How to Help Soothe and Heal Dry, Cracked Hands

Learn what can cause dry, cracked hands—and how you can show them some love.

Every day we use our hands to interact with the world around us. Through touch, our hands let us know when a pan is hot or if our drink is ice cold. But if your hands are dry and cracked, they’re probably telling you something else: help! It’s time to give your hands some extra TLC.

Did you know?

Your fingertips are a part of a system of nerve and specialized touch receptors. This allows your fingertips to be able to recognize sensations such as pressure, texture, and vibration!

What causes dry, cracked hands and cuticles?

Here are a few common causes:

  • Frequent handwashing
    We all know the importance of hand hygiene. Unless you moisturize regularly after using hot water and soap, your hands can dry out quickly.
  • Weather
    Dry air—which is problematic no matter the season—can wick moisture away from your hands.
Harsh irritants
Whether at work or at home, repeated exposure to certain chemicals (like cleaners or even hand sanitizers) can be tough on your skin.

Solutions for dry, cracked hands

Now that you know what can cause dry, cracked hands—here are some ways you can take care of them:

  • Stay hydrated
    First things first: are you drinking enough water? Dehydration depletes your body (including your hands) of much needed water. Help moisturize from the inside out.
  • Protect working hands
    There are some jobs that require more protection. Whether it’s gardening gloves for yard work or latex ones for deep cleaning, that physical barrier makes a difference. Gloves can insulate your hands from the elements and help protect them from harsh chemicals or irritants.
  • Keep moisturizer within reach
    By using a protective cream or ointment multiple times per day, you can help add moisture back to your skin. Try leaving a tube or jar next to the sink, at your workspace, or simply bring it with you—so that it’s always nearby.
  • Do an overnight hand rescue treatment
    Hand lotion not doing the trick? Try an overnight treatment. All you’ll need is 10 minutes and some items you’ll find at home.
    • Soak your hands in a lukewarm water bath for about 5 minutes
    • Gently pat your hands dry with a clean, dry towel
    • Apply a protective moisturizer
      • Aquaphor Healing Ointment® creates an ideal healing environment by allowing oxygen to reach dry, cracked skin while sealing in moisture
    • Cover your hands with a pair of 100% cotton socks to help seal in the moisture overnight

Looking for more tips? Watch for more ways to protect dry, cracked hands:

If your skin doesn’t improve consult with your healthcare professional about an underlying medical condition.

Aquaphor® is the #1 dermatologist recommended brand for dry, cracked skin

Whatever the season, give your hands that extra bit of love! Preservative and fragrance-free Aquaphor® provides effective, long-lasting moisture. Your hands will look—and feel—healthier.