It's that time of the year again. With dropping temperatures, low humidity and central heat, my patients start coming in for "dermatitis" and flares of their pre-existing eczema. Usually, the humidity in Houston naturally protects our skin, but the harsher winter conditions cause our skin to become more sensitive, irritated, and easily reactive. I especially see more dermatitis on the hands because we do not naturally have oil glands on the palms to protect them. Hand dermatitis is particularly common in industries involving cleaning, catering, metalwork, hairdressing, healthcare and mechanical work. There are also many causes of hand dermatitis, including eczema, psoriasis, dyshidrosis, irritants and allergies. My approach to treatment varies depending on the cause of your hand dermatitis, but hands creams are always a must. After navigating through the piles of creams, I finally found my favorites. Enjoy!
1. Aquaphor: I could write a sonnet professing my love for Aquaphor and all the possible things you could use it for. It is thick and greasy (like Vaseline), and the ointment formulation helps heal all the cracks and fissures you may experience with hand dermatitis. Typically, I will use Aquaphor for the most severe, dry, and sensitive skin because most people don't like leaving fingerprints everywhere.
2. Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream: I could retire on the money I've spent over the years on high-end moisturizers. Chanel, La Mer, La Prarie...the list goes on and I have tried them all. Yu-Be is the #1 selling medicated, vitamin-enriched skin care cream in Japan, and is a glycerin-based cream enriched with vitamin E, vitamin B2, and camphor. It has a uniquely high glycerin content and absorbability achieved through a special manufacturing process which makes Yu-Be so effective. When you first apply Yu-Be, it feels a little greasy, but it absorbs in a matter of minutes, leaving your skin soft and silky feeling. I rub it on my hands, and sometimes put the excess on my elbows and knees. I love the menthol smell, and it goes away after a few minutes.
3. Glysomed Hand Cream: I learned about this product from my friend Casey. She has been hooked on this cream, and gave me a small tube of it for Christmas. Out of all of the hand creams shown today, this one smells the best in my opinion, and has a creamy (instead of greasy) consistency. It smells like fresh chamomile tea with honey, and the scent lingers on and on. The product is made in Canada, and I typically stock up on Amazon.
4. Olavie Chardonnay Wine Therapy Hand Cream: I first learned about Olavie products when I traveled to Napa Valley (I also got engaged on that trip, and this cream has a special place in my heart!). The cream has antioxidant abilities from the Chardonnay grapes, and also contains jojoba, aloe vera, lemon and chamomile. Like Glysomed, the consistency is creamy and the scent is soft and relaxing. It always reminds me of drinking a glass of Chardonnay in the hills of Napa Valley. Olavie also makes a fantastic antioxidant massage oil.
Dr. Cindy N. Berthelot, M.D. is a board certified dermatologist treating patients in the greater Houston community, including the Clearlake, Webster, Friendswood, Deer Park, Pasadena, and Pearland areas. To make an appointment with Dr. Berthelot, please contact us at (281) 480-7272.