The arrival of the cold weather can often mean unhealthy skin can develop and for those whose hands are their most important tool, this isn’t an option. Cracked, chapped and dry skin can result in serious and painful problems developing that could limit simple tasks that you carry out on a day-to-day basis if it’s left untreated.
Maintaining healthy hands is essential to ensure you keep active. Simon Damp, managing director of O’Keeffe’s Company UK, shares his top tips to keeping the hands protected.
Don’t wash your hands too often, unless your work requires it. Constant hand washing can mean the natural vitamins in your skin are easily lost. When you do wash your hands, make sure you rinse the soap off thoroughly, with particular attention to in between fingers where soap residue can settle.
Remember to moisturise. Dry skin can develop due to the body losing water and so a good moisturiser is needed several times a day. Cracked skin can be very painful if left untreated and in the worse cases can lead to infection, so moisturising immediately after washing your hands and also during your breaks at work will prevent skin conditions from developing.
Drink plenty of water. The skin needs hydration from the inside, out in the cold weather and we tend to drink less water as we turn to hot drinks like tea and coffee instead.
Wear gloves when possible to protect skin from the elements. For many professions it’s not always practical to wear gloves all the time, but it is important to wear them when you can outside. If you are carrying items and don’t need to do intricate things with your hands, pop on a pair of gloves. This will also reduce any redness which can be caused by the icy wind.
Soak your hands in the evening as this will reintroduce moisture into the skin, which could have been lost throughout the day, especially if you are going from warm to cold environments regularly. Place the hands in warm water for about 10 to 15 minutes, then exfoliate to get rid of any dead skin and dry thoroughly followed by an application of hand cream.