I will start a few years back about 10 years ago. It has been hard for me to battle dry skin on my hands. Not just ordinary dry skin; cracked, bleeding, and itchy skin. I went to a dermatologist. He said that I had basically destroyed the top layer of skin by frequent hand washing and dishwashing, laundry, changing diapers etc. and he prescribed a steroid cream. The catch with this is I had to put it on at night and hope my baby didn't wake up in the next 8 hours for a diaper change or to be feed. He was almost a year old but the steroid cream could be absorbed by his skin and he didn't need it. I also had a two year old so I was doing double duty with the diaper changing.
It was stressful and very traumatic for me. I had to time putting on the cream just at the right time so it would be soaked in before I had to touch my child again to care for him. I did do it for about 6 months before I gave up on it. It helped a little bit but not enough to justify the emotional pain and anguish caused by this form of treatment.
Now what to do. I tried a cream at the healthfood store. It helped with the itching and it would go in cycles. Sometimes it would be okay sometimes it would break out again. I did this for about 6 months to.
Then we moved from Virginia to Utah. My hands were fine once we moved. I had no problems with them. I was so excited then a few months later they broke out again. This time I was close enough to my mom to go and visit her. She has some medical training and was a medical assistant for a time. She has gotten into alternative medicine so I went and got her opinion. She thought I had some kind of fungus.
I learned to make my own lotion. It worked well as long as I applied it 4 to 6 times a day. It took a while to make my own lotion. I also applied other medicines to my hands. I had a regimen built up but it was time consuming and I had two young children to take care of. This phase lasted two to three years. I potty trained my oldest. I also added another child and shortly after she was born I potty trained my second child.
I was very discouraged and thought that I might have to live with my dry, cracked, bleeding and itchy hands. Also the regimen was only partially effective like every thing else I had tried before.
I don't remember all the various treatments I tried recommended by friends, family, and alternative medicine gurus. I tried all the hand lotions in the store they made for eczema. Soaked my hands in warm water and Epsom salt, then applied lotion. It remained in a cycle of getting better when I tried something new at least for a short time them getting dry and itchy again. It seemed to get itchier and more painful with each try. Then there came a point I decided to stop wearing contacts since a lot of the rash was on the palm of my hand and the contact cleaner seemed to irritate it more. It cleared up I still had dry hands sometimes.
Then two years ago I went to a party at my friends home. It was a makeup and skincare party. The distributor saw my hands and applied the hand cream. It was very nice and she told us that when you wash your hands then rub them together it will become active again and rehydrate your hands without you having to reapply it. I tested it out that night and liked how it felt on my skin.