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Remedies for dry hands caused by frequent handwashing

Do you have dry hands? Probably, because more people are stepping up their handwashing game now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has emphasized regular handwashing to help curb the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.

After you have washed your hands over and over or applied hand sanitizer, again and again, your hands become rough, cracked, and dry. Some individuals might even develop inflammation, like red patches of eczema.

The last thing you want is to make your hands so raw that they’re blotchy, or so ripped that they hurt. So what do you do to care for your dry hands, and why do they get so chapped anyway?

Why is handwashing so harsh on our skin?

The outermost layer of our skin is composed of oils and waxes. It acts as both a shield from the outside and a guard that maintains natural moisture in the skin. That natural barrier is broken down by suds in soap while handwashing which do not discriminate between unwanted oil, germs, debris, and natural oils in the skin. When the natural barrier is broken, that allows moisture to evaporate from your skin, leading to that uncomfortable feeling of dryness.

That said, there are several ways to keep your thirsty skin hydrated, no matter the cause.

Remedies for dry hands


Apply a quality moisturizing cream or lotion several times per day. Lotions and creams help restore moisture and seal it back into the skin.

Make it an overnight affair! Because one of the best remedies for dry hands is to slather them at night with lotion or petroleum-based moisturizers, such as Vaseline. Next, cover your hands with a pair of soft gloves or socks. This traps the moisture and helps it absorb more fully into your skin.

You’ll wake up with incredibly smooth hands.

Hydrocortisone cream

In some cases, dry skin can worsen into a condition called dermatitis, where the skin becomes inflamed and red. In these cases, a lotion containing hydrocortisone may be the most helpful.

Decrease stress

Yes, really! It might sound crazy at first, but there is an association between stress and eczema. If you notice your hands going haywire from dry skin caused by eczema, take some time for self-care to reduce your stress.


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus 

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading: 

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.  
  • Don’t touch your face. 
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet) 
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.) 
  • Get a flu shot. 

Resources for more information: 

State of Utah: 

Utah State Board of Education 

Utah Hospital Association 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization 

Cases in the United States