Dealing with dry hands
Your Charlotte dermatologist knows that extremely dry hands are common this time of year, but not always for the reasons we would assume. Most of us who experience hands that are so dry that they often burn, itch, or sting with pain in the palms or fingers, we automatically assume that the cold dry air of winter is the culprit. However, one of the most common causes for dry hands is the constant and repetitive handwashing with irritating soap or hand sanitizer. During cold season, the first line of defense we use to prevent the spread of disease. Ironically, our efforts to keep germs away, can actually cause cracks and wounds in our hands, creating an opening for infection.
Your skin’s natural protection
Your skin produces natural oils in order to create a barrier against harmful elements. This not only provides protection, it is essential for keeping your skin hydrated, while preventing viruses and bacteria from entering the body. Repetitive hand washing with harsh soaps or with alcohol-based hand sanitizers, will literally wash away your skin’s protective barrier. Removal of this chemical barrier can lead to several problems such as:
- Excessively dry skin
- Cracks and fissures in the skin
- Impaired ability for skin to heal
- Bacterial infection
- The development of eczema or itchy skin
Soap is not the only culprit, our natural barrier can be damaged or irritated by exposure to common cleaning products and sanitizers.
Dermatologist tips to help you protect your hands
Even though we know that excessive hand washing can lead to skin problems, it is still crucial that you keep your hands clean, especially during cold and flu season. We want to offer some tips to help you keep them clean without destroying the natural oils and barrier that protects your hands.
- Use a natural, mild, or hypoallergenic soap.
- After washing your hands, apply a moisturizing cream while your hands are still damp.
- Avoid the use of alcohol based hand sanitizer.
- Wear gloves when handling or working with harsh chemicals.
- Consider using a humidifier at night.
Visit your Charlotte dermatologist
If you feel that dry skin has become a problem, or if you are suffering from pain, burning, or stinging hands, it is time to visit your Charlotte dermatologist. A dermatologist has the knowledge and understanding to examine your skin, and to recommend the best course of action to correct your problem.
One of the top Charlotte dermatologists
The severity of many skin conditions could be the result of several factors. If you are finding it difficult to deal with your dry hands, the clinicians at Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte can provide high quality, innovative skin care including medical and cosmetic dermatology in a caring and professional environment. Dr. Nixon and Dr. Haught are board certified dermatologists whose dedication, experience, and knowledge will provide the best possible treatment for your skin, hair, and cosmetic concerns. Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte also offers medical, cosmetic, and surgical dermatology; including removal of skin cancer. They provide a full range of cosmetic offerings such as skin tightening, fat reduction, chemical peels, Botox treatments, microdermabrasion, and more. They provide treatment for both adult and pediatric patients, and for conditions that cause teenage and adult acne. Call their office today for a skin care evaluation and analysis of your dry hands or any other skin condition.