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The information contained on this page is provided as general health information and is not intended to substitute as medical advice and direction from your physician or health care provider. Please direct any questions related to your health care provider. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency center.

Chapped hands

Alternative Names

Hands - chapped and dry


To prevent chapped hands:

  • Avoid excessive sun exposure or exposure to extreme cold or wind.
  • Avoid washing hands with hot water.
  • Limit hand washing as much as possible while maintaining good hygiene.
  • Try to keep the air in your home humid.
  • Use mild soaps or non-soap cleansers.
  • Use moisturizing lotions on your hands regularly, especially if you live in a dry climate.

To soothe chapped and sore hands:

  • Apply skin lotion frequently (if this does not work, try creams or ointments).
  • Avoid putting your hands in water unless necessary.
  • If your hands do not improve, contact a dermatologist.
  • Very strong hydrocortisone creams (available by prescription) are recommended for badly chapped hands.
  • Wear gloves for doing everyday chores (cotton is best).


Chapped hands


Habif TP. Eczema and hand dermatitis. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 3.

Paige DG, Wakelin SH. Skin disease. In: Kumar P, Clark M, eds. Kumar and Clarke's Clinical Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 31.