Dry hands in winter

Combat Dry Hands in Winter: Essential Tips

As the temperatures drop and the air becomes drier, many individuals find themselves facing the uncomfortable and often painful effects of dry hands during the winter months. Dry, cracked skin not only detracts from the appearance of the hands but can also lead to discomfort and even more serious issues if left untreated. Fortunately, with the right approach to skincare and protective measures, it’s possible to keep your hands soft, smooth, and healthy all winter long.

Understanding the Causes of Dry Hands in Winter

Contrary to popular belief, cold weather isn’t the sole culprit behind winter dryness and skin conditions. While lower temperatures do contribute to decreased humidity levels, exacerbating skin dryness, other factors play a role as well. Indoor heating, common during the winter months, further dries out the air, robbing the skin of moisture. Additionally, frequent handwashing, a necessity for maintaining hygiene during cold and flu season, can strip the skin of its natural oils, leaving it susceptible to dryness, irritation, and conditions like eczema.

Dry hands in winter

Combatting Dryness: Tips and Strategies

Choose the Right Cleansing Products
One of the most crucial steps in preventing dry hands is to choose gentle, moisturizing cleansers. Avoid harsh soaps and opt for creamy, hydrating formulas instead. Look for products that contain ingredients like glycerin and shea butter, which help to replenish moisture and protect the skin’s natural barrier.

Wash with Lukewarm Water
While it may be tempting to use hot water to warm up cold hands, hot water can actually strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to increased dryness and irritation. Instead, opt for lukewarm water when washing your hands. This temperature is gentle enough to cleanse effectively without causing further damage to the skin’s moisture barrier.

Moisturize Regularly
Moisturizing is key to combating dry hands in winter. After washing your hands, pat them dry with a soft towel and immediately apply a thick, emollient-rich moisturizer. Look for products that contain ingredients like petrolatum, lanolin, or dimethicone, which create a protective barrier on the skin’s surface to lock in moisture.

Protect Your Hands
In addition to moisturizing regularly, it’s essential to protect your hands from the elements. Wear gloves when going outside, especially in cold or windy weather. Gloves act as a barrier, shielding your hands from harsh environmental conditions and preventing moisture loss.

Consider Overnight Treatments
For an extra boost of hydration, consider incorporating overnight treatments into your skincare routine. Before bed, apply a generous layer of a rich, occlusive moisturizer to your hands, then cover them with cotton gloves to lock in moisture overnight. This intensive treatment helps to repair and replenish dry, cracked skin while you sleep, leaving your hands soft and supple come morning.

Stay Hydrated
Drinking an adequate amount of water is essential for overall skin health, including the health of your hands. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.

Protect Your Hands from Harsh Chemicals
Be mindful of the products you use on your hands, especially during the winter months when the skin is more prone to dryness and irritation. Avoid products that contain harsh chemicals or fragrances, as these can strip the skin of its natural oils and exacerbate dryness. Instead, opt for gentle, fragrance-free products that are formulated specifically for sensitive skin.

Seek Professional Help if Needed
If despite your best efforts, you find that your hands are still dry, cracked, and uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A dermatologist can assess your skin condition and recommend appropriate treatments to address your specific concerns.


By following these tips and strategies, you can effectively combat dry hands and keep your skin soft, smooth, and healthy throughout the winter months. Remember to be consistent with your skincare routine, protect your hands from the elements, and seek professional help if needed. With the right approach, you can enjoy comfortable, hydrated hands all winter long.


Are there any specific types of gloves recommended for protecting hands in winter?

Look for insulated gloves made of materials like wool or fleece to keep hands warm and protected from the cold.

Can diet affect dry hands in winter?

Yes, maintaining a balanced diet rich in vitamins and healthy fats can help improve skin hydration, benefiting dry hands.

Are there any natural remedies for treating dry hands in winter?

Yes, options like coconut oil, shea butter, and oatmeal baths can provide natural moisture and relief for dry hands during winter.

Is it necessary to reapply moisturizer frequently during the day?

Yes, especially if hands are frequently exposed to harsh conditions, reapplying moisturizer throughout the day can help maintain hydration.

Can indoor humidity levels affect dry hands in winter?

Yes, using a humidifier indoors can help maintain optimal humidity levels, preventing excessive dryness and skin irritation during winter.