Health Watch - Winter Skin: Hands

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

Winter can be rough on your skin, for a variety of reasons. This week on Health Watch, we’ll talk about ways to avoid these winter woes. Your hands, in particular, may feel the brunt of winter, becoming dry and chapped.

Dr. Kent Aftergut, a dermatologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says hands get dryer in winter because humidity is lower so that skin dries out and because cold and flu season may mean you’re washing your hands more often. To protect your hands, use a gentle, non-detergent soap and apply moisturizers frequently. If you notice redness, blisters, cracking or itching, you should see a dermatologist because you could be developing eczema. This can be treated with a medium-strength steroid cream.

Lips are just as likely to get dry and chapped in winter, so use lip balm, especially when you go outdoors.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in dermatology.


January 2010

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