Cold; time for drying skin and fingertip cracks; prevention?

October 26, 2017, 6:55 AM · Today is our first day of freezing weather. Couple that with poor circulation, and presto! dry skin problems come to the forefront. For me Bert's Beezwax or Chapstick becomes the hand lotion for the fingers.

Do you have the same problem? What do you use to keep away or cut down on the skin cracks? Fingertip cracks- ouch!

Replies (20)

October 26, 2017, 7:35 AM · Berts Bees would be fine if it weren't so bloody expensive. Still, you probably don't use very much at a time.

My hands get chapped a lot, especially in the wintertime, and especially if I am working in the lab quite a bit. I've used Carmex, Aquaphor, or Eucerin. I don't think there's anything magical.

October 26, 2017, 8:06 AM · When my fingers crack while working outside in the winter time, I clean the crack and then superglue it closed. By the time the superglue wears off, it has healed.
October 26, 2017, 9:24 AM · There’s a hand lotion from Bert’s Bees that has done me wonders! I have extremely dry hands that crack and bleed well before autumn and the BB hand lotion usually lasts me at least a couple hours.
October 26, 2017, 9:33 AM · O'Keffe's Working Hands Cream is simply amazing, and cheap.
October 26, 2017, 10:27 AM · No grains, no pulses, no caffeine.
October 26, 2017, 11:35 AM · @ Bud- A--, in a word, NO! Pastry and coffee are life-blood. I'll agree with the pulses.
October 26, 2017, 11:46 AM · Plantain and decaf?
Edited: October 28, 2017, 8:00 AM · Sweet rolls, donuts, cheesecake, brownies, apple pie, Kona coffee. No decaf, it gives me migraines.

@Cassio- I didn't know they made hand lotion, will definitely look into that.

October 26, 2017, 1:08 PM · I just use petroleum jelly at night, and it seems to last pretty well throughout the following day. I hate typing and doing daily activities with hands greasy from lotion/hand cream.
October 26, 2017, 3:03 PM · Hi,
I avoid washing my hands in warm or hot water as much as possible.
My theory is that (especially in the cold),every time you wash hands in hot water your skin expands or contracts...then when your hands get cold again,the skin expands or contracts again.Eventually the skin cracks...
Edited: October 26, 2017, 5:28 PM · Hydrate yourself, humidify your environment. See an Ayurvedic practitioner to make sure you do not needlessly aggravate or lack certain energy with poor dietary habits.
October 26, 2017, 6:17 PM · I've tried all the above suggestions (though the Sweet rolls, donuts, cheesecake, brownies, apple pie, Kona coffee is rather nice!), O'Keffe's Working Hands Cream is the only thing that ever worked. Available in hardware stores of all places!
October 26, 2017, 8:35 PM · I use a tiny amount of Eucerin on my fingertips when necessary, and I try to keep my hands dry and warm.
October 27, 2017, 6:25 AM · Jim, you might try glycerin. It will moisturize without leaving a greasy or waxy residue on your hands or things you touch, and is water soluble, so it easily rinses or washes off.

But if you could get relief by keeping the moisture level in your environment from getting too low, that would be my first choice.

October 27, 2017, 6:44 AM · Part of my job involves cleaning agents and hot blistering water. Its near impossible to keep the hands, specially fingers, from drying out and cracking so bad it's almost like blood-letting at times. Of course the problem is 10X worse in the winter. I tried so many things. Chapstick has been the best preventer and remarkably quick healing substance I've found to date. Since violin is new for me, I can foresee a possible issue. To head that off, I will be checking into all the suggestions everyone has made here.
October 27, 2017, 6:53 AM · I second O'Keefe's Working Hands - it absorbs extremely quickly, doesn't leave a residue, and is very effective. Ditto newskin / superglue on open cracks.
Edited: October 27, 2017, 7:07 AM · Along the lines of Bud's dietary experiments, I've found eliminating transfats, improving omega 3:omega 6 ratio (lowering 6 and increasing 3--more fish, cod liver oil), supplementing with possibly deficient fat soluble vitamins (K2 MK4, D: I'd had a lot of antibiotics for bronchitis as a kid so possibly had poor gut flora most of my life, hence possibly had difficulty converting K1 to K2, and who gets enough sunshine north of 37th parallel; I think we all get enough A and E in North America) has completely changed my skin (eczema completely disappeared after a few months,) including how dry it gets.
October 27, 2017, 7:55 AM · I don't have the problem of cracking hands. But hand quilters have recommended Preparation H and Bag Balm. If you can't find bag balm in your usual lotion store, try a feed store.
Edited: November 1, 2017, 6:43 AM · Years ago, Strings magazine had an article on how to deal with hand moisture issues in the winter. They consulted dermatologists, and the recommendation that came through was to use a hand lotion with alpha hydroxy. I use Eucerin Intensive Repair. It works well for me.

Additionally, some folks suggested using super glue for major cracks in fingers. Who knew?

Edited: November 1, 2017, 10:02 AM · Note that non-medical superglues often utilize solvents that are toxic to human tissue, such as methanol, hence the common complaint of "burning" or irritation reported by those who use it on wounds. The quantities are pretty small though, so it won't kill you, but if you don't like the idea of poisonings yourself in small doses, it is best to avoid. This said, we commonly eat things that are "technically" toxic to humans; potatoes (green ones especially) for example is one of them.

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