Awful CRACKED fingers.. PLEASE help my DH..

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Hello everyone. My DH is a contractor that is working outside currently. He is having a terrible, really terrible time with sore deep cracked thumbs especially. I need an ongoing remedy.. I have to contact my dr. tomorrow for a lot of my own stuff, and will try to get this in too, but please if anyone knows the best stuff to heal and protect please share. I feel terrible for him. Just looking at the cracks in his thumb tips hurts! They are so deep. He hates sleeping in gloves but if we must where can I find white cotton gloves for a man with big hands? I thank you for any and all help. And blessings of the season for all. Thank you. Flowerlou.

Tucson, AZ

Flowerlou, there is something called Balm Bag you can usually find it in feed stores and the is a fabulous product. Also using liquid bandage on his thumbs might help. Good luck.

Great Falls, MT(Zone 4a)

Flowerlou, my kids do gymnastics competitively, and have terrible tears which quickly turn to deep cracks on their hands from the bars, and the constant use of chalk. Wineaux is right, bag balm is good, but even better is a product called Corona. It too is sold in the feed stores like Big R, and Western Ranch Supply. It is 90% lanolin based, and has an anteseptic in it too. The worker asked why I wanted bagbalm, and when I explained, he recommended the Corona. His son did gymnastics, and currently mountain/rock climbs, and my kids and DH swear by this stuff. Now all of the kids at gymnastics use it, and it heals up those dry painfull cracks within just a couple of days. The kids' pediatrician recommended putting on their hands at night, just cake it on, and cover with a sock!! It is amazing.

Being here in MT, it is super dry and cold, and my husband has the same problem with cracking skin. Best to you, and your DH.

Northern Michigan, MI(Zone 5a)

I've never heard of Corona but Bagbalm applied in a nice thick coat with some gauze or socks to cover really will work well.

I always keep a can of it and use it on a lot of things.... kids, pets, myself. Great stuff


Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Now, this is gonna sound brutal, but when I get those deep cracks along my fingers this is what I do..........after a shower, when your skin is soft, take a fingernail clippers and clip that hard, dead skin down to the point where it almost bleeds. I know, I know.........hurts like Billy Purgatory, but do that and slather on some really heavy-duty hand cream and cover your hands at night and it WILL get better. What I really like for the "cream" (and it isn't really a "cream", per se) is some stuff from McNess company. It is called Krestol Salve, petrolum based but has other really good stuff in it. I use it for the cows too. If you have chapped lips, put a teeny bit on and the chapped is gone in a couple of hours. If you are interested in some, dmail me and I could get it and send it to you if you don't have anyone that sells McNess where you live. Oh, as a BTW.........McNess also has the BEST extracts and flavorings of anyone, their vanilla is without comparison. :>)

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I had back surgery recently and couldn't reach my feet. The DR. had told me to get Vitamin E to rub on my scar to aid healing. I had my DH put it on my scar one night and said I would love to have some on my feet. So each night he rubbed it on my feet. The cracked dry skin on my heels was gone in a week.

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

I work with clay for several hours every day and my fingers split around the nails. I use liquid bandages and "Callus Treatment Cream" that I buy on line from Puritan's Pride. Slathering it on heavily and wearing thin white cotton gloves that you buy at drug stores is a great help. I cut the dead skin away with a nail cutter, but never so that it hurts. Another thing that my doctor recommended is chap stick on the splits. I like liquid bandages because it lasts longer, but the chap stick is easy to carry in your pocket to have on hand right when you need it.

No miracles, but if you use it everyday as often as you remember it works.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

THANK YOU All!! I am going to go on the phone and or online right now to look for the products you reccomended. Sounds like others have definitely had the same problem as DH, so it looks like we can get a cure. We really appreciate your taking the time to post your remedies and offers to help.
I know it's a bit early, but have a wonderful holiday season to all of you!

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

Flowerlou, I use Zim's Crack Cream when my fingers get that way. The one I have is more of a liquid than a cream. I make sure I put it on before bed and it's healed in a couple of days. I think I got it at Walmart where the first aid stuff is.

Crozet, VA

I use the Bag Balm. I bought it at my local pharmacy. It works very well, but I had a difficult time getting used to the smell. Good luck.


Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

While waiting for a prescription yesterday I looked at remedies for cracked skin. There are so many I can see why it is hard to choose.

Glen Riddle Lima, PA

As someone who has tried almost every skin cream available for my severely dry skin, i'd advise trying Gentle Naturals Baby Eczema Cream. it's in the baby section. if you can't find it at your pharmacy it's at babies r us, sounds funny to use, but it's very emmolient and holds in moisture. it works really well if you slather your hands with it overnight and put cloth gloves.even clean tube socks over them. as i said, it sounds funny but it works. i work in a commercial kitchen and after washing with harsh detergents/bleach all day it's the only thing that really helps me.


Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

eskinola, do you wear rubber gloves when in all that water? I've found that I have to use them just for my own dishwashing, or my hands get horrid after one time.

Glen Riddle Lima, PA

unfortunately, no. production's too busy in the pastry kitchen. we "wash as we go" and inevitably dunk our tools in the detergent solution and the sanitizing solution several times during a task. say, when you're making meringue for baked alaska for 300. sticky, sticky everywhere. i do find, though, that because we work with butter and cream so often, my hands aren't as dry as they used to be when i worked on the "hot side" of the kitchen on saute and grill...

that's the breaks i guess....

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Can anyone recommend one that will stay on through washing? I work in a coffee shop and use damp rags all day, plus do dishes a few times during my shift. They days I work, my hands never get a chance to heal up much, especially in the winter.

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

I also love the Corona. It's like nothing else I've ever seen, and I used to work for a doctor. It's about as heavy as axel grease though.............but it is about 90 % lanolin and it's amazing ! I used to put it on my son for diaper rash. I was so surprised when it (diaper rash) was totally gone by the next morning. I've gotten stuff by prescription that didn't work near as well. Long time ago, you could only get it in a square can, but recently I've seen it in smaller (people sized) tubes. We used to call it "horse-salve" because that's what it was originally for. Great stuff. And affordable.

southeast, NE

I have psorasis patches on my skin. My hands start bleeding. I have tried almost everything mentioned above. I have found the best possible solution is spray on bandage on the deepest cuts and this was recommended by my dermatologist.

Great Falls, MT(Zone 4a)

PeggieK - Yes, you are about the only other person who has heard of, and used it. My son just got a huge bloody tear in his palm on Tues from gymnastics work outs, and it was healed to a simple red spot, by the next morning. LOVE this stuff. Yes, it is heavy like axel grease, but once you kind of melt it into your skin, it gets better. I remember using Lansinoh when I suffered fro very painful breast feeding, and it was lanolin based, and also worked wonderfully.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

I remember reading in a Reader's Digest excerpt of Dr. Kathryn Clark's story that Super Glue works great for keeping bad cracks from getting worse. She found this out when living at the North Pole and treating the team members there with their terribly dry, cracked skin.

I looked up the Corona product and they have it at of all places. The only kind I'd heard of is the one good with a wedge of lime in the bottle neck ;)

This message was edited Nov 30, 2006 11:48 AM

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

I have used Super Glue, one of my friends found out about it and was appalled, she was sure I was poisoning myself so I quit. Maybe it is ok. They don't really say on the label, I can imagine the FDA would not like it if they said it was for skin cracks. It lasts much longer than liquid bandages.

(Zone 5a)

I think Doctors use Super Glue.

Gardenwife, Gloves in a Bottle is supposed to stay on.

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Surgeons skin secret. You can get if from qvc. works like a champ.

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

Oh good I can use Super Glue. I haven't gotten gloves in a bottle to stay on.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I use Dr Burts Res-Q Ointment. I found it in a health & herbal store first and have since ordered online. It seems to heal really quickly for me. It is a thick ointment containing ~ sweet almond oil, olive oil, beeswax, cocoa butter, wheat germ oil, vitamin E and the final ingredient is what I think speeds the healing... Comfrey root and leaf extract. I have used this on a variety of cuts, scrapes and bruises. In my opinion, it works better than Bag Balm for split finger tips. I have yet to try Corona. pod

Wimberley, TX(Zone 8a)

When I worked for a veterinarian, my hands were so dry & cracked (in the winter)...they hurt! He told me to use Neutrogena hand cream (available in most stores) and I swear by it now. I always keep it handy (pardon the pun)!

Fallbrook, CA(Zone 10b)

Dr Andrew Weil says in one of his books that he uses super glue on the cracks in his heels and fingertips; just to double check, I just looked it up online and see that it is also used in the eye after cataract surgery. It is non-toxic.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I've heard a lot about using super glue to hold wounds together. The liquid bandage we bought was nothing but nail polish with alcohol added. Burned horribly. Only used it onec.

I make a salve every summer of comfrey leaves, broad leaf plantain leaves, olive oil, and beeswax. Crush & tear the leaves, put into oil that has been brought almost to a boil. Let soak until cooled. Remove leaves. Rewarm the oil adding beeswax until it is about 1/2 as thick as you want the finished product. Pour into desired containers and let cool before capping unless you want it to seal somewhat. Or just leave it in an oil state. I use both. This is a very healing ointment/oil.

You can buy liquid lanolin in health and beauty stores. Not too pricey. Mink oil in the shoe department is also a great skin softener. Kiwi and CampDry both make tins of it. Pretty cheap. I even use it on my face sometimes. Critter oil for critter skin.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

I've used the Neutrogena creme before, that really thick stuff. It works well if I slather it on at night and wear gloves, but it isn't practical for when I'm working. Some ointments burn terribly on chapped hands, making them bright red. I'd rather be chapped than on fire. LOL

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

When I still worked as a building contractor I'd get deep splits esp. in winter. My doc recommended Neutrogena hand cream which was developed for fishermen in the very cold North Sea. Now I always carry a tube in the glove box, one in the kitchen and one in my backpack. Odorless, greaseless and a little dab goes a long way. I use it maybe twice daily when I'm gardening, as it does tend to wash off. It's absolutely wonderful around cuticles.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Part of my problem is I mess with the dry cuticles and that makes the finger tips worse. Lately, I've taken to telling myself vocally "quit it" as a stop word. I find cutting them down with nail clippers makes the skin callous over more and the cuticle areas stay hard. What else can one do?

Madison, WI

My grandma used to bake a whole onion until soft and wrap it around the rough and/or cracked
fingers or heels of one's feet for the night. In the morning the skin gets to be soft and pliable.
That's when you can start taking care of it. She would only use remedies from her garden.
I use some of them, but mix in pharmacy stuff too, like I find that during gardening season
my daily hand "cream" is aquaphor with moisturizing gloves.

(Zone 5a)

Zen, I don't think I've gotten ''Gloves'' to stay on either.

Leaflady, I don't remember liquid bandaid stinging, but it didn't work for me!

Enya, I've read that filling a tub with water and cut onions would heal infection. Isn't there a cabbage leaf poultice too.

I've been taking notes, so this has been a helpful thread!

My Mom used to have terribly dry skin. I used to rub ''Prevacare"" on her back since she couldn't reach it to scratch. 2 years ago the 2.4 oz. tube cost $6.95.

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

Billyporter, I am glad I am not the only one.

I am back to using super glue on the cracks. If nothing else it keeps them from hurting while they heal and keeps anything from touching them. Right now I have cracks on the tips of all of my fingers. Between working with clay and the sudden cold/dry air my hands are a mess. I will never win and beautiful hands award. It doesn't help any that you can't use hand lotion when you are working on the clay. It doesn't mix well with clay.

(Zone 5a)

No, I don't think it would. I started wearing garden gloves just because dirt dried my hands so bad, but clay is another story. I guess a nightly regimine is the only solution.

Corona sounds like the best idea so far. (Smiling over the Corona commercial reference!)
Does anyone use anything with, I think, carbolic acid? It would be in a salve. The Amish sell it.

Fallbrook, CA(Zone 10b)

If I have just one or two cracked fingertips at a time, in the evening I put a dab of Betadine ointment on the crack and wrap with a bandaid. By the next morning it is still cracked but healing and doesn't hurt any longer. I imagine Vaseline would work just as well.


Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Does the betadine bring tears to your eyes Sherry?

Madison, WI

My grandma never used raw onion on cuts, that would be painful and in a bath that won't be
as effective. For cleaning infected but not open site she'd use aloe poltice.
Cabbage leaf she'd use on bruises, not cuts. But it works wonders on inflamations.
That one smells nasty, speaking from experience.
I do use her home remedies a lot, she was a sort of local witch.

Fallbrook, CA(Zone 10b)

As opposed to............onions?

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Actually when I have used betadine it has been on a painful injury and I was thinking as compared to... iodine?

Burlingame, CA(Zone 9a)

I've heard of nursing mom's using raw cabbages leaves to reduce their "production" LOL but never on bruises.

I've been using a product called "Sorbolene" for years and years. It works on everything from diaper rash to excema to cracked heels and anything else you can think of. It's non-irritating, non-greasy, non-fragranced and has no lanoline in it (which some people are allergic to). I originally bought it in Australia but it's available from here now. I just can't recommend it enough. Over Thanksgiving I applied some to my baby nephew's cheeks which were raw from drool and they were cleared up by morning.

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