How to Relieve Cracked Skin
Cracked skin is a common condition where exposed parts, such as hands and feet, become rough, red, dry and scaly. It is caused by a number of factors, which compromise the skin’s natural lipid layer, and lead to moisture loss. It is especially common during the cold, dry winter months.
Signs of Cracked Skin:
- Rough and flaky skin.
- Red and inflamed cracks or fissures that can be painful.
- Dry hands or feet where skin also feels tight.
Common Areas of Dry, Cracked Skin:
Dry, Cracked Hands
Various factors such as repeated handwashing and contact with harsh chemicals can lead to dry, cracked skin on the finger tips, knuckles, and in-between fingers.
Dry, Cracked Feet
Since our feet lack oil glands, the constant wear and tear can cause the skin around the heels to become dry. These can create deep painful fissures that cause discomfort.
Triggers of Dry, Cracked Skin:
Cold, dry winter conditions make it difficult for the skin to retain moisture.
Harsh Chemicals and External Irritants
Exposure to these can cause dry, flaky skin. Detergents and heavily chlorinated pools are a big contributor to cracked skin on hands and feet.
Long Baths and Hot Showers
Exposing your skin to extremely hot water, can dry it out. If you are immersed in water for too long, you can weaken your skin barrier. Limit your baths and showers to 10 mins.
- Moisturize the dry, cracked skin surface with a hypoallergenic protectant such as POLYSPORIN® Cracked Skin Healing Balm, which is also gentle on your skin.
- For tough-to-reach places, use POLYSPORIN® Cracked Skin Healing Ointment. It has a convenient applicator to help target the affected area.
- Both products include Heal & Seal* Technology, which create a protective layer to help reduce the loss of moisture.
Select Skin-friendly Products
- Hypo-allergenic moisturizers or gentle cleansers are good dry skin remedies.
- Taking a bath with products that are moisturizing can be an effective dry skin treatment.
- Use products that are dye-free, fragrance-free and gentle on sensitive skin.
Keep Skin Hydrated
- Avoid very hot showers as this may strip moisture from the skin.
- Gently pat your skin dry with a towel after a shower and apply moisturizer.
Protect any Vulnerable Areas
- Fissured or cracked skin should be treated as an open wound — cover the area to retain moisture and avoid infections.
- Wear gloves when washing dishes, gardening or handling harsh chemicals, to prevent dry skin.
- Don’t pick or itch dry, flaky and rough skin, as it can cause further irritation.
Control your Environment
- Use a humidifier during the cold, winter months to restore and increase the level of moisture in the air.
- Keep your hands covered and moisturized when venturing outdoors during winter.