Caring for Cracked Hands

Bloody knuckles are for boxers. Understand, prevent and treat cracked winter hands.

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| January 8th, 2013

Lock in Moisture
While your hands are still a little damp, massage in some moisturizer to keep that hydration on your skin. Ingredients to look for: hyaluronic acid, aloe, shea butter, vitamins E, B and C, and SPF. A 2012 study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology showed that urea, which helps hydrate the outer layer of skin, also confers antimicrobial benefits, a boon for those with open cracks that are susceptible to infection. Products with urea include Udderly Smooth Extra Care Cream, Urea Care and Ureacin.

At night, slather on a greasy ointment such as Vaniply, Vaseline or Aquaphor, says Glenn Kolansky, M.D., from Advanced Dermatology Surgery and Laser Center in Tinton Falls, New Jersey.

SHOP: Proven and Soothing Products for Dry Hands (From Our Sister Site, BeautySage)

Soothe and Repair
For small cuts, scrapes and tears, rub on some Worker B Rescue Putty. The simple mixture of beeswax, raw honey and olive oil stays in place and heals minor damage practically before your eyes.

Wear Gloves...Indoors and Out
Protect your hands from the cold with wool or leather gloves every time you go outside. Don a pair of rubber kitchen gloves when you do dishes. And if your paws are really suffering, slather them in a thick moisturizer before bed and slip them into cotton gloves (or a pair of socks).

Advanced Approach
“Over time, our top layer of skin loses its efficiency to hold onto natural moisture, which results in more dryness,” Dr. Miller explains. For women whose hands have lost volume through the years, he recommends fillers like Radiesse or harvested fat to replace the insulation that protects against cold and prevent cracking.

MORE: Are Your Hands Aging You?

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