Caring for Cracks: How to Treat and Fix Dry, Damaged Skin
Caring for dry, irritated and cracked skin is essential to skin health and well-being and also, to feeling your best. Cracks in our hands and feet can be annoying and painful but also can be vectors for infection and spread of disease. It’s important to keep your skin moist and supple through the driest time of the year and, when it does get dry and cracked, it’s essential to attend to it immediately and appropriately.
Here are our favorite ways to prevent and help treat super-dry, cracked skin:
Soak. but not for long, and not in steamy water. Warm water in a bath or shower for about 10 minutes can help soothe dry and cracking skin, but if your skin is really dry or cracking, you shouldn’t soak it for longer than 10 minutes. Adding a little bit of oil to a bath can help replenish your skin of the oils that get stripped by bathing.
Moisturize. Slather on moisturizer as soon as you are finished bathing to seal in moisture, and go with a heavier-duty cream or ointment instead of lotion to lock in moisture. Also, when you’re toweling off after your bath or shower, make sure to gently pat your skin dry instead of rubbing. This decreases irritation to the skin and also helps keep in more moisture.
Inspect. If you have cracking skin, inspect the cracked areas thoroughly to make sure there is no redness, swelling, or buildup of blood or pus. These things may indicate an infection and it’s best to see a doctor immediately. If there are no signs of infection, you can start treating the cracked area.
Treat. Treating cracked skin can involve a number of options:
-If the crack involves a lot of dead skin buildup (especially on the feet), you can gently file or pumice off the dead skin.
-Keep the area covered with an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin, and/or a lanolin-based ointment such as Bag Balm to help encourage skin repair. Cover the area with a warm, dry bandage and/or clothing if possible.
-If the area cannot be covered or is used frequently, like on your hands or fingers, you might find it useful to superglue the crack together. Superglue’s active ingredient is the same as those used in medical-grade adhesives so it is actually recommended by dermatologists to help promote healing and prevent further drying. Make sure the crack is very clean and has no signs of infection before carefully glueing it together.
You can also work to prevent dry, cracked skin from occurring by using moisturizer every time you shower, paying special attention to areas prone to cracking such as cuticles, fingers and feet, and staying hydrated throughout the day by drinking lots of water and eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
Facial skin can be tricky to moisturize at times because it is so delicate. We love Auspect’s lineup of moisturizers as well as serums to deliver the highest quality ingredients to targeted areas.