The cold weather of Winter wreaks havoc on our hands. If I do not take measures to treat and protect my hands then they become dry and chapped. In my 20s and 30s, I suffered from eczema and my hands got the worst of it. Cracks, bleeding, itchiness- it was horrible. Especially dealing with dirty diapers all the time! The prescribed cortisone combination creme and ointment eased the flare ups and fortunately by the time I reached my forties my eczema was under control and had cleared up.
A nightly ritual recommended at the time by my dermatologist also worked wonders and I still practice it today, especially during the winter months. Some evenings, just before bed, I wash my hands thoroughly with a mild soap and lukewarm water and then moisturize them with my favourite hand creme (at the moment my favourite is Neutrogena). Immediately afterwards, I put on 100% cotton gloves and sleep with them on. The result- softer and younger looking hands. The same can be done with your feet.
Another tip that my dermatologist gave me was to use petroleum jelly during the day. Yes, thats right! Good old fashioned Vaseline! When my hands feel dryer than normal, I apply a very, very thin layer over my moisturized hands during the day, focusing mainly on the driest areas. The Vaseline acts as a barrier, keeping the moisture in and the environmental stressors out.
These practices have helped keep my hands hydrated during the winter months and I hope they can help you too!