I have a terrible time with dry hands. Between the drying effect of normal household chores to the added dryness from rifling through papers, book pages, etc., sometimes my hands hurt so much it's difficult to type freely.
I've tried a ton of remedies, lotions, and creams with little lasting effect, even slathering the lotion on at night and wrapping my hands in plastic to hold the moisture in. That does seem to help but it requires several nights of treatment to mend the cracked skin. Santa even brought me a paraffin bath, which also helped, but I'm concerned about the bacteria that builds up in there. Also, replacing the wax is expensive and tedious.
Bath and Body Works sells some amazing gloves and socks that are specially made with a moisturizing content that feels like heaven and works overnight. You coat your hands and feet with cream, slide these heavenly little gloves or socks on, and sleep. When you wake up, your skin is remarkably softer. They are pricey, and after several washings, their effectiveness is reduced.
Bath and Body Works also sells some delicious disposable gloves that are activated with water to provide heat. Slather up with lotion, and pour in the water, and it's an instant spa treatment. Wonderful, but pricey. Still, it would make a heavenly treat and a wonderful gift.
I mentioned my ongoing battle with dry hands and feet to my hair stylist the other day, and she recommended a simple treatment that was supported by a clerk at Bed, Bath and Beyond. You'll need to buy some special cotton gloves and socks which are available for about five dollars at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Here it is. I hope it works for you!
Mix equal parts of Neosporin and Vaseline together. (I used the generic version of each.) Slather your hands and/or feet with the mixture and then cover them in the cotton gloves/socks. The Vaseline provides deep moisture while the Neosporin aids healing, and these special cotton socks/gloves are made to hold the mixture in against your skin. This one-two punch is evidently widely-known in the beauty community, and it's relatively inexpensive.
If you've got any other ideas, please share.