Saturday 7 September 2013

Ask TBI: Help My Chapped Hands

Question: I have the worst chapped hands. Whether it is winter or summer, my knuckles are often red raw and the rest of my hands scaly, bone dry and cracked. What can I do? Help! - Joely, London.

Answer: Chapped hands are usually caused by cold temperatures, dry air and constant washing - all of which remove moisture from the skin. This, as you know, leads to sore, dry and cracked hands. Luckily there are a few things you can do on a daily basis to teat and prevent the problem.

First things first, avoid any strong chemical detergents coming into contact with your hands. The best way to do this is to wear rubber gloves when doing various household chores, such as washing up and cleaning.

Secondly, when it comes to washing your hands, avoid using hot water and harsh soaps or hand washes. They will strip the skin of its natural oils, making your chapped hands even worse. I advise washing hands in warm water, using a dermatologically approved, mild hand wash that nourishes hands as well as cleans them. I would recommend the Dettol with E45 Softness Hand Wash 250ml (£2.45 Tesco). It kills germs whilst pampering, protecting and softening hands.
It is also important to put moisture back into the skin after washing and drying your hands. Use a hand cream that contains nourishing ingredients such as shea butter, avocado oil and aloe vera. I love the Antipodes Joyful Hand Body Cream 120ml (£29.00 Selfridges / $34.00 as it contains pure avocado pear oil as a base ingredient. It also absorbs quickly and contains 100% natural ingredients, preventing it from irritating your skin.
My final piece of advice is to apply a topical treatment to the affected area throughout the day. The C.O. Bigelow Chapped-Hands Remedy NO.1012 48g (£18.00 Liberty / $7.00 is perfect for healing rough, dry skin. It also contains high levels of glycerin, which draws moisture into the skin making it feel soft and supple.

If none of these tricks work, visit a dermatologist!

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