The winter months are not kind to one’s skin. The harsh weather outdoors and the dry, indoor air can turn skin rough and scaly. Plus, people tend to wash their hands more during the winter in an effort to avoid colds and the flu. While this is definitely a good practice, it also strips the skin of its natural oils, making it dried out and even more prone to developing fissures. Use the following tips to prevent or treat your dry, cracked hands. Use the right type of moisturizer. If you’ve already tried slathering on lotion several times per day and you aren’t seeing good results, you might not be using the right type of lotion. Many lotions are formulated for summer use. In other words, they are lighter and not as nourishing. You’ll need a rich, creamy lotion formulated for winter use. Ask your local pharmacist for suggestions. You can also try a product originally designed for use in livestock. One example is Bag Balm, which is a heavy-duty moisturizer designed for cattle udders. Petroleum-based moisturizers, like Vaseline, can also be effective. Wear gloves during the day and at night. During the day, you should wear rubber gloves while doing any tasks that require your hands to get wet, such as washing dishes or scrubbing the counter. This will help your skin retain more of its natural oils. Before bedtime, slather your hands with a rich moisturizer. Then, cover them in soft gloves that you feel comfortable sleeping in. The gloves will help trap the moisturizer against your skin, allowing your skin to heal better. Treat skin fissures promptly. Cracks in the skin are painful. And if you’re diabetic, they can get quite serious. Don’t ignore the threat of an infection. Use hydrogen peroxide to kill the microorganisms in the fissure. You can also apply an antibiotic ointment and cover the fissure with a Band-Aid to help it heal faster and reduce the risk of an infection. You can find carefully formulated lotions at Lyon Corner Drug & Soda Fountain in Steamboat Springs, CO. They partner with Little Moon Essentials and Ranch Organics to bring their customers the best of locally produced bath and body products. If you have any questions, you can call the pharmacy at (970) 879-1114.