The Causes of Dry Hands and How to Prevent it | Muse Health

Health     Dry Hands   Moisturizer    

There is something about having dry hands that elicits a feeling of frustration. Whether it is from a purely aesthetic standpoint or the flakiness that normally accompanies dry skin, it’s a common occurrence that has happened to all of us. While dry hands do not signal a major concern (in most cases), there are several triggers that you may not even be aware of. To combat dryness, it is important to understand what you’re up against in order to figure out how to get rid of dry hands.

two hands

What causes dry hands?

When it comes to dry hands and its causes, there are multiple factors to take into account. While some of them are environmentally motivated, others are either a direct reflection of habits or a sign of something serious.

The weather

Unfortunately, the place where you live can have a major impact on the state of your hands. For anyone who has ever lived in places where all four seasons are distinct in characteristics, it should come as no surprise that cooler months are where dry hands are most common. As temperatures drop, moisture levels also decrease. This means that this decrease in moisture takes a toll on your skin. Dry hands in winter are extremely common and are made worse by things like indoor heating. A necessity during winter months, hot air is extremely dry, meaning that your hands are constantly having moisture from its top layers. With cold weather being an uncontrollable phenomenon, dry hands are to be expected during colder months.


With weather changes playing a major role in the state of your hands, what goes on internally also plays a part. Dehydration is defined as the loss or removal of water from a surface. Dehydration can be triggered by several things with one being your diet. Although salt is a seasoning that makes everything taste savory, having too much salt in your diet can cause a lack of sufficient water and hydration to organs like the skin. This can result in inflammation, dry hands, or cracked hands.

Dehydration can also be a direct result of physical activity. If you’re someone that exercises often, it is important to keep your body hydrated. As you sweat, your body loses fluid and needs more to keep itself balanced. If you lose more fluid than you bring in, this can also cause dehydration.

Medical Conditions

There are medical conditions that carry symptoms of dry or flaky skin. For example, there are certain autoimmune diseases like lupus that can result in lowered blood circulation to extremities of the body. There are several instances where people who suffer from diabetes have dry hands as an unwanted side effect. Other skin disorders like psoriasis or eczema are characterized by episodes of painful skin inflammation. Some side effects of an episode of psoriasis is dry skin, cracking, and occasional bleeding.

Excessive washing

Although hand washing is always encouraged, there does come a point when it can do more damage than good to the hands. For individuals who work in the fields of medicine, teaching, or other industries where they come in constant contact with chemicals or infectious diseases, frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizer is unavoidable. Over washing removes natural oils and proteins leaving your hands raw and without a protective layer of moisture. The skin's protective layer or barrier is a mixture of lipids, proteins, and oils. These elements protect the skin and give it a healthy appearance. If these natural elements are constantly removed, it leaves hands vulnerable and stripped of moisture.

woman rubbing lotion in hands

How to get rid of dry hands

Although there are several causes to dry hands, getting rid of them is not as hard as you may think. With a few simple adjustments to your daily routine, dry hands will become a thing of the past.

Use products with moisturizing ingredients

The ultimate trump card to dryness is moisture. In order to combat dry hands that are influenced by a myriad of factors, find products emollients or moisturizers that have moisturizing ingredients. Products like hand cream for dry hands are packed with ingredients like vitamin E, glycerin, aloe vera, or hyaluronic acid that work by locking in moisture, helping skin feel and look its best for longer periods of time. They also replenish skin by supplementing oils that were stripped away during the cleansing process.

When looking through the aisles at your local store, make sure to read the labels. You will want a moisturizing cream or over the counter product that creates a protective barrier for your hands to thrive.

Moisturize regularly

Once you find products that moisturize your hands, it’s important to stick to a routine. When living in areas where weather is cooler or if you work under conditions where hand washing is a regular occurrence, creating moisturization habits makes the probability of having dry hands minimal.

When it comes to the frequency of hand moisturization, it depends on where you live, the activities you partake in, and potential skin conditions.

If you have more questions, contact a doctor or specialized dermatologist to better understand your skin and its needs.


Although skin is the largest organ of the body, many people forget that fact. As with organs that are not visible to the human eye like the liver, spleen, or heart, skin needs hydration for it to function properly. Skin comes in contact with a myriad of surfaces every single day, meaning that it has to be resilient. One method to build up the resilience of skin is to hydrate. Hydration stimulates cellular growth and also rids the body of toxins. Regular hydration also combats environmental factors that strip the body of its moisture. All you need is a reusable bottle and the process of keeping your body hydrated will improve the quality of your skin.

Another way to keep hydration locked in for longer periods of time is by wearing gloves. For those who are looking for home remedies, using lotion or petroleum jelly products like vaseline on your hands at night is a great remedy for hydrated skin. The key is to cover your moisturized hands with cotton gloves. This will trap the moisture and let it organically seep into your skin. The result will be supple hands.

An air humidifier is a great skin care investment as it combats dry air by adjusting humidity levels in your home.

dry hands are fixable

Dry hands are not a life altering diagnosis. However, it is very inconvenient. While there are several reasons why dry hands can arise, you can combat these side effects by making simple changes. Dry hands are a nuisance but one that is easily dismissable.