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Bartenders, do you suffer from dry, cracked hands?

Ugly Hands: a bartending occupational hazard
Ugly Hands: a bartending occupational hazard
Kathleen Neves

Many of my fellow bartenders and I always seem to be comparing just who has the ugliest, driest and cracked hands. It's a painful badge of honor. Most bartenders don't have pretty hands. It's impossible. With all of the hand washing, constant submersion in water and exposure to citrus juice, its enough to leave one's hands extremely dry and cracked on a regular basis.

Some people call it Bar Rot. Some call it Eczema. Some just call it an occupational hazard.

I have tried prescription strength ointments, but nothing works as effective as my all-time favorite OTC treatment: Eucerin's Aquaphor Healing Ointment, a gentle, over-the-counter moisturizing gel. Aquaphor is fragrance-free, preservative-free and non-irritating. It's gentle enough to use on the most sensitive and sensitized skin and safe enough for Eczema sufferers to use. This greasy formula creates a barrier on the skin that helps direct oxygen and water to the healing area. The barrier helps to keep the skin's own moisture in the infected area which helps speed up the healing time.

Ingredients like petrolatum create a protective coat on the skin, keeping the skin's own moisture from evaporating into thin air. Panthenol is a form of Vitamin B. When the ingredient is added to a product and applied topically, it helps to condition and hydrate the skin. Glycerin is another ingredient that helps to hold moisture in the skin. This ingredient acts as a moisturizing agent in lotions, creams and cosmetics. Bisabolol is a natural ingredient derived from the Chamomile plant that provides soothing effects.

Aquaphor is effective when applied topically to extremely dry areas on hands, fingers, lips and feet, just as one would apply a lotion. If you want to bump up the conditioning and hydrating factor, apply the product liberally to the effected area and cover with either gloves or socks and leave on as an overnight treatment.