Ones For Wellness: Relieving Dry, Itchy Hands

Frequent handwashing, exposure to chemicals, and certain medical conditions can dry out the skin on your hands.

Video Transcript

- Between hand sanitizing and hand washing, it's a problem so many of us are dealing with right now, dry hands. In today's Ones for Wellness, I talked with a dermatologist about ingredients that will help keep your skin nourished. Staying healthy can come at a cost, dry, itchy, sometimes flaky skin from working to keep it clean.

DR. MARY HURLEY: What happens is that actually breaks down the little bonds the glue the skin cells together, so the skin cells break apart. And then your skin gets really dry and flaky. And then once you get that breakdown in the skin barrier, basically, anything else you come in contact with just tends to irritate it even more.

- Dr. Mary Hurley with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Dallas says the number one thing to do is ditch the drying hot water. Next, get a moisturizer on within three minutes. What are some of the ingredients that you can look for in either your hand sanitizer or your soaps that maybe are more nourishing to your skin?

DR. MARY HURLEY: It can be so confusing with all the ingredients, and it's hard to sort through it all. So I like to break it down very simple, four basic categories. The first one is humectants. So humectants draw and bind water into the skin. Some of my favorite ones, ingredients to look for is glycerin and hyaluronic acid. So this is a great one. It's over the counter. It has hyaluronic acid in it. Emollients helped a lock in the moisture. So, again, you want to patch your moisturizer on. And they help to soften and soothe the skin. So a couple here. Lipocar. This is a great one, very gentle for the skin. Ucerin, this is also a well known brand. But other ingredients that are found in emollients are mineral oil, shea butter, cocoa butter. Next are what are called barrier repair moisturizers. So they actually help to repair that compromised barrier that we talked about. So they're formulated with ceramides. We talked about ceravy. This is chock full of ceramides, which again, helped to repair that barrier that gets stripped away. And the next category are occlusives. So these form a very thick protective layer on the skin. Aquafor, this has lanelin in it, very moisturizing for the skin. Love this one. My very favorite one, Vaseline. Can't go wrong with this. It's great for the hands. It's great for dry, dry skin anyway, dry lips, great for eyelids. This is a good one. So this is petrolotum. And then another great one, which has several these categories that we've talked about is this one. It has petrolotum in it. It also has the ceramides, which we've talked about are the barrier repair. And it's like invisible gloves and just goes on. You can carry this in your bag, or in your pocket, or wherever you go, and just put this out throughout the day.

- I always have to have mine with me. Another little trick Dr. Hurley suggests. Use some cotton gloves when you go to sleep at night after you get out of the shower. Put on moisturizer and sleep in those gloves. I know it's hard to do. But the doctor says even just doing it for two nights will make a huge difference. I don't know. Maybe it's just me, but I feel the pain of this air, and I feel like every day I'm slathering on moisturizer and it never helps.

ERIN MORAN: I have definitely noticed it more this year than in years past. And I think it just has to do with how much hand sanitizer we're using and how much we're washing our hands. So absolutely.