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Chapped hands

Alternative Names

Hands - chapped and dry

Information

To prevent chapped hands:

  • Avoid excessive sun exposure or exposure to extreme cold or wind
  • Avoid washing hands with hot water
  • Limit hand washing as much as possible while maintaining good hygiene
  • Try to keep the air in your home humid
  • Use mild soaps or non-soap cleansers
  • Use moisturizing lotions on your hands regularly, especially if you live in a dry climate

To soothe chapped and sore hands:

  • Apply skin lotion frequently (if this doesn't work, try creams or ointments)
  • Avoid putting your hands in water unless necessary
  • If your hands don't improve, contact a dermatologist
  • Very strong hydrocortisone creams (available by prescription) are recommended for badly chapped hands
  • Wear gloves for doing everyday chores (cotton is best)

References

Habif TP. Eczema and hand dermatitis. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 3.


Review Date: 10/14/2012
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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