Dry hands seem simple enough, don’t they? Maybe at first glance. But the truth is, they can be a symptom of something far more sinister.
Like most people these days, you may be extra diligent with hand washing. It’s a simple defense mechanism against the spread of COVID-19 and a staple of good hygiene.
Unfortunately, it can lead to dry hands, which could be even more pronounced in cooler, dryer, winter climates.
Thankfully, you can treat dry hands from regular washing or sanitizing with moisturizer.
But what if the moisturizer doesn’t help? What if after bottles of moisturizer, your hands are still dry? Further, what if they are cold or discolored?
Dry hands are a symptom of poor circulation. When blood isn’t circulating properly, your cells can’t get the oxygen and nutrients they need to function properly.
Your circulatory system is responsible for delivering oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood all over your body. It’s made up of your heart, blood vessels, and other organs, yet one slight blockage or inefficiency can slow the whole thing down.
It’s your job to keep more than 60,000 miles of blood vessels relaxed and functional so they can ensure blood circulates efficiently. When it does, you’re at a lower risk for heart disease and a host of other illnesses.
Several factors play a role in circulation. Not smoking, controlling blood pressure, and increasing activity levels can all help—as can finding ways to boost nitric oxide production.
Nitric oxide is a natural chemical released by your blood vessels to help blood flow. When present, it can relax and dilate blood vessels to encourage better circulation.
Some foods can enhance nitric oxide production and may help improve circulation. Cayenne pepper, turmeric, beets, spinach, and garlic may all help reinforce food circulation. A host of other plant-based foods, although not having a direct effect on nitric oxide production, can also help improve circulation.
If your hands are consistently dry and you’re experiencing other symptoms, such as cold or numb extremities, brittle nails, or fatigue, you won’t be able to wash it away. Talk to your doctor and consider ways to boost circulation.
Sarah Cownley earned a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England, and she enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. This article was originally published on Bel Marra Health.