Chapped skin

What is Chapped Skin?

Chapped skin is a medical term used to describe painful, red, and often cracked skin on the hands, lips, and other areas of the body. It is commonly caused by winter cold weather, spending too much time in water, and some forms of eczema.

Common Causes of Chapped Skin

The most common cause of chapped skin is cold weather, particularly during the winter. When exposed to cold weather, skin can become dry, cracked and sore. Other common causes of chapped skin include the following:

  • Excessive washing
  • Frequent swimming
  • Too much sun exposure
  • Skin conditions, such as eczema
  • Dry indoor air

Treatment for Chapped Skin

Chapped skin can be treated at home with the following:

  • Avoiding harsh soaps and cleaners, as they can strip skin of its oils. Instead, use gentle, moisturizing soap.
  • Applying a moisturizer while skin is still damp, to help lock in moisture.
  • Using a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air, and reduce the dryness.
  • Applying a cold compress to the affected area, to reduce irritation and inflammation.

If these steps do not help, you should speak to a doctor or dermatologist for more advice. In some cases, medications, or more specialized creams, may be required.