How To Treat Dry Cracked Hands

How to treat dry cracked hands when you have tried every single hand lotion and you still have dry, red, itchy hands.

This is based on treating my clients who suffered from severe eczema or psoriasis on their hands. Their hands were so dry that their hands and fingers were cracked.

After washing my hands before and after every client, during the winter, my hands would be so dry that my skin would crack open near the nail beds and along the fingertips.

If you are in an occupation where you are always washing your hands all day such as a doctor, dentist, nurse, or a mechanic, it is very difficult to heal and treat the cracks and the dryness , even with constant application of heavy creams and lotions.

So how do you treat dry cracked hands if you are always having to wash your hands?


Step 1: Switch out your soap. Avoid bar soaps and anitbacterial hand soaps.

You don’t need harsh soaps to kill bacteria.

Using a hand wash that uses gentle surfactants to help break down oils will suffice. If you see the ingredient with coco glucoside, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate (Coconut-Based Cleanser), Lauryl Glucoside (Coconut Oil-Based Cleanser), Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate (Coconut-Based Cleanser), Decyl Glucoside (Vegetable-Based Cleanser), Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate (Coconut-Based Cleanser), Coco-Glucoside (Coconut-Based Cleanser), and /or Glyceryl Oleate (Plant-Based Skin Softener), most of these are from a coconut based surfactant that will gently foam but will NOT strip your skin of its natural lipid barrier and keep the acid mantle intact.

Your skin should feel slippery after rinsing off , NOT “squeaky clean”. This means that the soap stripped your skins natural oils. IF this happens enough times, your skin will start to crack open and your skin will become red and itchy.

A good example of hand wash that is very gentle yet effective in removing dirt and cleansing the skin is :

*Puracy Natural Gel Hand Wash Winter formula

Step 2: **This Step is recommended if you have dry, flaky, peeling skin but NOT cracked skin or open wounds

If you have dry, flakey , peeling skin and no matter how much lotion you apply, your hands are STILL dry, then using a gentle exfoliant may be needed to remove the dead skin so your skin is able to readily absorb the moisturizer you apply on your hands.

Avoid using any exfoliating product that contains:



-Walnut/nut shells

-Apricot seeds

This is too harsh for dry hands , especially if they are red.

INSTEAD, use a gentle exfoliating powder such as the Iluma Intense Brightening Powder. This is also good if you have uneven skin tone or age spots on your hands.

It uses a more gentle hydrating AHA, lactic acid along with fruit enzymes from papaya and pineapple to gently break down dead skin cells.

You may also use this to gently exfoliate flaky eyelids and chapped lips.

Anti Aging Tips for Lips

How to Exfoliate Around Your EYES

Step 3: While skin is still moist, apply a hydrating serum or gel on hands while your skin is still moist.

and while your skin is still moist from applying the hydrating serum or hydrating gel treatment

and while your skin is still moist, apply a ceramide lotion if your hands are dry and cracked.

If your hands are flaky and peeling, then a hand cream that have shea butter, cocoa butter and olive oil works best.

Here are two examples:

NEOGEN – Surmedic Super Ceramide 100TM Intense Protection Hand Cream

Benton – Shea Butter & Olive Hand Cream ($9.90 as of this video )

Step 4: Get two plastic bags (from the produce aisle at your grocery store) and stick both hands in them , wrapping around your arms. (See video for demonstration)

Best Dry Skin Moisturizer for Face

Vitamin F for SKIN


How to cure dry cracked hands and fingers:

Step 5: **This is the step that is the game changer. You can place your hands in the these terry cloth treatment mitts and then place them in the heated hand treatment mitts. ***Please see video to see these treatment mitts.

Put the setting on low and place your hands in them for 10-20 minutes. You may leave them in for up to 30 minutes if your hands are extremely dry and cracked.

You can do this 2-3x a week.

Best lotion for extremely dry hands/Best lotion for frequently washed hands:

The best lotion for frequently washed hands, the best lotion for nurses ,and for frequent hand washers is WHILE you are at work, a regular hand lotion will NOT suffice. Every time you wash your hands, you will wash away the hand lotion or hand cream.

INSTEAD use this specifically designed product that will create a physical barrier between your skin and the water, and other products.

It is called Gloves in a Bottle.

This would be best used at work during the day when you need to wash your hands all day. It contains dimethicone and eicosene copolymer (as of this writing) to help create a protective barrier between the environment and your skin so it will not rinse off.

I would recommend to use at work and use the ceramide or richer cream to replace the ceramides and vitamin F (essential fatty acids) in the evening. to help nourish your skin and not just use an occlusive agent.

For Ceramide cream and Vitamin F cream Recommendations

Also wearing finger cots INSTEAD of wearing band aids will help heal the cracks in the fingers.

Stay tuned for next week when we review two hand lotions, one is a ceramide cream and the other is rich in fatty acids.

*Some links in this blog post may be affiliate links in which you will receive a discount and/or I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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