Cold cracked hands: how to treat them?

Cold cracked hands bother, irritate and hurt. When the winter weather makes its skin feel rigorous, the hands are some of the first affected due to its constant exposure. We use our hands for many activities and we cannot always wear gloves while we use them.

The hands are covered by skin, and it is actually this tissue that cracks. The skin of the hands has some hair follicles in its dorsal part with little fat production. The back of the hands has few elements of protection against the cold and is dehydrated more easily.

Different is the situation with the palms of the hands, which have more tools to defend against the weather. In addition, there is more sweat production, which allows regulating the temperature.

The winter cold cracks the hands because the weather tends to be dry, dehydrating the cells. A dry dermis breaks in its cell junctions and shows signs of cracking outside.

Cold cracked hands

Causes associated with cracks in the hands

Not only the cold is behind cracked hands. Winter meets other conditions that are associated with cracks, as well as certain characteristics not linked to winter can exacerbate the symptom.

Something common is sudden changes in temperature. We have heated internal environments, sometimes over, and when left outside the house or work our skin suffers a thermal shock. This turn from heat to cold does not benefit the dermis.

In addition, as we anticipate, cold is associated with dryness. However, it may happen that we wash our hands frequently believing that we hydrate the skin. However, this is not always the case. On the contrary, moisture can be counterproductive with the cold of the environment, increasing cracks.

A sudden change of weather, as well as contact with some irritants, can cause excessive dryness of the hands and cracks.

There are products that we use at home or work that generate cracked hands, beyond the cold. They are irritating substances that contribute to the symptom we are describing. Here we can mention detergents, insecticides, lime and some soaps. Regarding the latter, versions have been developed that protect from cracking instead of making it worse, such as surfactant soaps.

Pre-existing diseases are also a factor in cracking, especially dermatological and autoimmune diseases. People with psoriasis check with each winter that their symptoms get worse. Other hormonal conditions, such as hypothyroidism or diabetes, affect the skin.

Measures against cold cracked hands

Not everything is lost in winter. There are certain measures that we can apply to prevent cold cracked hands. We tell you some of them:

  • Wash with warm water: hands should be washed unfailingly. It is best to do it with water that is neither cold nor hot.
  • Use gloves: when possible, protect your hands with gloves, both for the weather and for irritants. It is important that the skin does not come into direct contact with toxic substances and that the fingers are kept at a warm temperature.
  • Moisturize with creams: not all creams are useful for hands in winter. It is advisable to use those that are specifically formulated to moisturize dry skin, with some compound derived from oats . The application of the compound should not be limited only to the skin, but to extend it to the nails.
During the winter season it is important to protect your hands with gloves. In addition, whenever possible, it is convenient to wash them with warm water.

Useful homemade preparations

As it is not a pathology that should be treated with medications, but with measures and habits, there are homemade preparations that we can recommend to promote your relief . These formulas basically seek to improve skin hydration and use non-irritating substances.

Among the useful homemade preparations are:

  • Vaseline: simply use it alone, without aggregates. Vaseline is able to form an insulating barrier to the skin that prevents cold from entering. It is recommended to apply it once a week.
  • Wheat: warm wheat bran is another beneficial product for the skin of the hands . A hot liquid should be prepared that boils and is then allowed to stand. The hands can be placed there repeatedly, taking care that it is done on the already warm water.
  • Honey: Honey has many beneficial properties for the skin. For the case we are dealing with, we know that it can form an insulating layer on the hands. In order not to apply it directly, it is usually mixed with butter, heated and allowed to stand. The problem with this preparation is that it stains what we are touching. Therefore, it is recommended to perform the treatment at times when we do not have to use our hands for other activities.
  • Egg: egg yolk is a natural moisturizer. Directly it can be beaten and placed for ten or twenty minutes in the hands. The realization of this hydration three times a week is more than enough to combat the cracking of the hands by the cold.


The cold times meet the necessary conditions to dry the skin of the hands and increase its cracking. To avoid this, it is convenient to cover your hands whenever possible. In addition, we can rely on some natural products that help us moisturize them.

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