Dermatologist tips to prevent dry hands
Washing, disinfecting, washing, disinfecting - our hands are going through a lot. The consequences have long been visible: dry and cracked skin. What can be done about it? NEW YORKER News has asked an expert.
"Don't stop washing and disinfecting your hands now," is the urgent advice of Dr. Timm Golüke, dermatologist from Munich. The current hygiene routine is mandatory, even if your hands are dry and cracked. 
 
Causes of dry and cracked hands 
We all know that our skin is suffering from the tightened hygiene measures. The reason for dry spots is mainly due to the sulphates within soap and some disinfectants, as the dermatologist explains: "Although they make the soap foamy, they also dry out the skin". Therefore, make sure you have a look at the labels: In pharmacies and drugstores there are also hand soaps without sulphates which are more gentle on your skin. 
There are also differences in the quality of the disinfectants. "Many products contain alcohol which also has a drying and irritating effect on the skin", says the dermatologist. 
 
What is the best way to care for dry hands? 
The motto is: apply cream, apply cream, apply cream! This tip may not come as a surprise, but according to Dr. Golüke, constant application of creams is the "main thing" when it comes to getting a grip on dry skin on your hands. It does not matter whether one uses hand cream from the pharmacy or the drugstore – the preference and results of the product can vary from person to person. However, hand creams containing urea are particularly recommended. The reason: "Urea is …responsible for storing moisture in the skin", explains the dermatologist. 
However, if your hands are already so dry that the cracks no longer heal properly, urea is no longer of any help and a trip to the dermatologist is recommended: "Then a special mixture of antibiotics and cortisone must be prescribed.” 
 
How often should you moisturize your hands? 
"It is important to moisturize them constantly!" says Dr. Golüke. He recommends: "Those who tend to dry their hands should also use hand cream after every hand washing.” Do not worry about being too ambitious with the product, a thick layer is definitely best - and currently not particularly annoying. Because: "You don't have to shake hands anyway, so it's no problem if the cream is absorbed for a long time!” 
 

5 top tips for colder temperatures 

 
1. Rely on special hand care 
The be-all and end-all to keep your hands supple: Apply cream after each wash. Always use an intensive hand cream that contains moisturizers such as urea and above all moisturizing ingredients such as jojoba oil, argan oil or shea butter. Panthenol and chamomile have a calming effect. Absolute no-go: using body lotion. This simply cannot protect the hands sufficiently and is often not absorbed quickly enough. 
 
2. Gently wash hands 
Frequent hand washing is important to prevent infections. However, hot water and soap soften the outer protective cover and damage the acid mantle of the skin. Therefore, wash your hands only with lukewarm water and mild, pH-neutral soaps. Always dry your hands well afterwards. Hand cream can only be applied to dry skin. 
 
3. Keep out the cold 
Did you know that 20 percent of our body heat is lost through our hands? That's why gloves are so important in the cold season. Materials that are breathable and let moisture such as sweat out are ideal. It's worth investing in items made of real wool such as virgin wool because it is much better at keeping you warmer than cotton. 
 
4. Start SOS care 
Are your hands are still brittle and dry even though you put cream on them? Then you need an SOS care program. Massage a rich cream or hand serum into the skin before going to bed in the evening and put on thin cotton gloves. If you exfoliate before you go to bed, your skin is optimally prepared for the care kick and can absorb the active ingredients particularly well. A self-prepared hand bath with olive or almond oil also works wonders. It not only makes the skin super soft, but also prevents brittle nails and a cracked nail bed. For cold hands, a finger massage is helpful to stimulate the blood circulation.
 
5. Avoid housework 
Even if it is unfamiliar, you should always wear rubber gloves when washing up. Otherwise nails and the upper layer of skin will swell up - and the acid mantle of the skin will be lost. Something to note: men's skin is thicker and therefore more robust. In addition, the sebaceous glands are more active due to the higher testosterone level, so the skin does not tend to dry out as much. So from now on there is always a reason to leave the washing up to then men.