Dry skin is uncomfortable and can be hard to treat. When your skin is dry and cracked, though, it can be even more challenging to deal with. Because the skin on your hands, feet, and elbows is thick, it can be prone to these skin issues, especially during the winter. To learn how to prevent it from happening and how to heal cracked skin in these areas, keep reading.
What Causes Dry, Cracked Skin?
Environmental factors like cold temperatures and a lack of humidity (hi, winter) can cause the skin to become drier than usual and lead to cracking. Other causes include hot water (so stick to lukewarm showers and baths), harsh cleansers, and skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis or psoriasis.
How to Address Dry, Cracked Skin on Your Feet, Hands, and Elbows
Keep Your Showers Short
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) states that keeping showers and baths short, using a mild cleanser, and opting for a warm instead of a hot water temperature can help prevent dry skin.
Pay Attention to Skin-Care Ingredients
The AAD stresses that those with dry, cracked skin should pay close attention to the ingredients in their skin-care products. Avoid products that contain dehydrating and potentially irritating ingredients like alcohol, fragrance, and harsh sulfates.
Use a Humidifier
Humidifiers can benefit your skin all year but are particularly helpful when your skin needs extra moisture in the fall and winter. The AAD suggests using a humidifier to add some much-needed moisture into the air to help relieve dry, cracked skin.
Moisturize Your Skin Regularly and Use Healing Ointments
Moisturizer or lotion can help replenish and lock in moisture. The AAD recommends applying hand cream after you wash your hands. We like the allergy-tested La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Hand Cream because it not only moisturizes with shea butter and glycerin but also helps soothe damage from cold weather and frequent hand-washing. When it comes to your feet and elbows, hydrate the areas as needed, especially after taking a bath or shower while your skin is still slightly damp.
If you’re experiencing cracked or chapped skin and your go-to cream or lotion isn’t doing the trick, reach for a soothing balm like the CeraVe Healing Ointment. Formulated to relieve irritation and extreme dryness and restore the skin barrier.