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How to Treat Cracked & Callused Hands

By Lisa Mooney ; Updated November 16, 2018

Overuse and poor care can lead to cracked skin and calluses on the hands. This condition is painful, unattractive and can lead to infection if not remedied. Proper treatment and care can help repair the damage. Improvement in the skin of the hands will take time and daily attention. Attend to your cracked and callused hands properly to restore them to good health.

  1. Apply a lotion containing alpha hydroxy acids to your hands every morning. This chemical application restores moisture to the skin, working beneath the top layer of skin to speed cell production and replace the old layer of skin with a new one.

  2. Wash hands during the day with a gentle cleanser that will not dry the skin further. Check the ingredients on the cleanser to make sure it is alcohol-free. Dab a little extra lotion onto your hands after each wash.

  3. Use an exfoliant once a week to remove dead skin. Be gentle, using a mild scrub and hand loofah.

  4. Soak calloused and cracked hands in warm water for five minutes each evening. Do not soak longer, as it can lead to further drying.

  5. Apply petroleum jelly after soaking and patting the skin dry. Put a warm, damp cloth over your treated hands, and allow the jelly to remain on the hands for at least 30 minutes.

  6. Prepare a deep hand-replenishing treatment once a month by warming olive oil and apply it liberally to the hands. Cover your oiled hands with cotton gloves and leave them on overnight.

  7. Splurge on a manicure once in a while to treat your hands to a soothing application by a professional. Choose a spa that has highly trained staff, impeccable hygiene and quality products.

  8. Apply a drop of superglue to the cracks in your hands. The glue will provide a protective shield for the cracks, allowing them to heal faster. If you are hesitant to use this product, there are several over-the-counter adhesive health and beauty products that accomplish the same goal.

  9. Tip

    Wear heavy gloves in cold weather any time you are outside to protect the skin from wind chapping.

    Don rubber gloves when performing household tasks that involve cleaning with chemicals and water and put on gardening gloves when working with your plants and flowers outside.

    Warnings

    Never pick at the cracks in your skin, as you can cause further damage. Carefully trim off unadhered skin with a nail clipper.

    Test any skin product that is new to you on a small area of skin, as you may have sensitivity to it. Opt for lotions and creams that contain natural ingredients, such as aloe vera.

    See a physician if you have deep cracks in the skin, inflammation surrounding a cracked area or if your hands’ skin does not improve after several weeks of home treatments.

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