How to Take Care of Your Hands During Pregnancy

Neglecting your hands during pregnancy can lead to dryness and cracking. That's why it's important to give them the best care and choose the right moisturizers. Here's how.
How to Take Care of Your Hands During Pregnancy

Last update: 26 June, 2022

Taking care of your hands during pregnancy is as important as taking care of the skin on the rest of your body. However, they’re usually the most forgotten during this stage, and beyond beautifying the nails, we don’t usually give them the appropriate care.

That’s why today, we’re going to tell you what routines to implement to give life and softness to your hands while you go through this beautiful stage in life. Keep reading!

Changes in the hands during pregnancy

According to a publication of the Cardiovascular Journal of Africa, during pregnancy, you can experience various changes in the hands, of a transitory nature.

  • Edema produced by the physiological accumulation of liquids during this period.
  • Erythema and itching on the palms and soles caused by changes in the levels of certain hormones. These symptoms disappear on their own after delivery, when hormone levels stabilize.
  • Pain and numbness in the index finger, thumb, half of the ring finger, and middle finger may be caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition is quite common in pregnant women, as a complication of the physiological accumulation of fluid in the wrist.

In addition, hormonal changes deprive the skin surface of its usual oiliness and elasticity, which leads to dry skin all over the body.

Tips for taking care of your hands during pregnancy

Taking care of your hands during pregnancy is just as important as taking care of the rest of your body. In fact, extreme climates have a special impact on the skin, especially dry and cold weather.

There are some basic tips to take care of your hands during pregnancy without resorting to expensive treatments. Take note!

A pregnant couple wearing Christmas sweaters.
The cold and dry climate, direct contact with wool or synthetic fabrics, and hormonal changes of pregnancy predispose you to dryer skin on your hands.

Wash your hands frequently

Cleaning your hands regularly removes dead cells from the surface layer, which can contribute to the feeling of dry skin. It’s best to use syndet type cleansers, which are less astringent and gentler on the dermis.

Deodorant soaps should be avoided, as they contain components that absorb moisture. It’s best to use soap when necessary, without abusing its use at any time. In addition, it’s best to avoid antibacterial liquid soap, as removing the “good” bacteria from the skin removes a protective factor from the skin tissue.

Another aspect to control is the temperature of the water. Although hot water reduces the presence of germs, its regular use worsens skin dryness.

Moisturize your hands constantly

Applying moisturizing creams or emollients after rinsing your hands helps to seal in water and prevent it from being lost. This is especially true in windy or cold climates.

You should reapply quite frequently during the day and before going to bed at night. In general, the most suitable products are those that don’t contain perfume, as the vast majority of dry skin is also sensitive.

Opt for a balanced diet and sufficient hydration

When it comes to the skin, food plays a very important role, because “we are what we eat”.

Therefore, try to include healthy fats (polyunsaturated and cis) in your diet, which can be found in the following foods:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Canola oil

Drinking enough water throughout the day also helps to keep the skin healthy and moist.

Perform eventual exfoliations

To offer good care to your hands, you need to clean them and remove impurities and dead cells. Exfoliation contributes to this task and even gives the skin a younger and fresher appearance. It also makes the skin more receptive to the action of moisturizers and controls the appearance of lesions. To achieve more effective results, choose products that also contain oils.

Implement a night care routine

Practicing certain habits at night helps to speed up the recovery process of cracked and dry hands. A good option is to apply almond oil or petroleum jelly to replenish the essential fats responsible for moisturizing them.

There are also specific hand treatments on the market that, when used before bedtime, prevent the appearance of stains and wrinkles.

A woman making a heart with her hands with the sunset showing through.
Your hands allow you to get to know the world and will be a vehicle of love, warmth, and protection for your future baby. Therefore, take the opportunity to take care of them as never before during pregnancy.

Protect your hands every day

Use cleaning gloves when doing household chores (cleaning floors, washing dishes, cleaning glass). That is, use them in any activity in which chemical products are used.

And of course, apply sunscreen on the back of the hands before leaving home, because the hands are the most exposed to UV rays.

The importance of taking care of your hands during pregnancy

The skin of the hands doesn’t differ much from the rest of the body. However, it needs more care because of its permanent contact with different surfaces and chemical agents. For this reason, you should always follow these three steps: Cleansing, moisturizing, and protection.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Coiffard L, Couteau C. Soap and syndets: differences and analogies, sources of great confusion. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2020 Nov;24(21):11432-11439. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202011_23637. PMID: 33215466.
  • Ouzir M, Bernoussi SE, Tabyaoui M, Taghzouti K. Almond oil: A comprehensive review of chemical composition, extraction methods, preservation conditions, potential health benefits, and safety. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2021 Jul;20(4):3344-3387. doi: 10.1111/1541-4337.12752. Epub 2021 May 30. PMID: 34056853.
  • Soma-Pillay, Priya et al. “Physiological changes in pregnancy.” Cardiovascular journal of Africa vol. 27,2 (2016): 89-94. doi:10.5830/CVJA-2016-021

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.