Try this when winter does a number on your hands

Chicago might be enjoying less snow and warmer temps this winter, but we’ve still got the kind of weather that wreaks havoc on our skin. The humidity is pretty much gone, inside our homes and outdoors, and our skin is paying the price.

Despite slathering myself with moisturizer frequently each day, winter has had its way with my hands. Or, to be more accurate, two fingers, one on each hand. (The others are as soft as a baby, thanks to all that dedicated moisturizing.) This might be TMI, but the skin is peeling and cracking. It hurts.

Sound familiar? One of my Facebook friends described her dry skin as looking like she’d spilled baby powder, so I know I am not alone with the problem.

But back to my fingers. What to do, what to do?

Like I said, I’m moisturizing like mad, wearing rubber gloves while washing dishes, actually wearing my winter gloves when outdoors. (I have a bad habit of carrying, not wearing, my gloves because I figure the distance between my car and destination are so short.) All that has worked with eight of my 10 digits.

Last night I remembered what a dermatologist once suggested. I moisturize my hands and put on cotton gloves regularly a couple times a day. She recommended I take it a step further, to wrap my fingers individually in plastic wrap and then put the gloves on for say 10 minutes or so. I’ve been doing that. 

And I gotta say, it does help. (It’s a little awkward getting the gloves on, but keep trying. Or buy a larger pair of gloves.) Give it a try if you are having a similar problem. And remember, you don’t have to buy pricy products. The very affordable petroleum jelly works wonders. 

PHOTO: Kiichiro Sato~AP