For years I struggled with chapped hands. My knuckles would crack and bleed. It was incredibly painful.
Here are some tips on ways to prevent and help correct chapped hands:
LAY OFF THE HAND SANITIZER I know we are in the middle of flu season and the urge is to apply and re-apply hand sanitizer. But they are full of alcohol, which is extremely harsh on your delicate hands. It will dry them out, especially if you keep re-applying. Also, hand sanitizer often has antibacterial agents which is detrimental to your long-term health. More importantly, you may build a resistance to antibiotics if you should actually need them.
HAVE SOAP WILL TRAVEL Carry soap in your purse. I know this might seem extreme, but the soap in public restrooms is very harsh on hands. I like to travel with a small bottle of Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap (baby mild 2 oz). A little goes a long way.
APPLY NATURAL CREAMS TO HANDS Use products that contain natural ingredients (i.e. shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax, olive oil). Make sure they don't contain other chemicals. Products with with beeswax will add a protective layer to keep moisture in and harmful elements out.
IF YOU MUST HAVE ANTIBIOTIC SOAP Think about making your own. Try these three simple ingredients: distilled water, castile soap, and tea tree oil. Ratio of 75% water, 25% castile soap and a few drops of tea tree oil (ex: 3/4 cup distilled water, 1/4 cup castile soap and 1-2 drops of tea tree oil). Don't go crazy with tea tree oil, though it's a good natural antibiotic, it's powerful and potent.