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All this hand washing is making my skin dry and cracked--any suggestions for hand lotions?

By Expert HERWriter October 26, 2009 - 10:30pm
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Hello everybody,

With the H1N1 flu seemingly in full swing and regular seasonal influenza happening as well, I've joined the "wash your hands/use hand sanitizer" band wagon. But while I'm glad to be (hopefully!) reducing my chances of getting sick, all of the washing and sanitizer have been really hard on my hands. Is anyone else having this too? I know a lot of people who are washing and then even following up with hand sanitizer, which I believe has a really high alcohol content, so I can see why our hands are getting drier and itchier everyday. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to make this better? Are there any good waterproof lotions that you would suggest, so we don't have to reapply lotion all of the time?

I know that dry and cracked skin is a small price to pay if we can stay healthy, but when I apply hand sanitizer it gets into those little cracks and the pain about sends me to the moon! I welcome any suggestions you might have!

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EmpowHER Guest

Wow, at least I'm not alone here. My hands feel so dry from all this hand washing and anti bac gellys. Good Grief, this morning I awoke to pain and what looks like cracked and peeling skin in the area of my thumb and forefinger on my right hand. does this sound like its normal?

November 20, 2009 - 2:24pm
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon - No, cracked and peeling skin that causes pain isn't normal. If this condition persists it would be helpful to see your healthcare practitioner who will seek more information about your symptoms and medical history. You may be referred to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders (a dermatologist) and/or allergies (an allergist).

While I can't pinpoint what you're dealing with, here are just a couple of things that can cause this type of skin situation and links to more information about them.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is inflammation of the outer layers of the skin caused by contact with a particular substance. It usually presents as a rash that is typically confined to the specific area of the body where the contact occurred.



Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is a chronic inflammation of the outer layers of the skin. Eczema is most common in infants and children, but it can also occur in adults.


Best wishes to you in finding the cause of your pain and in resolving it. I hope you'll write back to us and let us know what you learn and do so that your experience can help others.
Take good care,

November 20, 2009 - 6:27pm


The Norwegian Hand cream by Neutrogena is great. I used it a long time ago as a suggestion from my dermatologist-- can't believe that one went over my head.

Glad you received many suggestions! Let us know which works best for you.

November 2, 2009 - 6:05am
Expert HERWriter

Hello everyone! Thank you so much for all of these great suggestions! Rosa, I do use soaps with moisturizers in therm sometimes, but it seems these last few weeks I'm still battling cracked and dry hands. Your ideas are all great, and I love the idea of putting something rich and thick on my hands right before bed--I might get some of those little gloves too that are supposed to help out. Jinger, I've had other girlfriends suggest Neutrogena products too--I think it was the Norwegian hand cream. I think I'll try all of your ideas and then do a lotion-test to see which one/s work the best! Thanks again, Michelle

November 1, 2009 - 10:44pm

I use Neutrogena's Heavy Hand Cream in a tube before I go to bed. It might be good for day because it has silicone in it and coats your hands. It is very reasonable, usually $4. My mother uses it on her face. I will have to try the Burt's Bee one as well, sounds good. It sounds like we have to all carry numerous bottles in our purses though.

October 27, 2009 - 11:06am

I have been using Burt's Bees Miracle Salve, made up of olive oil, beeswax and various extracts (pumpkin seed, soybean, wheat germ, etc), and it works great! It is oily (probably why it works), so I've been putting it on right before bed.

October 27, 2009 - 9:49am

Hi from Indonesia. I've struggled with this too. I use Heel Balm on my hands after a shower in the morning. It acts as a barrier and lasts for several hand washes when I'm out & about during the day. I reapply at lunchtime. Similar effect to Jurlique and not as expensive.

October 27, 2009 - 8:33am

Hi Michelle,

Have you tried using soaps with lotion in them already? I use bath and body works anti-bacterial hand soap with lotion to avoid that dry feeling.


You can also try a hand cream which is thicker than lotion and will keep them moisturized longer.

For intensely dry skin, there is Vaseline's Intensive rescue body lotion which locks in moisture for 24 hours. It is no longer found in most stores but I did find it on Amazon with great reviews.


This time a year a good hand moisturizer is a must. Hope this helps!

October 27, 2009 - 5:22am
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