Ahava hand cream sold in department and specialty stores works instantly. It contains Dead Sea minerals and several emollients. Works wonders. between the dry air and constant hand washing my hands are a mess.
I'm new here, but this is a subject I know a bit about...
for healing skin, some good things are Shea butter, Jojoba, Emu oil (if you don't have a problem with animal ingrdients) to a lesser extent cocoa butter. best to apply when skin is a little damp, to help contain some moisture. Essential oils that will help: lavender (helps accelerate skin growth) Calendula (heals) Chamomile (soothes) - avoid tea tree - it's extremely drying. Essential oils should always be diluted in a carrier oil and not applied neat (straight) I like jojoba since it is very close in composition to our skins natural sebum and is readily absorbed.
hope this helps!
Those who walk in love and truth, shall grow in honor and strength.
As Nick.Shu said... for anyone whose skin is sensitive/allergic to either the latex in latex gloves and/or the powder inside... try the vinyl glove. There is a brand called Allerderm, recommended because they are "latex-free, powder-free, and provide waterproof protection and an excellent chemical barrier." They're safe for sensitive hands because they do not contain chemicals used in ordinary gloves and run about $3.00 a pair.
One take on this issue that may not have been addressed here is that people who cook for a living have their hands exposed to all types of foods---all day long, everyday.
I had a severe case of dry, itchy and cracking hands several years ago. The dermatologist informed me that its the acids, alkalais, and bacteria in the foods themselves that trigger the dermatitis described here. Actually, protecting your skin from the food (gloves, vaseline) and rinsing your hands regularly in warm vinegar and water solution will do a lot to alleviate the problem. Alkalais are a big problem; #1 culpret-the capsasin in chilies and sweet peppers-both hot and sweet and #2 strawberries. Also be careful of the live bacteria in cheese and on meats. The vinegar solution neutralizes the alkalai and brings a lot of relief. Then moisturize after.