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Health Fusion: Dry hands and feet? Try a burrito wrap

Dry, cracked winter skin can be itchy and uncomfortable, especially on your hands and feet. A Mayo Clinic dermatologist has a solution. She calls it the 'burrito method.' In this episode of 'Health Fusion,' Viv Williams has details.

Dry skin on person's heel
Dry, cracked winter skin is a nuisance!
Viv Williams

ROCHESTER — When the temps drop and snow flies, your skin can pay the price. Cold winter weather and low humidity can lead to dry, cracked skin, especially on your hands and feet. So why not try the burrito method?

Dr. Dawn Davis, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist, came up with that term and gives step-by-step directions on how to moisturize and cover your hands and feet so you can once again have soft and healthy skin.

"It helps to humidify the environment so moisture soaks into your skin temporarily," says Davis. "Some people will do this once a week. Some will do it every evening. It tends to be very helpful to people who have very dry skin."

Burrito method for hands and feet:

  • When hands are slightly damp, apply a thick layer of an hypoallergenic cream to the hands and feet. Make sure it is thick to the point of looking like icing on a cake.
  • Put white cotton gloves or socks over your hands and/or feet and sleep with them on. If they fall off, no worries.
  • If you have severely dry skin, consider an additional layer. After the application of cream, take a washcloth and dip it into a warm mixture of one tsp white vinegar to 12 ounces of water. Wring out excess liquid and wrap it around your hands or feet. Then put on the gloves or socks and hop into bed.

In the morning, your skin will be more moist. Repeat the process for added benefit.

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Follow the  Health Fusion podcast on  Apple Spotify and  Google podcasts. For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at  vwilliams@newsmd.com . Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

Opinion by Viv Williams
Viv Williams hosts the NewsMD podcast and column, "Health Fusion." She is an Emmy (and other) award-winning health and medical reporter whose stories have run on TV, digital and newspaper outlets nationwide. Viv is passionate about boosting people's health and happiness by helping them access credible, reliable and research-based health information from top experts. She regularly interviews experts and patients from leading medical institutions, such as Mayo Clinic.
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