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Lately this winter has been absolutely awful on my hands. They are cracked and red and burning constantly and I feel like they are always dry. This is mostly on the backs of them. I’ve been diagnosed with eczema on them in the past by a dermatologist and she prescribed a steroid cream that I ran out of. I know that the steroid cream works but I’m more interested in preventing this from happening! Any suggestions?
Sad Winter Hands
Dear Sad Winter Hands,
You are not alone! I suffer the same! Especially since when I am in the treatment room I wash my hands so many times that I lose count!
There are a few things you can do to help prevent this painful condition:
- Make sure you are washing your hands in tepid or cool water- never hot! This is a must as the heat can cry out and exacerbate any dryness or eczema that you already have going on.
- Avoid anti-bacterial soaps for the time being. If you work in healthcare or worry about flu season this can be extremely hard to avoid so do your best. At least maybe keep some natural soaps infused with lavender and eucalyptus by your sinks at home, as lavender and eucalyptus are natural anti-virals and antiseptics.
- Apply Aquaphor faithfully every single night at bedtime, preferably with gloves on so that you don’t get the ointment in your hair or on your face! CeraVe is also a good cream- both will create an occlusive barrier to allow your skin to heal. If you have any topical steroid creams use those first and then layer the Aquaphor or CeraVe on top.
- When going outside in extremely cold temperature wear a good pair of gloves at all times.
I hope this helps! Spring is just around the corner!