Home remedies for dry and cracked hands include moisturizing the hands often, using a gentle cleanser when washing hands and protecting hands by wearing latex or rubber gloves when exposed to harsh chemicals or irritants, explains WebMD. Moisturizers used to treat dry and cracked hands should include mineral oil, lanolin and petroleum jelly.
Moisturizers with urea and lactic acid help soothe dry skin, whereas moisturizers with dimethicone and glycerin help draw water into the skin, according to WebMD. A moisturizer with hyaluronic acid allows the skin to retain moisture. A humidifier placed in a bedroom while sleeping helps to increase the amount of moisture in the air to help restore skin peeling from dryness and cracks.
People with dry and cracked hands should avoid using scented soaps, foaming or antibacterial agents and deodorants that can strip fats from the skin, warns WebMD. Fat in the skin is necessary to retain water and keep the hands moisturized. Soaking in hot water can also increase the dryness of the skin.
Patients with chronic skin conditions that cause dry and cracked hands may need to consult with their dermatologists to obtain prescription-strength ointments and moisturizers to treat underlying causes stemming from medical conditions, medications or eczema, notes WebMD.