cream in travel-size containers
- For enhanced absorption at night, apply a moisturiser and cover your hands and feet
- Avoid fragrance-containing items as they may make the dryness worse
- Refrain from using too much alcohol based sanitizers because they can make your skin dry
- The effects of taking too many hot showers or washing hands and feet with hot water can also deteriorate the skin on your hands
- Apply moisturizer or thick creams on your hands for enhanced moisture
- Wear rubber gloves while washing dishes
- Put an end to the use of hot air dryers. Your skin loses moisture content when exposed to hot air. Instead, use paper towels
One of the most prevalent issues everyone deals with is dry hands and feet. A decent moisturiser with homemade exfoliators will help to eliminate the symptoms. In case of bleeding, incurable dryness, consult your dermatologist. In case of wounds and scratches try them to heal as soon as possible.
Q. Is 20 seconds really necessary to wash my hands?
Ans. According to scientific research, you must wash your hands for 20 seconds in order to get rid of dangerous bacteria and toxins. You won't get rid of as many germs if you wash for a shorter period of time. Be sure to scrub your hands thoroughly, paying particular attention to the palms, backs, spaces between the fingers, and area just below the fingernails.
Q. Is liquid soap superior to bar soap?
Ans. To get rid of germs, bar soap and liquid soap both work well. Wash your hands using plain fragrance freesoap, either in bar or liquid form.
Q. How to get rid of cracked feet?
Ans. Always wash and moisturize your feet before going to bed. Don’t walk bare feet and wear socks if you are heading towards harsh environment.
Q. How to prevent unwanted blisters on feet
Ans. Always wear shoes of your size and change your socks every day. If you have sweaty feet remember to wash your feet after a long day. Maintain feet hygene and you’ll encounter reduction in blisters and skin infections on your feet.