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4 Ways to Deal With Dry and Cracking Skin

By Stephen R. Farris

Practicing good hygiene and maintaining healthy, vibrant looking skin is not always easy to do. Frequent washing of your hands and arms can eventually leave skin looking like a lizard. Other factors come into play, such as your occupation or frequent exposure to the sun.

There are ways to ensure good hygiene is being practiced to keep dirt and germs away, while at the same time, making sure your skin receives proper moisture so it doesn't dry and crack.

Always Use Warm Water and Soap

The best method for washing hands and arms is to use warm water and soap. Liquid soap is best versus the old style bar soap. Make sure to wash with warm water and soap for no less than 20 seconds, or the amount of time it takes to sing the happy birthday song twice.

Choose Moisturizing Soap

Many liquid soaps now provide antibacterial protection and moisturizing compounds. These are best because they not only help kill germs, but also provide moisturizing protection for the skin without drying it out.

Use Additional Moisturizer Afterwards

Lotions or creams that have moisturizer in them should also be applied after washing to help provide extra protection from drying out your skin. Many topical moisturizing creams contain helpful protective ingredients such as:

  • Occlusive: Lanolin acid, stearic acid, caprylic/capric triglycerides, mineral oil, paraffin, petrolatum, cyclomethicone, dimethicone, and squalene
  • Humectants: Sodium pyrrolidine, carboxylic acid, lactate, urea, glycerin, honey, sorbitol
  • Emollients: Cyclomethicone, dimethicone, isopropyl myristate, octyl octanoate 

Try Wearing Gloves

It might sound a little weird, but after applying moisturizer to your skin (particularly to the hands), put on a pair of cotton gloves and wear them for at least an hour or two. If your hands are dry and cracked to the extreme, apply a little more moisturizer than normal and wear the gloves overnight. You might also want to wear gloves when outdoors on cold or hot days to help protect your hands. Wearing attire that covers other body parts, such as your arms and neck, can give your skin extra protection, as well as prevent sunburn.

People that suffer from eczema or psoriasis may have the most difficult time in keeping their skin from drying out and/or cracking, especially if washing frequently on a daily basis. Skin balm or Vaseline is good to help the skin when dealing with these types of issues.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lake Mary, Fla.

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