10 Solutions for Rough, Dry, Overworked Hands—Male or Female!

dry hands

Do you have rough, cracked, dry hands? Think you can’t do anything about it? Think again!

Even if you’re working construction every day, or have your hands constantly in water, you can take steps to help protect and soothe your hands, so that you can feel equally comfortable at work or headed out to a nice restaurant for dinner.

What Causes Hands to Crack and Bleed?

We all know that our hands suffer when we expose them to bad weather, lots of water, dirt, chemicals, and the sun, but why is this, exactly?

The most common cause of dry, cracked skin is a compromised outer layer. Skin is made to hold onto moisture and to naturally rejuvenate itself, but exposure to the sun, cold air, wind, dirt, chemicals, and more, can gradually damage this layer, so that skin can no longer hold onto moisture. Damaged skin is also more vulnerable to environmental pollutants and UV radiation, which can accelerate dryness and aging.

The following factors can all contribute to a damaged, compromised outer layer in skin:

    • Dry air. Air such as that which occurs in dry climates and during the cold, winter months, saps moisture out of the skin.
    • Water. People who consistently have to wash their hands or immerse their hands in water experience a loss of moisture, as the water steals the skin’s natural moisturizing oils away.
  • Chemicals. People who work with chemicals on a daily basis, or who regularly use chemical-based household cleaners, often have severely chapped hands. These chemicals rob the skin of its own moisture, and damage the outer layer, leaving skin vulnerable to all kinds of problems.
  • Soap. Old-fashioned soap bars are drying to the skin. Many of today’s commercial cleansers and hand soaps also disrupt skin’s normal integrity, which slows the natural process of skin repair and creates dryness and cracking.

Other factors, such as medical skin conditions, allergens, and certain medications, can also contribute to dry, cracking skin.

10 Ways to Rejuvenate Overworked Skin

If your hands are suffering, try these tips to make them more comfortable.

  1. Avoid soap if you can. Avoid formulas with synthetic fragrances, preservatives, and sulfates, as these are all drying. Foaming and antibacterial types are also likely to strip your skin of its own natural fats and oils. Choose moisturizing cleansers instead, and be sure you rinse thoroughly.
  2. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. After each and every wash, moisturize your hands. Carry moisturizer with you. Try our Coconut Body Oil or our Radiant Skin Silk—both absorb easily and soothe the skin.
  3. Avoid hot-air dryers. There are becoming more and more popular because they save money and the environment, but they can easily dry-out your hands. Pat-dry with some toilet paper or simply shake dry, then put on your lotion!
  4. Wear gloves. You may already do this, but sometimes we forget. The best treatment is always prevention, so whether you’re out on the job, gardening, or simply washing the dishes, gloves will help protect your hands from damage. Avoid vinyl ones, however, as they can make skin even more dry. Use cotton and leather.
  5. Exfoliate. We have learned to exfoliate our faces, but we often neglect our hands. Yet the skin on the hands—especially on the back of them­—is thin, fragile, and even more susceptible to damage than some areas of the face. If you’re severely dry and calloused, try a pumice stone after bathing. You can also put about 1-2 tablespoons of sugar in your hands, add in some olive oil, and rub both the front and back of your hands to loosen up that dry, dull skin. Use 1-4 times a week, depending on your skin’s needs, and always apply a moisturizing lotion immediately afterwards.
  6. Wear gloves to bed. Damaged hands need serious moisturizing, so it’s time to deep-treat overnight. Apply a super thick moisturizer like our Coconut Honey Mask, some jojoba oil, or vitamin E, then go soak in the bath or the sauna, or better yet, put on some cotton gloves or wool socks and go to bed. You can also try placing Ziploc bags around your hands with rubber bands around your wrists to lock in the moisture. Rinse off in the morning.
  7. Use a humidifier. Particularly in the winter and in dry climates, a humidifier can be a lifesaver when it comes to your skin. The most important place to have one is in your bedroom, so you can take advantage of it while you sleep.
  8. Invest in some pure aloe. This natural substance is a miracle worker when it comes to providing moisture.
  9. Bathe in oats. Cooked or raw oats are great for chapped hands. Add it to your bathwater, or mix it up with some warm olive or jojoba oil in a basin and soak your hands in it for 10-15 minutes.
  10. Pure coconut oil. This stuff is magic for skin because of its unique combination of fatty acids. Apply it directly onto skin and wear gloves for the best results.

Do you have other solutions for dry, chapped hands? Please share them with us.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Riley says

    I’m a musician and live in Alberta Canada. This year my hands are getting drier then usual. But I don’t want to have hands that are too soft and lose hard earned callouses for playing guitar. Any advice?

  2. vinod sonawane says

    Thanks for a good information about dry hands. I am a son of farmer also
    I am a student But I do some work in the farm with my father then my hands are very dry and rusty .so I will try coconut oil and I feel better

  3. Ali says

    Hi I’m Ali. I’ve read the given information and i want to ask if these tricks also work for the fingers whose fingerprints are worn off? I’m not using any type of chemical and no apparent reason seems to be there.. Please help me, I will be greatful….

  4. Kay says

    Hi so im a hairstylist and for many years maybe like 7 years ever since i started as an assistance my hands have been super dry they get cracked maybe bleed in the winter. Lotiok, Vaseline, ointments dont work. But ill def try the other recommendations and see how it works for my hands.

  5. Natalie says

    I am in wheelchair and my hand crack and bleed . They also have calluses. I have tried a lot of hand cremes. I also wash my hand a lot and need to because of bacteria I also use a 99% hand wash that don’t need water and my hand scream with pain. It is very painful. I all don’t wear gloves when doing just a little bit of house hold duties.I forget as I just need to do the chores quickly. I have to invest on a pair of gloves.

  6. YAGNESH says

    My hands and feet got dry all the months. I couldn’t find the reason also Dr. couldn’t find it. I need permanent solution. I use lotion but it keep my hand skin moisturize upto few minutes only.

  7. says

    Thanks for the great tips for better hand care. The skin on my hands is always rough and dry, so I want to improve that before winter really hits and makes them bleed. I like the idea of using a pumice stone after a shower, to exfoliate my hands.

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