A person’s hands and feet arguably endure the most use throughout the day. Whether your feet are being stuffed into shoes and walking you several blocks in the city, or your hands are chopping and cooking up a meal for your family; hands and feet experience a lot in a person’s day-to-day routine.Over washing, and under moisturizing hands can lead to frequently dry hands. Dry skin can cause itchiness, skin irritation, and eventually fine lines and wrinkles if not regularly treated. Dry skin can be a product of many factors, including dry weather during any season but especially the winter, also bathing and cleaning products, as well as certain health conditions known as xerosis.
Your hands, along with your face, are the most exposed parts of the body and therefore require more care than the rest of the body. Moisturizing regularly especially just after bathing or washing your hands is important and will leave hands soft and smooth. Moisturizing while the skin is still damp is the optimal way to treat dry skin, which should turn into your regular skincare routine. For those with very dry skin, baby oil is an effective remedy because it has a longer staying power than the average moisturizer and will prevent moisture from evaporating off the skin.
The soles of your feet are just as important to keep healthy. The soles of the feet receive excellent care and attention during a professional pedicure; however, it is a costly maintenance routine. There are at-home remedies for dry and cracked feet. Products such as pumice stones for buffing away dry and dead skin followed by a deep-moisturize foot cream. Covering the soles or your feet with petroleum jelly Vaseline every night before bed will soften feet up as you sleep, and putting on socks helps to keep the Vaseline in place as you sleep.
Dr. Rokhsar is a fellowship-trained dermatologist who can assess a patient’s skin type and advise on proper, healthy skin care. Without keeping the skin moisturized it will dry out, flake, and easily form wrinkles.
1. Moisturize More: Skin will naturally dry out in the colder weather because of the constant exposure to dry indoor heat and the outdoor elements. Without some moisture in the air, your skin struggles to retain moisture. Make sure to apply generous amount of lotion and moisturizer at the first signs of white-dry hands, especially if they begin to crack. The same goes for your feet!
2. Don’t forget to protect yourself: Walking to the train station or even your car in the morning, can expose you to some pretty bad wind burns. It’s important to really take advantage of your winter stock pile as soon as it gets cold out. Scarves, gloves, hats and boots are key to keeping you warm and protected. Winds can irritate and dry out skin so quickly, and the easiest way to keep skin healthy during these cold months is to practice preventive care with protection against the elements.
3. Keep your hands, and the rest of your body out of the hot water: Hot water dries the skin and sucks all of the moisture out of the skin. Whether you’re doing the dishes, laundry, or taking a shower, you need to avoid hot temperatures as much as possible. If you hate taking even lukewarm showers, treat yourself to a few minutes of hot water, but make sure it’s limited. A long, hot shower isn’t worth season-long skin damage
4. Avoid irritants: A wool sweater can be warm and cozy, but what is it doing to your skin? The material could rub you the wrong way. Try for softer cottons, satin and other materials that don’t cause harm. If you’re prone to allergies, watch out for material that tends to attract dog hair, because along with the dog hair comes the dander that starts you sneezing. Sneezing leads to runny noses, and tissues that overwork the skin around the nose. A winter cold poses the same problems. Always choose tissues with aloe to soften the blow.
5. Exfoliate: It’s important to gently exfoliate during the winter because of the buildup of dry skin cells. It’s important not to scrub the skin too hard because irritation will only cause skin damage and make it harder for newer and healthier skin cells.
6. Get a humidifier: These are specially designed to replace any moisture that was sucked out of the air from the indoor-heating. Turn it on whenever you’re in the room and when you move from your living room or kitchen into your bedroom at night, take the humidifier with you. In addition to it maintaining moisture in the air so your skin can stay happy and healthy throughout the colder months, humidifiers have also been known to make it easier to breathe.
7. At-home foot wraps: This could turn into a year-round do-it-yourself treatment. Before bed, make it a habit to cover your feet in a petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline. Next take the syran wrap from your kitchen draw and carefully wrap your feet in order to encase your whole foot. Then, place nice cotton socks to keep everything in place and warm while you sleep. When you wake up in the morning, take your foot wrap off and shower as you would normally, taking the time to remove any excess Vaseline. Within 3 days you should see a difference in your typically dry and cracked feet.
8. Change your skin care products: The products you were using during the summer to dry your skin while exfoliating may not work as well during the colder months. Instead, opt for moisturizers that specialize in dry skin even if you’re skin isn’t normally dry year round. It’s a quick way to replace some of the moisture lost from indoor heaters and outdoor chills.
9. See a dermatologist to reevaluate your skin care plan!