Avoiding Mother Nature's hand winter wrath

Dec. 16, 2010 at 1:55 AM   |   Comments

DALLAS, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Redness, blisters, cracking or itching on hands may lead to dyshidrotic eczema or hand eczema but a U.S. dermatologist says the conditions are preventable.

Dr. Kent Aftergut, a dermatologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, says once hands suffer too much damage, the only recourse is medical care.

"Once you start to see redness, blisters, cracking or itching you need to see a dermatologist," Aftergut says in a statement. "Often a simple medium-strength steroid cream can take care of this."

However, taking some preventive action against chapped hands and lips is always the preferred approach, Aftergut says.

"Hands get worse in winter for two main reasons," Aftergut says. "The air is dryer and the humidity is down, so skin dries out. Winter also coincides with flu season, so many people wash their hands more frequently. Soaps and hand sanitizers are very drying, especially with repeated use."

The notion that drinking more water can keep your hands from drying out is false, Aftergut says.

"The amount of water that you drink has no affect on the moisture of your skin," Aftergut says.

"Using a non-detergent soap that will be less drying to hands and applying frequent moisturizers," he adds.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Child vaccination rates are high, CDC says
NIH to test safety of Ebola vaccine candidate
Daughters more likely than sons to care for elder parents
India asks Pepsi to cut down on sugar in its soft drinks
Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95
Trending News