Cracked hands: causes and treatment


The hands are red and painful, cracked areas spread and itching, and feelings of tension become noticeable. In the worst case, open wounds and inflammations develop! Here you can find out what causes dry and cracked hands and how you can treat them.

Cracked hands: causes

  • The hands have very few sebum glands on the back of the hand - they are completely absent on the palm of the hand. The sebum glands are usually responsible for covering the skin with a thin layer of fat that protects it from drying out. Also, the sebum glands continue to reduce their production at low temperatures, which is why the hands are even less protected in winter. The skin on the back of the hand is also very thin and has hardly any fatty tissue. These circumstances are responsible for the fact that the skin on the hands has little protection, is stressed even faster at extreme temperatures, and loses moisture. Cold, dry heated air and additional stress, such as washing hands with water that is too hot, put a lot of strain on our hands and the skin loses moisture. This causes the hands to become dry and cracked.
  • The skin generally suffers from an unbalanced or poor diet. vitamin and iron deficiency can also have consequences for the skin. Other factors that can promote cracked areas are, for example, stress or hormone fluctuations.
  • Extremely chapped hands and dry skin can also be a symptom of skin disease: For example, contact eczemaneurodermatitis, or psoriasis could be present. Other causes, such as an underactive thyroid, are also possible. Do not hesitate to seek advice from a doctor.  
  • With age, the skin's ability to store moisture and produce fat decreasesTherefore, dry and chapped hands are not uncommon in old age.

Treating chapped hands: you can do that

A lot of creams helps a lot

High-fat creams protect our hands in winter. It is best to apply the cream to your hands several times a day, for example after washing your hands. In very cold temperatures you can also protect your hands with milking fatIn the evening you should give them an extra portion of care and moisture and cream them with hand care cream. Wrapping your hands in a warm towel after applying lotion will help the skin even more. You can find out here how you can make hand cream yourself.

Intensive care

Treat your hands to intensive care every now and then. High-quality olive oil (organic quality) offers you good immediate help, but coconut oil and jojoba oil as well as shea butter are also suitable. Rub the back of your hand with it and let the product move in. Alternatively, you can also use a banana and quark mask once a week: mash a piece of banana with a fork until it forms a porridge and stirs the mixture with a little cream quark. Apply the mask to your hands and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Then the mask is removed and the hands are rinsed.

If you cannot get the skin problems under control, you should consult a dermatologist!

Chapped hands: 3 tips to prevent

  • Drink a lot: drink a lot of fluids! Especially in the cold winter we sometimes do not pay enough attention to our fluid balance, which ensures good metabolism and healthy skin. It is therefore particularly important to drink two to 2.5 liters of fluids per day. It's best to drink water or unsweetened tea.
  • Protect your hands:  Gloves should be your loyal companion in cold temperatures. If your hands stay warm, they are not put under additional stress by the cold. You should also always protect your hands with household gloves when handling cleaning agents or other chemicals.
  • Be careful when washing your hands: Hand washing is extremely important to prevent illness, but incorrect handwashing can only make chapped hands worse: Hot water only attacks your skin more, so use lukewarm water! Also, you should only use hand soap that is pH neutral. Other soaps can attack the skin's natural protective acid mantle, causing even more damage to the hands. You should also make sure that you do not wash your hands excessively: we are talking about excessive hygiene that is unnecessary. 

Are you interested in other topics related to skincare? Here we explain how dry feet develop, how you can treat dry skin, and what you have to consider with psoriasis.