Dry Hands: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, And Care

Written by Aaron Guldager — August 22, 2018

Dry Hands: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, And Care

Do you have rough, cracked, dry hands? We know your pain. You’re a hardworking gal who isn’t afraid of getting down and dirty.

You have tons to do and are constantly using your hands to accomplish your many tasks — whether that means a career that involves working with your hands day-in and day-out, carrying your baby from here to there, or just plain doing chores around the house.

Having dry hands is common, and the work that you do is most likely causing them to suffer extra. And although dry hands aren’t technically a “dangerous” condition, they can definitely be a very irritating one!

That’s where SiO Beauty comes in to help.

The beauty experts at SiO share everything you need to know about dry hands — from causes and symptoms to prevention and care. It’s time to figure out how to better protect your hardworking hands.

Causes Of Dry Hands

There are a number of factors that contribute to the drying out of the delicate skin of your hands. Cold weather, for example, can cause extremely dry and cracked hands.

When the outer layer of your hand skin is compromised, dry, scaly skin is a common result. Your skin is designed to hold onto moisture and naturally rejuvenate itself, but exposure to elements such as the sun, cold air, wind, and chemicals can gradually damage your outer layer of skin, making it unable to hold onto that moisture.

To protect your hands, you first need to ensure that they’re getting enough moisture. Sometimes, lotion just doesn’t cut it. The doctor-approved SiO HandLift patches hydrate, firm, and tighten the skin on the top of your hands that, over time, show your age the most.

Created with the highest quality medical-grade silicone, SiO beauty patches are designed to hug your skin. They promote your skin’s natural ability to retain moisture, reducing the appearance of wrinkles to visibly smooth and firm your skin.

It’s a seriously smooth touch to rejuvenate your overworked hands.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a closer look at the various causes of dry hands.

Dry Air

wear gloves to protect against dry hands

Air, especially the dry air that blows during the colder months of the year, has the potential to suck all of the valuable moisture out of your hands.

If you’re constantly exposed to cruel, cold, dry air, be sure to protect your hands with a thick, quality moisturizer before and after heading outside and into the elements.

Be sure to bundle up by wearing gloves, too! Gloves help to retain the moisture in your skin by locking in all of those essential oils from your moisturizer that would otherwise dry out.


People who constantly have to wash their hands or immerse their hands in water — a server or chef at a restaurant, for example — experience a loss of moisture, as the water steals their skin’s natural oils away.

As beneficial as it is to keep your hands clean, be sure to always use a hand soap that is specifically formulated with soothing moisturizers. And remember to moisturize after every hand wash to keep the skin of your hands glowing and younger-looking.

Hot Baths And Showers

taking cooler baths to fight against dry hands

Taking long, hot showers or baths feels amazing but can seriously dry out your skin. Extra hot water strips your skin of its natural oils and can promote common skin problems, like eczema, worse.

Prolonged exposure to hot water can also increase dryness and itching even in people who do not have eczema. Opt to keep those hot showers cooler and shorter for skin-friendly results.


If you work with chemicals on a daily basis or regularly use chemical-based household cleaners, you may notice that you often have severely chapped hands.

These chemicals rob your skin of its own natural moisture and damage the outer layer, leaving it vulnerable to all kinds of skin and dry-hand problems.

Your skin is also defenseless against naturally occurring chemicals, like environmental pollutants and Ultraviolet radiation. Overexposure to these things can accelerate skin aging and leave you with dry hands.


woman washing her dry hands

Old-fashioned soap bars are super drying to your skin! Many of today’s commercial cleansers and hand soaps also disrupt your skin’s normal integrity, which slows its repair process and creates dryness and cracking.

Pool Water

You’re familiar with dry hands during the cold winter months, but what about during the warm summer months? During the winter, the air is dry and lacks moisture, causing dry skin. But during the summer this isn’t the case.

Instead, you’ll find yourself out in the sun more often and hitting the pool to absorb some vitamin D! So how does this cause dry skin?

If you find yourself soaking in pool water for quite some time, pay attention to the condition of your skin, especially on your hands. As we mentioned before, chemicals can cause dry skin. This includes chemicals found in pool water.

Limit your time in the pool if you tend to suffer from dry hands. Also, remember to cover every inch of your skin in sunscreen to protect it from the sun’s harmful rays, even your hands.


The more dehydrated you are, the more irritated your skin becomes. This means it’s not getting the proper hydration it needs to make new skin cells. As a result, dehydration can cause your skin to dry out.

Stay hydrated on the inside so your skin can retain hydration on the outside. Remember to drink the recommended eight glasses of water per day to ensure proper hydration for your body...inside and out!


Check the label for any medication you’re using, whether orally or topically. Look for ingredients like retinol, glycolic acid, and benzoyl peroxide. These are all chemicals that can severely dry out your skin, especially on your hands.

Speak to your doctor if your medications contain the above ingredients. They may want to switch you to something else, or you may need to discontinue use of the medication if your dry skin becomes severe.


Yep, dry hands can be an inherited trait, so your genes play a part in that dry skin you’re battling.

This is because a certain strand of genes is responsible for controlling the production of proteins used to hydrate the skin’s barrier. If there happens to be a modification to this inherited gene, it can cause several irritating skin conditions, such as eczema and dry skin.

Symptoms Of Dry Hands

You may be wondering whether your hands are chronically dry of just need a little extra TLC. Well, it could be both. Dry skin is often temporary but has the potential of becoming a lifelong condition.

Signs and symptoms of chronic dry skin depend on your age, your health, where you live, how much time you spend outdoors, and the root of the problem.

However, dry skin typically causes one or more of the following symptoms regardless of the factors above. Be on the lookout for:

  • A feeling of skin tightness, especially after showering, bathing, or swimming
  • Skin that feels and looks rough
  • Chronic itching
  • Slight to severe flaking, scaling, or peeling of your hand skin
  • Fine lines or cracks
  • Gray, ashy skin
  • Redness
  • Deep cracks that may bleed

If you suffer from any — or many — of these symptoms, there are a number of steps you can take to mitigate the problem and treat dry hands.

Dry Hand Prevention And Care

Despite your best efforts, sometimes dry hands are unavoidable. In order to protect your hands, you must work to keep them as hydrated and healthy as possible.

If you’re experiencing uncomfortably dry hands, here’s what you can do to help them heal.


woman applying hand cream to her dry hands

We may have mentioned this before, but it’s so important that we’ll mention it again! To keep your hands as soft and nourished as possible, use a moisturizing cream after every wash to help restore the natural moisture to your skin.

There are also several oils, such as coconut oil, that you can use to achieve similar results.


woman rubbing exfoliant onto her dry hands

You probably know the importance of exfoliating your face, but maybe you sometimes neglect exfoliating your hands. What you may not realize is that the skin on your hands — especially on the backs of them ­— is thin, fragile, and more susceptible to damage than some areas of your face!

If your hands are severely dry and calloused, try exfoliating a few times each week with a gentle pumice to remove dead skin.

You can also put about 1-2 tablespoons of sugar on your hands, add in some olive oil, and rub both the fronts and backs of your hands to loosen up that dry, dull skin. Don’t forget to apply moisturizing lotion immediately after.

Use A Humidifier

woman using a humidifier to moisturize dry hands

Using a humidifier can be a lifesaver when it comes to your skin, especially during the dry winter months. The most important place to have a humidifier is in your bedroom so that you can take advantage of it while you sleep.

Apply Pure Aloe

Aloe is a natural product that basically serves as a miracle worker when it comes to providing moisture. Apply aloe to the delicate skin on your hands to boost moisture and improve your skin’s texture.

Take Advantage Of Oats

oats used in bath to moisturize dry hands

Both cooked and raw oats are great for chapped or cracked hands. Add a cup of oats to your bathwater, or mix it with some warm olive or jojoba oil in a basin and soak your hands in it for 10-15 minutes.

While you have oats on-hand, save them to make a hand mask later on for amazing hydration and dry-skin relief.

In addition to two tablespoons of oats, you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of yogurt

Follow these directions to make an oat hand mask:

  1. Grind the oats in a food processor to create a powdery texture.
  2. Mix in 1 tablespoon of honey with the ground oats.
  3. Add in 1 to 2 tablespoons of yogurt to the mixture to form a thick paste.
  4. Massage the mask onto your hands and let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes.
  5. Use a wet washcloth to remove the mask and pat dry with a clean towel.

Decrease Stress

woman meditating to decrease stress

Believe it or not, there could be a correlation between stress and your dry hands — especially a severe case of eczema.

If you notice your hand’s skin condition is all of a sudden out of control, grab some time for self-care to evaluate and reduce stress in your life.

Avoid Hot Air Dryers

Hot air dryers are one way to dry your hands in public bathrooms. But did you know that these machines tend to dry out skin? The hot, dry air can actually overdry your hands.

Not what you’re looking for if you already have dry skin.

It’s best to use paper towels when possible. Be conservative and mindful of the environment by limiting yourself to one paper towel and patting your hands to finish drying if necessary.

Wear Gloves

The best type of treatment is prevention, and wearing gloves is an effective way to protect your hands from further inflammation. Whether your job involves using your hands or you’re gardening, washing the dishes, or changing diapers, wear gloves.

Note: avoid vinyl gloves because they tend to dry out your skin even more. Instead, use cotton or leather gloves.

Lock In Moisture

To really combat dry skin, make a hydrating hand mask and then wear gloves over it to seal in the moisture. Here’s what you’ll need to whip up your mask:

  • ½ avocado
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons of oats
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Follow these directions to create your amazingly hydrating hand mask:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Use a fork to blend the ingredients and make a thick paste.
  3. Slather your hands in the paste.
  4. Massage it gently to allow it to soak and settle into your skin.
  5. Leave it on for about 20 minutes.
  6. Wash the mask off with warm water and pat your hands dry.

Hydrate At Night

One of the best remedies for dry hands is to treat them while you sleep — the only time you don’t have to lift a finger!

Apply SiO Beauty HandLift patches to the dry-prone backs of your hands before heading to bed. They’re like the equivalent of invisible silk gloves! (Expert tip: you can also wear SiO’s reusable HandLift patches during the day for a quick boost of hydration!)

For the areas of your hands that are still exposed after applying your SiO patches, slather on some lotion or a petroleum-based moisturizer around the patches. After, cover your hands with a pair of soft gloves or socks.

Retaining moisture using SiO’s HandLift patches combined with some hand cream on the skin not covered by the patches will help you wake up with baby-smooth hands.

Wave Goodbye To Your Dry Hands

Dry hands can be frustrating, but you don’t have to deal with them forever! Follow this guide and try SiO Beauty's smoothing patches to keep your hands looking young, healthy, and hydrated.


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