The hands constitute one of the busiest parts of the body, and it is little wonder therefore that they are predisposed to drying and chapping. Chapped hands are fairly common across many populations, and their obvious location makes them difficult to ignore.
Chapping makes your hands unattractive, and in severe cases, may warrant medical attention depending on the severity of the same. There are several causes of chapped hands. Environmental conditions play a fundamental role in the chapped hands. During the cold season, low temperatures cause the dehydration of the skin, and this loss of moisture means the skin dries up quite easily.
In addition, the cold season is often accompanied by the flu season, making it imperative for individuals to wash hands regularly in a bid to contain the spread of the flu. Frequent hand-washing, while necessary, certainly predisposes your hands to drying.
Dry air is also a causative agent of chapped hands, as is an array of household chores that require individuals to use water for extended periods of time. Overall, these factors are worsened by the lack of skin moisturization.
In severe cases, this chapping could lead to pain, dryness and cracks on the hands. The good news is that there are a number of natural remedies that you can use to treat chapped hands at home. Additionally, there are simple ways to manage the condition; these are easy steps that you can incorporate into your daily routine to moisturize your hands. As a general rule, with all of the natural remedies available below, you are advised to ensure that your hands remain moisturized.
1. Hot Water Soak:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Hot water, mild soap (preferably one that is specially designed for chapped hands), and preferred hands lotion.
A hot water soak is a perfect remedy for chapped hands. The essence of this remedy is to clean the hands first and get rid of dirt while softening the skin. The grime that accumulates on the hands during the day, if left unattended to, leads to the buildup of dead skin cells and predisposes the chapped hands to cracking. Once your hands are clean, the effects are locked in with the application of an appropriate hands moisturizer. The best time to use this remedy is at night, just after a warm bath. It can, however, be incorporated into daily routines so that you can soak your hands twice daily.
- Place the hot water in a bowl. It is advisable to use water that is just hot enough, not scalding as this could easily cause injuries to the hands.
- Wet your hands using the hot water and proceed to apply the soap on your hands.
- Massage your soapy hands for 5 minutes, ensuring that you get rid of the grime that lodges itself between your fingers.
- Soak your soapy hands in the hot water and let them remain there for some 5 minutes.
- Rinse your hands with hot water and pat dry.
- Conclude this remedy with the moisturization of your hands using your preferred lotion. Repeat this procedure twice daily (with one of the times been at bedtime).
2. Petroleum Jelly:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Warm soapy water to clean your hands, a soft towel, and petroleum jelly.
Petroleum jelly is an excellent remedy for chapped hands, and is perhaps one of the most affordable options available in the market. Petroleum jelly not only creates a layer that prevents dehydration, it also goes a long way in filling the cracks that result from chapped hands. These effects allow the skin to undergo healing, especially when applied at night. If you have chapped hands, the answer could just lie in good old petroleum jelly. The best time to use this remedy is just about every time you wash your hands.
- Wash your hands with warm soapy water to get rid of the accumulated dirt as you cannot apply the petroleum jelly on dirty hands.
- Rinse your hands with clean water and pat dry using a soft towel.
- Apply a generous amount of petroleum jelly on your hands and massage well. Repeat this procedure any time you clean your hands as well as at bedtime to facilitate for the repair of the skin on the hands.
3. Vitamin E Capsules:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Vitamin E capsules
Vitamin E has long been recognized as one of the best remedies in the treatment of dried skin. This is because the vitamin enhances the repair and regeneration of the skin, in effect hastening the healing process from drying and chapping. If your hands have cracks, the use of Vitamin E is absorbed through the minute spaces and openings on the dried skin from where the effects of the remedy take place.
- Break open the capsules containing Vitamin E.
- Collect the powder from about 10 capsules in a bowl.
- Scoop this powder and rub it on your hands, slowly and carefully particularly if you have cracked hands. This allows the absorption of the vitamin and the subsequent healing of the chapped hands.
- Let the powder remain on the skin for about 5 minutes. Repeat this procedure twice daily until you are satisfied with the results.
4. Aloe Vera Gel:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Aloe Vera leaf, warm water, and petroleum jelly.
Aloe vera gel is, without a doubt, one of the most effective remedies for dried skin as is the case in chapped hands. This is because the gel has moisturization properties that help hydrate the skin. Additionally, the soothing properties of the gel have a cooling effect on the dried hands. This aspect of the gel works wonders for those with cracked and bleeding hands by offering pain relief. Regular use of aloe vera gel has great benefits for the skin, so even after your chapped hands have healed, you can always consider adding the use of the gel to your daily regimen.
- Take a freshly cut aloe vera leaf and slice it into two so that you reveal the inner and fleshy part of the leaf.
- Squeeze the glistening gel that oozes out of the leaf’s fleshy part and collect it in a bowl.
- Scoop some of this gel and apply it on your hands, paying attention to any trouble spots such as those with cracks and any painful spots.
- Let the gel dry on the skin for about 5 minutes before you can rinse with warm water.
- Pat your hands dry and apply a generous amount of petroleum jelly to lock in the effects of the aloe vera gel as well as to speed up the healing process.
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Ghee and paper towels.
Ghee, also referred to as clarified butter in some circles has been shown to be a super natural remedy for the management of chapped hands. Ghee, which is a milk product, contains fats which nourish the skin. In addition to this, the ghee acts as a natural moisturizing agent that also soothes cracked hands. The advantage of using ghee is that you only require a small amount. Used regularly, you should be able to note significant improvements in the condition of your hands. If you can, use home-made ghee, and if this is not available, pure ghee will work just fine.
- Scoop a tablespoon of ghee and rub it on your hands in gentle motions.
NB: If the ghee is too solid to suit your liking, you can always place it in a hot water bath to allow slow melting.
- Let the ghee remain on your hands. If there’s excess ghee, simply wipe it off using paper towels. Repeat this procedure thrice daily for best results. Make sure that at least one of those times you use the ghee is at bedtime for smoother hands.
6. Cornmeal and Apple Cider Vinegar Paste:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Half cup of cornmeal, a tablespoon of warm water, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, warm water, and skin moisturizer of choice.
The paste made from cornmeal and apple cider vinegar combines the best of both worlds by bringing together an exfoliant in the cornmeal and a cleansing agent in the vinegar. The abrasiveness of the cornmeal helps get rid of dead cells and grime that accumulates on the hands, while the apple cider vinegar cleanses the skin and unclogs the pores. This dual action helps prevent cracking and chapping of the hands, plus it is a very simple remedy to make.
- Mix the cornmeal and apple cider vinegar in a bowl and stir. At this point the paste is too thick, so keep adding water in small mounts until you get the desired consistency of the paste.
- Scoop this paste and rub it on your hands for some 10 minutes.
- Let the paste remain on your skin for 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
- Complete this procedure by applying your choice skin moisturizer to seal in the benefits of the cornmeal paste. Use this remedy twice daily.
7. Olive Oil:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Olive Oil
Olive oil is another popular remedy used for the management of chapped hands. This oil is preferred because it not only moisturizes the skin, it also goes a long way in treating cracked skin naturally. Regular application of olive oil helps get rid of the dryness on your hands, while giving the skin a radiant youthful appearance.
- Place three drops of olive oil on the palms of your hands and rub your hands together.
- Allow the oil to remain on your hands. Use this remedy thrice daily, and especially at bedtime when your skin undergoes healing and repair as you sleep.
8. Cocoa Butter Balm (Homemade):
Time Required: 60 Min
What You Need: A cup of cocoa butter, a cup of sheer butter, five tablespoons of beeswax, half a cup of jojoba oil, 2 sizable jars with lids, and a double boiler.
Cocoa butter and shea butter have been used for many years in improving the skin’s health, thanks to the numerous advantages that the two have on dry skin. The two types of butter both nourish and moisturize the skin, keeping dryness at bay. The addition of beeswax acts as a way to lock in the moisturization as well as repel water which, in excess contact, causes the skin to become dehydrated. Jojoba oil is also included in this homemade balm, thanks to its moisturization properties.
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Transfer the mixture to a double boiler where the butters and wax will melt and blend into one another.
- Stir to create a homogeneous mixture of the melting ingredients.
- Turn the heat off once all the ingredients have melted and proceed to pour the mixture into the jars.
- Allow the mixture in the jars to cool completely before you can place the lids to cover.
- Anytime you wash your hands, simply scoop some of this balm and apply on your hands. Use this remedy as many times as you can during the day. You will be amazed by the transformation of your hands if you keep at it long enough.
Other remedies that you can use to help you manage chapped hands include Evening Primrose oil which is recommended thanks to its ability to soften and smooth the skin, baby oil for its gentle nature in moisturizing the skin as well as glycerin and lanolin for the same reasons. Other habitual approaches that you could take to help you manage chapped hands include wearing cotton gloves after using any of the remedies and moisturizing the skin as well as avoiding contact with products that are harsh to your skin. It also helps to take a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables and lots of water to stay hydrated.