Skincare: How you do it

You can choose from different types of skincare products. But what type of creams and how to use effectively?

What stage are you in?

Hand-foot syndrome has three stages or degrees, from mild to severe. Read more about the symptoms and treatment for each stage here. Read more.

You can choose from these products, which are made up from oil and/or water.

Product  Composition
Vaseline Oil
Ointment Water-in-oil
Cream Oil-in-water
Lotion Oil-in-water
(Body) milk Oil-in-water
Gel/Serum Water


Vaseline (also known as petroleum jelly) consists almost exclusively of oil. Vaseline will stay on the surface of the skin and you use it to cover the skin. Only apply over body cream and only on cracked skin or a callus. Do not use instead of a lotion.


Ointment consists mainly of oil (approx. 80%) with a small percentage of water (approx. 20%). The Latin name for ointment is unguentum, which is often stated on the label of the tube (e.g. Ung. Cetomacrogolis). Only apply over body cream and only on cracked skin or a callus. Do not use instead of a lotion.

Body cream

Body cream is in between an ointment and lotion in terms of its composition. Thick creams, available in a jar (the body cream does not spill out when the jar is turned upside down), such as body butter, are preferred.

Lotion/body milk

A lotion and/or body milk has the opposite composition of an ointment: about 80% water and 20% oil. Only use a lotion/body milk in combination with a thicker product; without a cream over it, the skin dries out even more. For example, first apply a lotion to an extensive area and then a body cream over the extremely dry areas.


A gel or serum consists mainly of water. Only use a gel or serum in combination with an oilier product; without a cream on top they dry out the skin even more! For example, first apply a gel or serum to the extremely dry, deeper skin layers and then a body cream.


  • Moisturising, preferably 4 times a day

  • Don’t wear tight shoes

  • Stay out of the sun as much as possible

  • Avoid extreme heat and cold

  • Wear gloves and slippers

  • Use an excessively greasy soap

  • Be careful with over-the-counter medications

  • Talk to your doctor about it

What else can you do? Read it here!