Dry hands are a common problem for many adults and children, especially throughout winter when there is a lack of moisture. The cool temperatures cause the humidity outside to drop and with the heating turned up inside, it can leave hands feeling dry and dehydrated.
If your children are suffering from dry hands that are itchy, red, and starting to crack then you need to take action right away to prevent them from getting any worse. Here are some tips to help you treat your children’s dry hands this Winter.
Apply a natural hand cream
Skin is left feeling dehydrated during the colder months, so the first thing you need to do when treating children’s dry hands is to find a good, natural hand cream and apply this several times a day. This will help restore the moisture in their hands that is lost during Winter.
It’s important to use a natural hand cream as it won’t contain any harmful chemicals that could leave your child’s skin feeling irritated. When a quality cream is applied directly to the dry skin, it helps protect the barrier. A useful tip is to apply a cream to your child’s hands right after they have washed them, as this will help keep the moisture trapped.
Use a mild, gentle hand wash
A common cause for dry hands is frequent hand washing which we have all been doing more of this year due to COVID-19. Whilst it is important to encourage your children to wash their hands regularly, it’s equally as important to make sure they are washing them with a mild, gentle hand soap.
Using a hand wash with antibacterial ingredients can be harsh on your child’s hands. Instead, choose a soap that states it moisturizes or conditions and have your child wash their hands regularly with a mild, gentle soap and water. This will remove germs and help prevent your child’s hands from drying out further.
Wash hands for 20 seconds with warm water
Photo by CDC via Unsplash
Encourage your child to wash their hands correctly for a minimum of 20 seconds with lukewarm water. It’s always best to use warm water when washing hands instead of hot or cold water, as that can be uncomfortable and may stop them from washing for the recommended amount of time.
A good way to ensure they wash their hands for long enough is to have them sing a song while they are doing it. Songs like ‘If You’re Happy And You Know It,’ ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat,’ or ‘Happy Birthday’ are all quite memorable and easy enough for your kids to sing along to.
Wear gloves or mittens
If your child is going to be outside for long periods, make sure they wear gloves or mittens. This can prevent their hands from becoming red, dry, and cracked. The body heat from their hands will help to keep the glove warm, so it’s important they are wearing gloves that fit them well. Gloves should be a snug fit and sit against the top of your child’s fingers. If there is a gap it will allow the heat to escape.
Photo by Evieanna Santiago via Unsplash
If the temperature is especially cold where you live, then you may want to invest in some hand warmers for your children which can give a little added warmth. Simply tear the packet open, give the warmer a shake and your child can place them in their glove or their coat pocket.
Speak to a dermatologist
Eczema is a common skin condition that can affect many people but is often found in babies and young children. If your child suffers from eczema it could be worse in the Winter months causing the skin to become itchy, dry, and inflamed.
With more frequent hand washing, the change in temperature, and the sudden drop in humidity, you may notice your child has a flare-up, in which case it’s best to speak to a dermatologist for further advice on the best way to treat it. They may prescribe medication such as an oral over-the-counter antihistamine which can help relieve the itching.
A final note
Keeping your children’s hands well moisturized throughout winter will help the skin stay hydrated. It’s important to keep as much moisture in their hands as possible by creating a strong skin barrier that will stop water from evaporating, leaving their skin feeling healthy and smooth.
Encourage them to wash their hands regularly with a mild, gentle soap, apply a good natural hand cream often, and keep their hands warm when they go outside. Following these tips will help treat your child’s dry hands this winter.
About the Author: Claire Williams is the owner of Meadows Skincare, who handmake natural skincare fresh from the dairy farm.