Dry hands are a common complaint. We all know how uncomfortable dry hands can be; especially as we move into winter, the drying effects of the weather and the temperature can make existing dry skin symptoms worse, and add dryness to hands that are normally well moisturised.

But what causes dry hands, what are the effects, and how can they be treated? We explore here.

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What causes dry hands?

Dry hands are suffered by approximately a quarter of the British population. As well as being uncomfortable, sufferers report cracked skin, sore patches and a rough, aged appearance to their hands.

There are many things that can cause dry hands; weather is often associated with symptoms getting worse, particularly around the winter. 

The water you use can also cause and worsen the symptoms of dry skin. A recent study found that hard water damages the protective layer on our skin, leaving it prone to dryness and even conditions like eczema. Softened water, on the other hand, protects the skin's protective layer, meaning the issues associated with dry skin are reduced.

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The ageing effects of dry hands

Having dry hands isn't just a discomfort. A new survey has revealed that dry hands can actually age us by an average of 9 years - with some respondents adding 47 years onto the age of a dry, otherwise healthy, hand. Respondents guessed the ages of six hands, where half considered themselves dry and half healthy. Respondents were given free reign to guess any age, as the survey was based on free text boxes rather than multiple choice age ranges.

The results show that people perceive dry hands to be nine years older than their actual age, on average. When looking at dry hands, only 5% of respondents guessed the age right, 26% were under and 69% guessed above their actual age. This shows more people assumed dry hands were older. The biggest difference was 47 years, where the 28 year old hands was guessed to be 80 years old by 2 of our respondents.

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Dry hands and softened water

The benefits of healthy hands are far reaching. By reducing the discomfort of dry skin on our hands, we can enjoy softer, healthier skin that doesn't crack or bleed.

In our survey, respondents also perceived healthy hands to be younger than they actually were 56% of the time, showing that reducing dryness can have an anti-ageing benefit too.

By choosing to use softened water in your home, you can reduce the dryness of your skin. Softened water protects that protective layer and means your skin is able to retain its natural moisture, staying healthier for longer.

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