Healing rituals you need to get your hands on, stat.
– KEYS SOULCARE
*Tap, tap, tap.* Hear that? That’s the sound of your wintry hands trying to get your attention… and some much-needed seasonal TLC. Turns out, the cold-weather experience of drier, itch-prone digits can be due to everything from seasonal shifts, to what we eat, to what we put on our bodies. And as for what to do about it? We turned to our trusted source for all things skin — Keys Soulcare’s in-house dermatologist. Read on for our latest installment of “Ask Dr. Renée”.
Put your hands together for soothing tips that just might save your digits this winter.
What causes our hands to feel especially dry at certain times of year?
In most cases, dry hands are caused by environmental factors such as weather, washing them often, exposure to chemicals, and sometimes, medical conditions.
Which everyday factors contribute to dryness?
Using harsh soaps and frequent hand washing — which is so common during our pandemic – contributes to the dry skin on our hands. Then, failure to moisturize or replenish the oils on our skin after washing adds further insult to injury.
Our skin is a complex weave of cells held together by bonds that are lubricated by our natural oils. When the barrier of our skin is broken down with harsh soaps and warm water and then not repaired, our skin becomes dry and very irritated. That dry skin is always going to be itchy and inflamed.
What can we do to promote and retain moisture for our hands?
Cover hands with gloves — particularly if you are frequently immersing them in water, like when [you’re] washing dishes. Gloves help to prevent the water from stripping the natural oils present on our skin barrier.
Moisturize often, particularly after washing your hands. Believe it or not, stress can also contribute to eczema of the hands. So if you notice the skin of your hands is affected during times of stress, it’s time for some self-care to reduce it!
What seasonal ingredients and rituals help relieve dry winter hands?
Moisturizing with creams that contain ceramides is the most helpful. I often tell patients to moisturize with a hydrating cream and then cover the hands with an occlusive barrier, like our Comforting Balm. Placing hands in socks or soft gloves helps to trap in the moisture. When done overnight, many wake up with baby-soft skin!
If skin is particularly itchy at times, hydrocortisone can help calm inflammation and the itching that accompanies it. Another ingredient to look for is pramoxine: this [one] is included in several over-the-counter products to help address itching. Both ingredients work best when combined with a regimen that includes avoiding harsh chemicals and stripping soaps [as well as] moisturizing frequently.
What’s the hand-care go-to you’re bringing into your rituals? Share in the comments!