How to avoid sore dry and cracked hand from manual work; person applying ointment to their hands

How to avoid sore, dry and cracked hands from manual work

Self care for warehouse workers seems to all be about safe lifting techniques and getting enough rest in between shifts but we think that taking care of yourself also comes down to making sure you are comfortable.

There is nothing more irritating and uncomfortable when you do a manual job then sore, dry, itchy, cracked raw hands. You rely on your hands to complete almost every aspect of your work and so if you don’t take care of them, they can quickly become extremely painful and can limit even the simplest day to day tasks. In a manual job, avoiding using your hands because they hurt isn’t really an option.

Looking after your hands may not be the first thing you think of when we say, warehouse workers should take care of themselves, but prevention is far better than cure so getting in to good habits before you notice problems is best. It doesn’t have to be about taking day trips to the spa or having expensive manicures and massages, hand care is so simple it can be broken down in to three key areas:

Combat Dry Skin

Cracked, split and dry hands can be avoided and relieved with the use of a good purpose-built moisturiser. There are a few good options available on the market

  • O’Keeffes Working Hand CreamIt is a non greasy, non perfumed moisturiser, designed for working hands that are exposed to the toughest environments.
  • Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand HealerContains vitamins A & E as well as macadamia nut oil and eucalyptus to condition rough skin and cuticles while remaining non greasy. 
  • Burts Bees Natural Hand SalveAn all natural product that offers moisture for dried cracked hands. Comes in a compact tin or a handy small pocket sized container which is ideal for keeping in your pocket at work.

Gloves

The chances are, you are wearing gloves for a lot of your working day, this is great to protect your hands from cuts and abrasions, but it does mean that your hands are sitting in sweaty gloves for long period of time which can cause bacterial and fungal infections. The best way to keep your hands healthy when you wear gloves is to make sure that your gloves are clean when you put them on. 

Wash your gloves at the end of every shift to keep the insides fresh, clean and free from sweat and dirt so bacteria and fungus doesn’t have the chance to take over. 

Washing & Drying

Wherever possible, avoid using fragranced soaps because they will dry out your hands. Moisturising soaps that are fragrance free are much kinder to your skin but we don’t always have a selection of soaps to choose from at work so unless you want to take your own, you will need to use what is there then opt for paper towels to pat your hands dry, (not a hand dryer) and apply some moisturiser afterwards to counter the drying effects of the soap.

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