How To Heal Dry Cracked Hands, Fingertips & Cuticles
Having dry cracked hands, fingertips, or cuticles isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s downright painful. Everyday activities like bathing, cooking, getting dressed or typing become more difficult and increases the level of pain.
Painful, cracked hands and fingertips can be caused by everyday activities especially if you work with your hands or are required to wash and sanitize them often. It can also be caused by environmental triggers, like dry winter air or allergies. But they may also be a sign that you have a more serious condition, like eczema or psoriasis or other skin diseases.
Whether you are dealing with dry cracked hands, cracked fingertips, cracked cuticles, or brittle nails alone, it’s important to seek a treatment and investigate if there are any underlying medical issues.
Though dry skin on your hands and around the fingertips can be stubborn and persistent, there are treatments that you can do at home to help heal it.
This article will discuss cleansing options, the importance of exfoliation, moisturizing tips, techniques and moisturizing options to manage and treat painful, cracked hands, fingertips, cuticles and brittle nails.
It Starts With Your Cleanser
As a skin care specialist and someone who has dealt with eczema and psoriasis, I know firsthand just how it feels to have a flare up. Washing my hands with commercial soap was painful. So, under these circumstances you need to be smart about the ingredient in your cleansers.
Personally, I like to wash my hands with a bar of Goat’s Milk Soap, I have a bar at every sink in the house. But, not everyone feels the same way. For decades we’ve been washing our hands with pump soap. And that’s why I finally decided to add an all-natural foaming cleanser to our product line.
Most of the liquid hand soap on the store shelves are made with harsh chemical ingredients. These chemicals strip the skin of its natural oils leaving it dry, itchy, and irritated. When cleaning the skin it is important to remove the dirt and germs. However it’s equally important to maintain the health of the outer skin layer.
When you have a skin condition like eczema (atopic dermatitis), psoriasis, dry skin, or sensitivities, washing hands often can be problematic. It can lead to more itching, irritation, dryness and cracked skin, and even infection. So how can you continue to engage in the proper hand-washing practices while protecting your skin?
Exfoliate Your Hands
Gentle exfoliation can remove dead, dry cells from the surface of your skin. This remedy is most often recommended for cracked hands. After you have exfoliated your hands using the technique in the video, pat them dry and apply your moisturizer. Exfoliate once or twice a week are as necessary.
Moisturizing Basics (Tips & Techniques)
WASHING HANDS: After every hand wash, pat your hands dry (don’t rub) and then apply a moisturizer all over, including your wrists and fingertips where you may be prone to cracking. The ideal moisturizing window for hands is five minutes after you wash them.
PUT IT WHERE YOU WILL SEE IT – Out of sight, out of mind is the real deal when it comes to our state of mind right now. Keep your moisturizers in clear view; leave one in the kitchen, bathroom, on the nightstand, dresser, coffee table, end table, etc. The goal is to make it accessible so that you make moisturizing a habit.
REPAIR YOUR HANDS WHILE YOU SLEEP – As a rule, you should always moisturize your hands right before your head hits the pillow. This is a great way to speed up the healing process because as you sleep your body naturally restores, repairs, and heals itself.
Use a heavy-duty moisturizing butter, repair cream, ointment, balm or a combination of the two in a thick layer. Slip on a pair of loose cotton gloves or cotton socks and sleep with the moisturizers on your hands for the night. When you wake up, you will have less irritation and your hands should be softer and dryness, redness, and cracks less visible.
*** PRO TIP: Balms and ointments are protective wax based moisturizers that seal and lock in moisture. This allows the emollient oils to penetrate deep into the skin bringing instant relief to pain, itching and irritation, while they repair and heal the skin surface. If you are dealing with open wounds, bleeding, or your skin is raw, red and swollen, we highly suggest that you use a balm or ointment (wax based product) until the skin has healed. Once healed you can switch to a lotion or heavy cream. Water based moisturizes will sting or burn when applied to open wounds.
Choosing A Moisturizer
There are lotions, cream, butters, ointments and balms. So how do you know which moisturizer to use right now? We formulate a few different types of all-natural NON-GREASY moisturizers for a variety of skin concerns and conditions. Choosing the right ones will depend on two factors:
- Treating the current condition of your skin.
- Taking preventative measures to maintain healthy skin. This can be done throughout the day, but we recommend using it at night before your head hits the pillow.
MILD TO MODERATE DRY SKIN CONDITIONS: Use a lightweight lotion throughout the day and a thick cream (butter) at nighttime. During the dry winter months you can replace the nighttime cream (butter) with a repair balm if necessary.
SEVERE DRY SKIN CONDITIONS: Use a cream throughout the day and again at night. During the dry winter months you can replace nighttime cream (butter) with a repair balm if necessary.
ECZEMA, PSORIASIS, SPLIT, BROKEN AND WOUNDS: The focus is on relieving the pain, itch, and irritation, while you repair and heal the skins surface.
Use a balm throughout the day and again at nighttime. Once the skin has healed you can switch to a cream or lotion throughout the day. Continue to use the balm as your nighttime preventative treatment. These skin conditions should be monitored often to determine what skin care routine works best for your condition.
DRY SKIN WITH SENSITIVITIES: Our moisturizers are the perfect solution for sensitive skin concerns. Most are unscented or come with the option to purchase fragrance free, (Goat’s Milk Hand and Body Lotion and Whipped Shea Body Butter).
Here are our top picks and some straightforward guidelines to help you choose:
The Best Daytime Lotion For Everyday Use
Skin Conditions: Mild, Moderate, Severe Dry Skin, Sensitive
Suited For Age: Youth & Adult – Female and Male
Application: Daily – Apply as often as necessary throughout the day.
Details: Hand and Body Moisturizer. Available in 4.75 Squeeze and 8.5 Pump. Available in a variety of fragrances and Fragrance Free.
Meet our customer’s top pick for instant hydration and to maintain healthy hands. This lightweight, non-greasy formula is your daytime go-to lotion that eliminates itching and irritation caused by dry skin.
Our tried and true goats milk lotion penetrates quickly to provide nourishing hydration while healing dry skin. Due to the high fat content in the goats milk and plant oils (soybean, rice bran and coconut) it soothes and softens skin on contact.
The Best Powerful Nighttime Hand Cream
Whipped Shea Body ButterProduct on sale$10.20 – $24.00
Skin Conditions: Mild, Moderate, & Severe Dry Skin
Suited For Age: Teens – Adults, Female and Male
Application: Nighttime and Daytime – We recommend this thick creamy butter as a nighttime cream, however, it makes a perfect daytime cream for sever dry skin conditions. Apply as often as necessary.
Details: Available in 4 oz and 8 oz jar and a variety of fragrances and Fragrance Free.
This thick non-greasy butter gets down to business with a heavy-duty formula that’s packed with the kind of rich plant oils and butters (like shea, mango, avocado, rice bran and evening primrose) that extremely rough, worn, and dry hands need. It creates a protective “glove” of moisture that helps keep hydration locked into hands.
Advanced Repair Hand Cream for Eczema Psoriasis Hands
Skin Conditions: Severe Dry Skin, Eczema, Psoriasis
Suited For Age: Teens – Adults, Female and Male
Application: Daytime and Nighttime – This thick cream can be used as both a daytime and nighttime cream as long as the skin is free of split, broken skin and open wounds. Apply as often as necessary.
Details: Available in 4 oz jar. Neem and Tea Tree have a natural earthy scent.
This non-greasy hand healing treatment has a quick-absorbing cream like consistency that delivers speedy relief for itchy, irritated psoriasis and eczema-prone skin. This gentle yet power packed formula contains healing and repairing plant oils and butter (Neem, Tamanu, Avocado, Shea, Horsetail, and Kokum) and soothing extracts (green tea and chamomile) to eliminate itching, irritation and pain, as it tackles redness and inflammation.
The Power-Packed Nighttime Repair Balm For Split, Broken Skin and Open Wounds.
ProCure Psoriasis & Eczema Repair Balm$14.95 – $29.90
Skin Conditions: Severe Dry Skin, Eczema, Psoriasis, Split & Broken Skin, and Open Wounds.
Suited For Age: Youth, Teens, Adults – Female and Male
Application: Nighttime and Daytime – We recommend this non-greasy, non-sticky balm as a nighttime treatment. However, it can be used throughout the day as well, especially if you are dealing with chronic skin conditions. Apply as often as necessary.
Details: Available in 2 oz (Travel Friendly) and 4 oz jars. Lightly scented with therapeutic essential oils.
This thick, intense protective balm seals and locks in moisture on contact. Our power-packed formula includes medicinal and therapeutic plant oils, butter, and extract, (like Babassu, Neem, Soybean, Horsetail, White Willow Bark, and Calendula) that penetrate fast to repair, heal, and restore the skin. It creates a protective “glove” of moisture that helps keep hydration locked into hands.
The Hand Cream That Repairs and Heals Cuticles and Nails
Cuticle & Nail Cream$11.95
Skin Conditions: All
Suited For Age: Teen and Adults – Female and Male
Application: Nighttime – Apply as often as necessary. Can be used as a daytime treatment as well. A little goes a long way.
Details: Available in 1.5 oz Tin. Travel Friendly.
If you can barely focus on how dry your hands feel because of how terrible your cuticles feel and look, this multitasking cream/balm will tackle both. Although we call it a cream, its actually a wax based moisturizing balm. It locks in the moisture it delivers with natural Horsetail Butter, Soybean, Babassu, and Avocado oils. Our customer favorite for overnight healing and repair.
For The Little Ones and Sensitive Skin
Skin Conditions: All
Suited For Age: Infants, Youth and Adults with Sensitive Skin
Application: Daytime and Nighttime – Apply as often as necessary. Can be used as a daytime treatment as well. A little goes a long way.
Details: Available in 4.25 oz. Formulated for children (and adults) with allergies and skin sensitivities including gluten, nut and fragrance intolerance.
An all-natural moisturize protects while it softens and soothes delicate skin. This non-greasy lotion eliminates itching, irritation, and pain caused by dry skin and eczema. It also treats redness and inflammation as a result of other chronic skin disorder.
Written By: Mary Ellen Wank, Wellness Advocate and Founder of LATIV, Natural Skin Revival DISCLAIMER