The bitter winter cold can be so hard on your skin that it may trigger a condition called hand eczema, which skin experts report affects an estimated 10% of the U.S. population.
Many people will simply dismiss it as dry skin, but the American Academy of Dermatology says hand eczema can be a painful condition that requires treatment.
Here are some of the signs to look out for:
- Dry, chapped skin
- Patches of redness
- Inflamed, itchy skin
- Burning sensation
- Deep, painful cracks
Eczema may be caused by skin irritants, allergens, infections and even stress. However, flare-ups are common during the winter months because the air is so dry.
Some of these moisturizers cost between $5 to $10 at your local drug store:
- AVEENO Eczema Therapy Hand Cream
- AVEENO Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream
- Cetaphil RESTORADERM Eczema Calming Moisturizer
- Curél Itch Defense Skin Balancing Moisture Lotion
- Gold Bond Medicated Eczema Relief Skin Protectant Cream
- Neosporin Eczema Essentials Daily Moisturizing Cream
- Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream Fragrance Free
- Vaseline Jelly Original
Follow this link to read more about these products and others on the list.
Skin experts say that you should wash your hands with lukewarm water and a fragrance-free cleanser, and avoid waterless antibacterial cleansers, which may contain chemicals that are hard on your skin.
Remember to reapply moisturizer frequently, and see a dermatologist if your condition worsens.