Directions for use:
You can have soft, healthy hands all year round if you understand what causes chapped hands and what you need to do to treat and prevent them. Exposure to harsh chemicals, strong detergents, and extreme weather causes the loss of skin oils and pulls water out of your hand skin, causing them to chap, crack, and become painful. Once chapped, they are fragile. Continued exposure to these elements will escalate the chapping.
With careful hand washing, the use of gloves to protect your hands from weather and chemicals, and the regular application of the right moisturizers, your skin will heal.
Dr. Bailey's Skin Care For Chapped, Painful, Dry Hands and Fingertip Fissures:
1. Hand Washing
Apply All Natural Foaming Liquid Hand Soap to the dirty palm side of your hands only, unless the thinner more fragile skin on the back or your hands has also gotten dirty or come into contact with germs.
Lather the soap on your palm surface, then rinse. Be sure to rinse your hands really well; retained soap residue will always dry and irritate skin. Pay special attention to the space between your fingers and under your rings where soap residue often hides.
Use only very gentle soaps that rinse off easily such as the All Natural Foaming Liquid Hand Soap included in my Dry Hand Skin Repair Kit.
2. Hand Moisturizing
During the day, apply a good, non-greasy hand cream such as Dr. Bailey Skin Care's Dry Skin Hand Cream immediately after toweling off from washing. Only apply your hand cream after washing because moisturizers work by trapping water that your hand skin soaked up when they were wet. Applying moisturizer to dry skin never helps your dry skin heal!
Apply Dr. Bailey's Hand Cream to your entire hand, but especially the back, which has thinner skin and is more likely to chap. Wipe off the excess cream from the palm side to keep from having a slippery grip and to keep it off things that you touch.
The most effective non-greasy hydrating ingredients are glycerin and lanolin. During the day use a product that is non-greasy such as our Dry Skin Hand Cream, which is glycerin rich. At night give your hands a deeply healing treatment with a Bag Balm, a heavy ointment that is loaded with lanolin to soften and heal rough dry skin. To do this, soak your hands in warm (not hot) water for five minutes, towel dry, then apply a generous layer Bag Balm. Put on the cotton gloves and leave them on overnight. (If you are wool allergic, use pure Shea butter instead of Bag Balm because lanolin comes from wool. Shea butter is available in the skin care section of your natural food store.)
3. Wear Protective Rubber or Latex Gloves
Protect your hands when you're in harsh weather or need to touch strong detergents or chemicals.
Because hand skin is thick, it can take up to six months for severely chapped hand skin to heal sufficiently and regain its barrier strength so be patient and keep using the gloves.
4. Care for fingertip fissures
Rough and cracked fingertip skin is like thick old, dry, cracked leather. You need to thin it down by filing it and soften it by drenching it in water-binding moisturizers.
Soak your hands in warm water for five minutes or more, then gently using my Petite Finger and Foot File to gently smooth your rough skin. Then apply Bag Balm daily to any cracks until they finally heal.
Care for the rest of your hands as outlined above.