PEOPLE’S PHARMACY: Remedies for dry hands?

Q: I am a preschool teacher and have to wash my hands dozens of times a day in the attempt to avoid colds and flu. I am suffering the worst case of dry winter skin I can remember, with deep, painful cracks around my fingernails. I’ve tried everything under the sun. My hands are still a mess. Help!

Hopefully your skin isn't quite this dry, but winter can really wreck havoc on the flesh. Joey Ivansco/AJC Special

Hopefully your skin isn't quite this dry, but winter can really wreck havoc on the flesh. Joey Ivansco/AJC Special

A: Cold, dry air and frequent hand-washing are guaranteed to cause dry-skin misery. Readers tell us that using lip balm on the cracks is sometimes helpful. Another approach for cracked fingertips is instant glue. A safer solution might be liquid bandage, such as New-Skin or the Band-Aid brand. Wearing cotton or disposable vinyl gloves over a greasy moisturizer overnight can also help heal dry, cracked skin.

Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition. In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. 
E-mail them via their 
Web site: www.peoples
pharmacy.com. They can be reached at peoplespharmacy
@gmail.com.

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4 comments Add your comment

Companionship Care for Elderly

January 21st, 2010
3:26 am

I am delighted that you have communal your priceless conviction with me. Thanks!
Companionship Care for Elderly

ZINGY

January 22nd, 2010
1:36 pm

Enter your comments here
My knuckles split and I have tried several different products but have had the most luck with O’Keefe’s working hands.

mystery poster

January 26th, 2010
1:44 pm

Be very careful, most hand lotions contain alcohol which only makes the problem worse.
I use Aquaphor ointment, which is petroleum based.

Martha

February 5th, 2010
6:48 am

try corn huskers lotion – my husband and I just started using it and have seen a huge difference in our dry hands.