Tips to Relieve and Prevent Cracked Hands and Feet

Is the cold weather drying out your skin? It’s no secret that skin tends to lose moisture during the winter months. “Cold, dry weather, coupled with winds, puts a strain on the outer skin layer,” says Doctor Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “As natural oils become stripped from the surface of the skin, the barrier becomes disrupted. This leads to loss of hydration, itching, and inflammation.”

This year, the additional hand washing and use of alcohol-based sanitizers can also make your skin feel extra rough. Here are a few tips that can help relieve and prevent cracked hands and feet.

1. Moisturize: This is an obvious one, but moisturizing your hands and heels several times a day can help retain moisture. Be sure to apply a thick layer of lotion before bed so that your skin can rejuvenate overnight.

Pro Tip: Instead of buying an expensive cream, more sustainable option by making your own and storing it in a recycled container or glass jar.

Here are a couple of recipes:

2. Avoid extremely hot showers: It may seem tempting to take a hot shower when it’s cold outside, but hot water can also strip the skin of natural oils. Consider taking short showers in lukewarm water. Plus, a quick shower can help reduce energy and water waste

3. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water has many benefits and keeping your skin healthy is another one to add to the list.

4. Use gloves and socks: Not only will this protect your skin when you are outside, but gloves and socks can also help retain moisture throughout the night too. For more benefits, apply lotion before putting them on.


Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022

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