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Dry Hands Causes

dry hands of an old lady


Are you experiencing dry hands right now and you wanted to know the reason why? A lot of factors can contribute to having dry hands. It can be caused by the weather, chemicals that you are using or handling, how often you wash your hands, etc. In this article, we will figure out the potential causes and how to treat dry skin on the hands.  

Why is hand care important?

We use our hands all the time for work, for play, for eating, and a lot more things. We also expose our hands to a lot of stuff that can be harmful to our skin like detergent, alcohol, paint, dirt, pollution, heat, and frequent hand washing. All of these things can damage our skins natural barrier and causes dry hands.

The skin on our fingers and palms are made up of high density of sweat glands with some sebaceous glands (tiny exocrine gland in the skin that opens into a hair follicle that releases oily or waxy matter). The skin on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands are very thick since they receive more friction than other areas of the body, and thicker skin helps protect the skin from damage. Thick skin doesn't have hair follicles or sebaceous glands, unlike thin skin. It is thicker since it has "stratum lucidum" which is an extra layer in the epidermis.

The skin on the backs of the hands is especially thin and sensitive it has few sebaceous glands. Thin skin covers most of the human body and contains fewer cellular layers than thick skin.

If you look under a microscope thin skin has four layers in the epidermis, while thick skin has five layers.

Factors That Causes Dry Hands:

Weather - in the cold months or winter the air is dry and if there are no moisture in the air our skin dries out easily since the skin cannot hold the moisture in.

Daily Activities - Lab technicians, waiters, dish washers, nurses, and doctors require extensive handwashing and soap and water may damage the skin and makes their hands dry. Chemist, mechanics, painters, or hairdressers handles toxic or harmful chemicals that irritate the skin and can lead to dry hands.

Medical conditions - people who are suffering from autoimmune disorders like Sjögren Syndrome, diabetes, psoriasis or lupus may also lead to dry hands.

Skin Aging - when we age our skin loses fat, plumpness, and smoothness. The hands veins and bones become very visible. Skin damages like bruise, scratches, cuts, or bumps can take longer to heal.  Wrinkles will appear and our skin barrier weakens that causes dry hands.

Dry Hands Symptoms

Some of the symptoms of dry hands can be itchiness, redness or white-ash appearance. Your hands will also be rough to touch and small lines will appear and can crack that can lead to bleeding.

Dry Hands In Pregnancy

There are some reported and documented events that some pregnant women suffer from dry hands during pregnancy. If pregnant women suffer from eczema that causes dry hands, it may be Atopic Eruption of Pregnancy. According to European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology "Atopic Eruption of Pregnancy comprise of pregnant women who already have eczema but experience a flare up of the disease (which accounts for approximately 20% of AEP patients) and women with their first incident of eczema during pregnancy (which accounts for the remaining 80% of cases). These women present with atopic skin changes for the first time during pregnancy, but they often have a history of sensitive skin with a tendency to dryness and irritation (so called atopic diathesis) and often have first degree relatives with eczema, asthma, and/or hay fever." 

Dry hands pregnancy treatment to relieve itchiness and reduce inflammation of the skin should be safe for both mother and baby. Most of the time moisturizers and steroid creams or ointments are used.

Dry Hands Treatment

- If you suffer from dry hands you can use dry hands solution creams(Nelson Sports Product Ultimate Gripping). Or, moisturizing cream with Shea butter that adds extra barrier to your skin to keep it protected and moisturized.
- It is also important to drink plenty of water. It is recommend to drink eight large glasses of water per day.
- Increase any form of exercise to decrease stress since stress for those who have eczema can trigger an outbreak or flare. Keeping stress down can help people with eczema avoid having dry skin on their hands and other areas of the body.
- Avoid using strong soap since the chemicals in soaps can have a drying effect on the hands. If you cannot avoid excessive hand washing due to the pandemic use soap with moisturizer (Best Sellers in Hand Creams & Lotions)
- Exfoliate your hand to remove dead, dry, and damaged skin. You can use pumice stone to exfoliate. You can also make a solution of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar mixed together to exfoliate.
- Apply aloe vera on your skin, it has antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for your skin. It can act as a natural moisturizer for the skin. (Organic Aloe Vera Gel with Pure Aloe)
- Wear rubber gloves while doing the dishes, washing clothes, cleaning the house, or if you spend a lot of time in contact with water. (Playtex HandSaver Reuseable Rubber Cleaning Gloves)
- Using air humidifier at home or office is also a big help in protecting the skin from drying out specially in a dry weather or cold months. (Cheap Humidifier)
- Taking collagen can also help, according to a study from Journal of Drugs in Dermatology collagen can increase skin hydration and decrease skin wrinkles.


Having dry hands is very common due to the pandemic since we need to frequently wash our hands or sanitize. Dry, itchy hands can be really annoying and inconvenient but armed with a knowledge on how to deal with it you can say goodbye to dry hands.

**This article can also answer dry hands and feet causes.


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