Awful cracked fingers... please help! Part 2

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/673748/?hl=finger+split

Good thread with lots of information and the cracked fingertip season is back at my house.

My assessment is the calloused thicker skin on the fingertips seems to be the problem.

After applying Dr Burts and bandaging, they throbbed all night. I think the bandaids were too tight. LOL

But it is fresh on my mind so I dug out the old thread and reread it.

What works for you? Any new thoughts I can try?

(Zone 5a)

Hi Pod, this was a good thread, worth reviving to sort out the absolutes!

I bought cheap coconut oil. It melts at room temp and seems to soak in. I use it on my feet after sanding the callouses off. I also like to use it on my face. I haven't tried it for severe dryness on my hands yet.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Heya BillyPorter! I tried some of the coconut oil and for some reason quit using it. Too greasy I think.

I think on my feet the solution is what you mentioned. Removing the dead skin seems to help most. At least two or three mornings a week, I soak my footsies in a pan of hot water and Epsom salts while I sit on DG. After the dead skin is softened, I use a dull knife held at a 45 angle to remove the dead skin. Then I'll use a lotion and my feet quit complaining about standing on concrete floors at work and at home. 8 )

On the other hand, my hands get washed frequently as I deal with the public and try not to catch the disease of the day so they tend to dry out. They are also my "built in dishwasher"s... but the splits seem to occur on the corners of the nails where the skin is thicker. I dunno...

But it isn't pleasant. Here's hoping someone has stumbled on a solution!

(Zone 5a)

Pod, I had horrible callouses on my feet and had to work on them a while before I sanded. I have the Egg sander and a small hand held. It sounds much safer than a dull knife, LOL!

The hands are so much harder to fix. DH's fingers split, but mine don't. I'm in as much water if not more because of housework, and I do wash my hands all the time. He has really tough fingernails and I don't. I wonder if that makes a difference in the skin too?

N.C. Mts., NC(Zone 6b)

I use Hemp Body Butter on my hands and feet. I just love it. You can get it at the Body Shop or online. Right now it is 1/2 price online.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Lizh ~ Hemp Body butter sounds wonderful. Do you get cracks on your fingertips in winter if you don't use it?

Tough nails may be the reason. Mine have always been pretty sturdy.

N.C. Mts., NC(Zone 6b)

I don't get cracks on the finger tips but beside the nails if I don't use HBB

They also make a hemp hand protector but I think the body butter works just as well for me.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Good to know, I will check it out. Thanks...

(Zone 5a)

Lizh, I was just reading about all the good things in hemp. Especially eating the seeds. Powerhouses of nutrition. Your's may be the best solution yet!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Definitely worth a try!

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

My dad was a carpenter in the days when one crew built the entire house from the ground up. He always used "Corn Huskers". Very cheap at any grocery store or drug store. I have used it and had good luck.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

DH uses it but I think it was mentioned in the first thread that it burns when used on cracked fingers.
Too high an alcohol content. Seems like the alcohol would dry it out even more. Dunno...

(Zone 5a)

I think different skin reacts to different solutions. What works for some won't for others. It is interesting to hear what people use.

Corn Huskers, Bag Balm and many others haven't worked for me. I guess I just try to put hand-creme on all day. Olay Quench at the moment.

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

My mom was a quilter and Bag Balm was always at her side. I know that must be painful and I am sorry. Rather than wash your hands with water often everyday have you considered the waterless hand wash. Maybe alternate it with water washing. Or Baby Wipes, I have a friend that uses them.

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

I can't believe I forgot about this cream. A co-worker suggested it to me for my psoriasis. Acid Mantle is a fairly thick cream - I haven't tried it on my hands. I will say it is expensive. But it is worth it. It is now called AMantle by Doak Dermatologics. Here is a link to one set of reviews on Amazon. I got mine at my pharmacy.
http://www.amazon.com/Doak-Dermatologics-Amantle-Moisturizing-Cream/product-reviews/B000NLHXA6/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Now, those ideas are worth checking out, thank you.

I have always resisted the antibacterial wipes but do keep some baby wipes in the truck for when we are on the road and restrooms are plumb nasty. At least then I feel like my hands are cleaner. I'll try some of those baby wipes when at work ! thanks.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

my all time favorite and the one i use all the time is Gold Bond Ultimate Healing. it comes in lotion or cream in a pump bottle but for some reason, the 5.5 oz. tube is thicker. you don't get as much for the money with that size but i wouldn't be without it. walgreens runs buy one get one half off every few months and usually there is a coupon for a dollar off in the paper the same week. my skin would be a disaster without it.

for actual cuts on my fingers, regardless of the cause, i use the generic neosporin cream, not ointment, also from walgreens. i put it on overnite and the next day they are pretty much healed. it kills the pain right away too.

it's called Walgreen's maximum strength multi antibiotic pain relief. (i bite my cuticles from time to time and it gets really painful)

This message was edited Jan 9, 2011 3:25 PM

(Zone 5a)

Pod, the wipes are also handy when a restaurant napkin sticks to your fingers. I keep the little ''Wet Ones'' handy.

Tracks, I use Gold Bond for my feet. That is qite a deal!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Hmmm. sounds like I need to go shopping!

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

Probably can get all the above suggestions in one place....such as CVS or Walgreens. I don't do wallyworld.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

me either! walgreen's is my "go to" store.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I got you girls beat. I use an online drugstore. They charge no shipping for $25 or more and although the prices are minimally higher, they get delivered to my door. Amazing some of their items are a major bargain over the box stores, others not. I feel it is more cost effective as I don't impulse buy online. I might think of more things to stock up on but they are items we normally use. So for now, I am making a list to research and consider.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

is it drugstore.com? i've used them before and really like them. i've used walgreens online before too.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes, I do like them. They have such a wide selection of merchandise. I have also used them to fill my own annual prescription with no problem.

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

Guess I am spoiled. Actually, I KNOW I am spoiled. Live in a suburb of Dallas and there is more commerce here than anywhere. CVS AND WALGREEN on every corner, and any other kind of retail you can imagine. Lots of competition. We moved into this home February 10, 1967 in the country. Hardly any neighbors. Not a square inch of vacant property left . That's ok now. At our advanced years we need to be close to everything.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

LOL LouC on being spoiled.
And here I consider myself blessed to be rural and remote.
Gettin' too darn populated in this neck of the woods to suit me these days! 8 ))

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Just checked out this Thread.....

Only in the winter--my cuticles also crack, but only at the corners of my first two fingers....
I guess they do most of the work....

I so believe in Bag balm! If you have really cracked fingers and hands--rub it on really
good before you gp to bed and then put on a pair of cotton gloves.
Michaels will have them--as they are part of the Clown costume. maybe a couple bucks...
Even the ugly, brown garden gloves will work.
This is very healing---in less than a week, one's hands should be much better.
.
Go to your Pharmacy and have them order you a tin. It is much cheaper this way.
They have it! Just don't take "NO" for an answer. Tell them to look in their book!
This would cost you about $6 this way.

If you buy this over the counter the price can be exorbitant.

Here's the picture of the 10oz. tin. This will last you for ages--as you only use a dab.

Gita

edited to give the approximate price.

This message was edited Jan 15, 2011 9:29 PM

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Here's a more in-focus look at the tin.

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Gitagal ~ thanks for the suggestion. I have a 10oz tin of Bag Balm. Have had it long enough the price was $2.99. I haven't found it to be the remedy for these splits although it does seem to soften the hands.

For a quicker healing process once I get the cracks, I use Dr Burts ResQ ointment with comfrey and a bandaid.
I still haven't figured out what causes the cracks other than it is thickened skin and the tips of the fingers on the outside edges of the nails.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i've found that filing my nails so that they don't rest against the skin is a big help. i also then file that hardened skin and apply the antibiotic ointment. i get those same kinds of cracks.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I do find that keeping the nails shorter has helped some.
Got a split starting now.
I will buff the hardened skin and try ointment. Thanks.

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

Kristi,

I'm not trying to be negative, BUT....perhaps it is time you allowed a doctor to have a look. Our fingernails and skin can often be a symptom of some underlying condition. Probably not in your case but it never hurts to be sure.

Christi

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Hi Christi ~ thanks for your concern. It is an ongoing winter problem and probably is from some chemical makeup. I will be going in for an annual checkup soon and will ask. Thanks! Kristi

Blytheville, AR(Zone 7a)

I wonder if it could be some type of fungus. Believe I would ask the doctor about it.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

You know, after LouCs' post I got to thinking about it. I grew up in MN and suffered frostbitten fingers, toes, etc. I suspect fingertip the splits I deal with are caused by built up dead tissue. Scar tissue if you will, from frostbite damage.

Even still, in winter the nerves in my fingers and toes will tingle with pain when temps drop below freezing. That excess dead tissue is probably the cause. If I have to guess, the removal of it as suggested by Trackinsand will probably be what the Dr recommends.

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

No intention to frighten you , Kristi. I have a condition called "Raynaud's Syndrome". Feet and hands loose all circulation when I get the least little bit chilled. Have had it for years but lately it is almost everyday. Didn't use to hurt but these days it is more severe and is more than a little uncomfortable. I have an extremely high pain ebb and sometimes I don't realize what others would call bad pain. Science does not know what causes it and there is no treatment nor preventative. My cuticles look pretty bad because that is where all the "life" is in our nails. About every 5-6 weeks I have a pedicure and natural manicure. I no longer treat it as a luxury because it makes a great difference in the health of my hands and my feet. Combined cost is $35. and I tip her $15. I also have a tendency to in-grown toenails and she keeps that at bay. I hope your doctor can help you soon. Just a little 'ole paper cut on a finger can make one nuts. May take a combination of things especially with your history of frostbite. That must have been awful.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Ohh, Christi ~ I am sorry. That is one more thing for you to deal with. How awful.

A friend of ours had Raynauds' so I am more than familiar with it. When he told me what the diagnosis was, I had to go research as I was not familiar with it at that time. I am sure that the pedicure/manicure is a comfort as well as perhaps a good massage would be to aid circulation.

My frostbite was insignificant as a child. We would play outdoors too long and get nipped. Now there is a cold weather reminder which makes me long to move further south! LOL

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

Podster, next time you are at Walmart - look for Zim's Crack Cream in a spray bottle. I use it at night and usually overnight or two nights the crack is healed. It's a lot of natural ingredients. There is also a cream but the spray works better.

On another website coconut oil was recommended. I use it in cooking so I may try it for my hands.

Was Working Hands suggested here? I think I will have to find some.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks Elsie! I will research Zim's Crack Cream.

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

My primary care doc has talked with me about Raynaud's for years. When I went in just before Christmas, lo and behold, I had an episode just as I was going into his office. His nurse had never heard of it (sweet young girl about 26 or so). She was astounded. He had to get his book and give a really good clinical lesson. They are first very, very white, when the circulation begins they turn a very dark navy blue and then eventually red and back to normal. Not so sure the doc had actually seen it before himself. Said he wrote a paper about it in college. Added a very low dose of another blood pressure med but it hasn't helped at all. Supposed to relax the blood vessels and slow down the spasms. Not so far. Got my attention though. Can lead to amputation of the digits.
My sweet husband took me to BassWorld a few days ago to purchase chemical hand and feet warmers. I really hate the side effects of old age. hhhhuurrruummpph!

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