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Jan 19, 2012 04:33 AM

Home cooks + professionals -- anyone have problems with dry hands?

Hi, sorry if this is in the wrong forum, but as a home cook I have a huge issue with dry hands. Especially when my hands come in contact with salt or even water/liquids for a prolonged period of time, my hands start getting really itchy and really dry afterwards.

I'm wondering if anyone has experienced this, what sort of solutions they've found. Am i doomed to use gloves everytime I cook?


(again, sorry if this is the wrong forum)

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  1. I get very dry hands too, and I have two solutions that seem to help. One is that I have these things called "Spa Gloves" that have a silicone inside and you put cream on your hands and wear them for 10-15 minutes before bed. They were developed for hospital patients,but you can get them at places like Sephora. Another is using Aquafor and wearing cotton gloves to bed. Both these help heal your hands, but IMHO, there is no way to prevent dry hands.

    1. I do apologise if you feel I am implying you are stupid, I am just trying to be helpful - you do use gloves when you wash up right? And you keep them on when you are doing all the side scrubbing and other cleaning bits in the kitchen? I ask merely because for me it makes a huge difference keeping my hands away from the not-really-designed-to-be-slathered-on-the-skin chemicals in cleaning products and of course the immerision in water necessary for washing up.

      Otherwise, maybe you just have sensitive skin. Have you recently made any changes in the bath and shower or clothes washing products you use? Maybe you could look into putting some kind of cream on your hands at night to help moisturise them. Also, try applying a thin layer of (any cooking) oil to your hands before you start cooking. It'll stay as a barrier between your hands and the stuff you are preparing which may help.

      1. i work in a restaurant and yes, especially in winter, my hands can become horribly dry. i must wash my hands 1000 times a day, lol.

        something lots do now that i NEVER do, is use those hand sanitizers. yuck. they dispense alcohol which is terrible for your skin.

        i don't let my hands come in contact with overly harsh chemicals. gloves, of course, but also i try to use stuff like scrubbers and brillo pads, but with plain soap, like dr. bonner, instead of high-test stuff. i'll often boil water in especially dirty pans before i try washing them.

        i use coconut oil or vaseline on my hands at night and slip on cotton gloves (yes, just like minnie mouse, lol) for bed.

        also be sure to stay well-hydrated.

        is your skin just very dry, or do you think you have sensitivities to some of the cleaners you're using?

        1 Reply
        1. re: hotoynoodle

          You can use cotton gloves or latex. The vaseline will be completely absorbed by morning. That was my remedy for the first few winters that I delivered mail in New England. Cold, wet hands all day made for painfully cracked cuticles.

          Later I discovered Ken Ag Udder Cream, which looks and smells like Crest toothpaste in a jar.
          It is sold at farm supply stores. People are familiar with Bag Balm but most don't realize that "bag" is colloquial for udder. The Ken Ag is better than Bag Balm because it is completely non-greasy. It contains wax - if your hands are cold or you use too much, the wax will look like rolls or dead skin as you rub it in, but just wait a minute and it will melt in. It works extremely well.
          Almost as good, and more readily available, is Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Skin Therapy Lotion, which pharmacies sell in tubes and pump bottles.

        2. I concur with wearing a moisturizer and gloves at night. The cheapest moisturizers are best. I use coco butter on my hands and feet.
          Contact dermatitis is also a consideration and may warrant medical care by a dermatologist.
          Best of luck!

          1. I used to work back of the house and washed my hands repeatedly. The absolute best product I ever found was Badger Balm. I had tried most of what has been mentioned and this stuff really, really works. Plus the tin makes it easy to have it handy in your pocket!