Causes and treatments for cracked skin on hands and feet

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FOR many people, cracked skin appears or gets worse during the winter, when dry air can lead to dryness on the hands, lips, or feet.
Sometimes cracked skin occurs due to a skin condition, such as eczema or psoriasis, or because the skin came into contact with an irritating substance.
Cracked skin can also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. For example, people living with diabetes may notice cracked skin on their soles.
In this article, we will cover some common causes of cracked skin on hands, feet, and lips plus treatments and home remedies that may help.
According to the American Association of Dermatology (AAD), the fissures, or cuts, that mark cracked skin typically occur when a person’s skin is dry or irritated. Dry and cracked skin can itch, flake and bleed.
Some people may feel unpleasant sensations when applying any product to cracked skin. Their skin may also feel more sensitive to water temperature and household cleaning products.
Cracked skin can appear on any part of the body, but it is especially noticeable on exposed areas, such as the hands.
Cracked skin on the hands, feet, and lips can develop for a variety of reasons.
The treatment a person tries will depend on the cause and location of their cracked skin.
For cracking that occurs in cold weather or as a result of frequent hand washing, The AAD recommend keeping the skin hydrated. A person can do this by applying fragrance- and dye-free hand cream or ointment immediately after washing the hands.
When choosing a moisturizer for cracked skin, people should look for these beneficial ingredients: olive oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, lactic acid, urea, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil.
As alcohol-based hand sanitizers can also cause dryness, dermatologists also recommend applying moisturizer after using them.
People with eczema and psoriasis also benefit from moisturizers to prevent flare-ups and protect the skin. However, they may require additional treatments to control flare-ups. This can include: corticosteroid creams, calcineurin inhibitors, medications, UV light therapy.
If the skin has become infected, a doctor may also prescribe antibiotic ointment or tablets.
According to one article, people with athlete’s foot may need to change their footwear or apply talc to prevent sweating. They may also need to use antifungal products to treat ringworm.