This is winter, no more calling it ‘Indian Summer’! The snow has fallen, plows are out, and yes, you wear your coat, and gloves.
One thing you’ve surely noticed, especially on those days when you ‘got by’ without gloves, is that your hands are dry: dry from the dry, windy and cold air.
Usually, I can’t go into the store, a doctor’s office, or the post office without seeing hand sanitizer. Washing your hands is a great habit to get in to, but what about the dry skin that comes with it? While sanitizers ‘KILL BUGS DEAD,’ their alcohol base makes them quite drying. But, if you need a hand sanitizer to have ‘on the go,’ the Purell line has one with aloe in it to combat and sooth the dryness created by the alcohol base.
One thing that you’ll likely find is that in the dry winter, there are more cracks and paper cuts on your hands. Why? When skin is dry, it cuts and cracks more easily than supple skin. The older you are, the less collagen you likely have to keep you free from cuts and cracks. Drinking lots of water helps, but only to an extent: senior skin is senior skin! The way to combat dryness: IS NOT TO LET IT GET DRY in the first place! You can also put some moisture back in as soon as you notice it getting dry with a very good moisturizing hand lotion; Curel, Lubriderm. Vaseline Intensive Care, Nivea, Aquaphor, and Aveeno to name a few. My favorite happens is Eucerin.
Some things that you’ll notice with dry skin
- it is itchy
- cracks are often painful, red, dry and can become infected; remember that skin is the largest organ in our body and the first line of defense for infection.
- scabbing, redness, inflammation, and itching. Watch out for any redness. This may be an early sign of infection and ask your doctor.