Skip to content

Dry hands in winter: What factors are responsible for this and how can you solve the problem?

Dry hands in winter are a common complaint. Here’s how to get a handle on the problem.

Why hands dry out in winter

Dry hands in winter - What factors are responsible for it

Winter is tough on your hands. Still smooth, supple and soft in September, by February they can become red, cracked and rough. The main reason for this is the lack of moisture. In winter, the humidity in the outdoor air drops sharply. Indoors, thanks to the heating, it is even drier. If you wash your hands frequently to avoid catching a cold or flu, you can deplete the natural oils that are still present in your skin. This can cause them to become so dehydrated that they crack, peel and bleed.

The extent of the damage depends on how strong or weak your skin bariatric is. What does it mean? The skin barrier is a mixture of proteins, lipids and oils. It protects your skin, and how well it works depends mostly on your genes.

If you have a weak barrier, you’re more prone to symptoms of sensitive skin, such as itching, inflammation, and eczema. You’re also more likely to get very dry hands in the winter. The good news is, once you’re aware of this process, you’re already halfway to solving the problem.

What can you do about dry hands in the winter?

Here are some tips on what you can do about dry hands in the winter.

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

Hand cream for extremely dry hands - What ingredients are important.

To treat parched, flaky hands, you need to replace the moisture your thirsty skin is lacking. Drinking water, experts point out, won’t do that. Only hand cream for extremely dry hands, applied directly to the skin, will prevent water from evaporating and give your skin a healthy glow.

Start moisturizing before a problem occurs. The best prevention is to start using a moisturizer before your hands show signs of dryness. Applying a moisturizer once a day is not enough. That’s probably enough protection for about five minutes. If you apply a moisturizer more often, its effects will last longer. Five or six applications a day will provide around-the-clock protection.

Tip: To achieve this goal, practice what we call “good product placement.” Not only keep a large tube of your favorite moisturizer in your bathroom, but also stash smaller sizes in your purse, gym bag and on your desk so that application becomes a habit. Remember to rub the hand cream or lotion over your cuticles and nails as well. Nails can become dry just like the skin on your hands.

What are the causes of brittle nails and how can you strengthen them with home remedies? You can find out here !

Choosing the right moisturizer

On the shelves of your drugstore you will find a variety of hand cream for very dry, cracked hands and body lotions. Remember, only two types of ingredients do the most work when it comes to keeping your skin soft and moisturized: Emollients and Humectants.

Emollients act as lubricants on the surface of the skin. They fill the gaps between cells that are ready to be shed and help the loose edges of dead skin cells that are left behind hold together. That slippery feeling you get after applying a moisturizer comes from emollients. They keep the skin soft, smooth and supple. Look for ingredients like lanolin, jojoba oil, isopropyl palmitate, propylene glycol linoleate, squalene and glyceryl stearate.

Humectants draw moisture from the environment to the skin’s surface and increase the water content of the outer layer of skin. Look for common humectants such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid, sorbitol, propylene glycerin, urea and lactic acid on the ingredient label.

Stronger products for more damaged skin.

When your hands go from being dry and rough to having small cracks or chapped, sensitive, or bleeding, it’s time to move on to stronger moisturizers. Vaseline is a reliable tool. Or choose a thick, rich moisturizer with heavier ingredients like dimethicone, cocoa or shea butter, or beeswax. Apply the cream before bed, put on a pair of cotton gloves or socks, and leave it on overnight.

How to wash your hands

When washing your hands, you should use a mild soap so as not to dry out your skin

To protect your hands while protecting your health by washing your hands frequently, choose a mild soap, use warm, not hot water, pat your hands dry and apply a moisturizer immediately.

If you have very dry hands in the winter or wash them a dozen times a day, consider replacing some of the soap and water applications with a hand sanitizer gel or wipes. These alcohol-based sanitizers dry out the skin, but for people who wash their hands frequently – whether they’re doctors, moms or dog walkers – they’re actually a little gentler on the skin than soap and water.

More tips for dry hands after constant hand washing can be found here !

Consider a humidifier

Using a humidifier can also help your skin. The higher humidity will not only relieve your super dry hands, but it will also soothe dry, itchy skin all over your body (including chapped lips) and a stuffy nose. Be sure to regularly maintain (and clean) the unit so it doesn’t release bacteria or mold into the air.

Put on gloves

Against dry hands in winter, you should wear gloves when you stay outside for a long time


Wear gloves if you’re going to be outside for longer than just walking to your car on cold days. If your hands get wet, dry them off and then apply a moisturizer.

If the redness, peeling and tenderness persist, see a dermatologist. He or she can prescribe a steroid cream to fight the inflammation, and also check to see if your dry hands may be due to a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis.

If your skin is healthy, basic care – resist the urge to warm up with hot water and keep simple, effective remedies on hand – can help you endure winter until the warmth of spring arrives.