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Solutions For Split Fingertips

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Q. When the skin on my fingertips cracks open, the splits are painful and take a long time to heal. I went to a dermatologist for a series of different pills and lotions but nothing has worked.

This problem seems to happen more in the winter months. It just started again, with cracks on two fingertips of my left hand. What can you suggest?

A. Dermatologists sometimes recommend moisturizers, "the greasier the better." By these standards, plain petroleum jelly should work great. But many readers tell us that Vicks VapoRub is especially helpful against splitting skin on the fingertips. The herbal oils in the petrolatum base seem to add a little extra power.

Another great greasy remedy for cracked fingertips is A&D Ointment. This contains vitamins A and D in a petrolatum base and seems to help fingertips heal fast.

A couple of other old-fashioned approaches to this problem include Bag Balm (again, this uses petrolatum as the base) or Udder Cream (which sponsors our radio show). Both products were originally designed to keep cows' udders from chapping in cold weather. If you apply any of these moisturizers at night, wear light cotton gloves like the ones photographers use for handling negatives. They'll keep the sheets from getting too greasy.

One last approach readers have recommended is sealing the cracks with instant glue. A liquid bandage product from Band-Aid is formulated for skin and less likely to be irritating than a household adhesive.

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Use a band-aid over the Vaseline or A&D, at least at night... during the day if possible.
When it's really bad... I lotion heavy and put on latex gloves overnite.

Split finger tips have been a severe problem for me for years. As a union carpenter and as a contractor, working outside in the cold all winter caused my fingers to split to the point of asking my doctor if he could stich them up.

I have found the cure. I am NOT a salesman for the company, and make nothing in the promotion of the product. In fact I have given bottles to anyone with the splits that I encounter, because I know the pain.
PORTERS LOTION from Bozeman Montana WILL cure the splits.

I start using it in the fall and all winter, and have never had a split since. All those other cures DO NOT WORK!

Porters does.

I've found a product on-line called 'No Crack' Hand Cream from Dumont Company in Wisconsin to be very effective. What I also like about it, besides being very good for chapped hands and splits, is it's not greasy.
I use 'Liquid Bandage' with it and I think I get just about as much relief as I can and I've tried a lot of products.

Bill B.

My husband and I swear by Desitin ointment (used to prevent diaper rash) for this problem. I think it's the zinc in it that works. We first put the Desitin on the cracks in the fingers at night, cover with a bandaid to keep it from getting on the sheets, and by morning the cracks are much better. If they're still painful, continue using Desitin (during the day, too, if you want) for another day or night, or two.

Dear Graedons:

I used to have problems with split fingertips. I live in Western Canada in Southern Alberta and our winters are very dry. Every winter I experienced extremely sore fingertips and thumbtips, they would split , partially heal and resplit. Then, five years ago, I installed a humidfier onto my furnace. End of cracked finger/thumbtips... none since that time. I also used to have very dry feet (heels and soles), it also cured this problem.... so please tell your readers to install a portable humidifier, attach humidifier to furnace or boil the kettle often.... get moist air into living area (mainly sleeping area).

Ralph Dowson

I have used a Lotil cream manufactured in England for this problem. Can be purchased in US and works great.

The splits on my fingers cleared up completely and quickly after adding more Vitamin D to my daily regimen. When through a simple blood test it was determined that my Vitamin D levels were low, my Dr. told me to up Vitamin D intake to at least 2000 mg per day. This was originally done because bone scan results seemed to be a bit worse each year. The finger split cure is a happy accident which occurred in trying to solve another problem.


Neutrogena's Norwegian Fishermen formula handcream was the only product which fixed the problem for my mother - she used to dread lambing time on the farm because of the painful splits on her hands.

I recommend pure lanolin.

From memory I think it is hydroscopic lanolin. I got it from a compounding pharmacy.

You will have a faint sheep smell for awhile when you first put it on. I usually put it on at night - rubbing it in well.


I tried soaking my fingers in a small bowl of warm water and a pinch of the type of salt that is "dirty" looking--sea salt with lots of the natural mineral content. It is not a cure, but the more often I do it the better the skin and nails have become. Works to relieve fungus too.

The best treatment I've found for severely cracked fingers is "Nexcare Skin Crack Care." It looks like a tiny bottle of clear nail polish, and you brush it onto the crack just as you would apply nail polish. It seals the crack, and is waterproof and long-lasting. The creams and lotions mentioned are good, too, but this is best if you have to go to work with a severely cracked finger.

I have suffered from very dry 'winter' skin all of my 70+ years. A few years ago, on a routine wintertime visit to my dermatologist, he took note of the split skin on my fingertips at the edge of each fingernail, and excitedly stated that he had a new remedy--super glue in each crack.

I tried it right away and it worked like a charm, relieving the pain and hastening a cure. As he told me this, he pointed to a young Dr at his side, his son, who had just completed his residency at a major hospital, as the source of this latest info.

I like to use the Loctite brand, because the glue remains useable until it is gone, unlike many tubes of super glue.

I recently underwent thoracic surgery, which entailed a very long incision from the middle of my back all the way around to the front. I awoke to discover it had been glued, not sutured, shut and it healed very nicely.

It's the Norwegian Formula Body Emulsion from Neutrogena that works the best. It fixed my cracked fingers and my gator-looking legs. I alway put it on before I leave the house and it stays on for a long time. I can even feel it after I was and I work in a kitchen. I wash all day. I have tried every thing there is and I keep coming back to the Neutrogena Body Emulsion. I don't try anything anymore. It's burning money.

I have had splitting finger ends for years, working outdoors, especially in the winter, but my son told me about O'Keefe's Working Hands Cream, and it cured my problem. It is not especially greasy, but does have parafin. Just put it on as you go to bed and leave overnight. Thanks for all your help.

In reference to painful split fingers, after many trips to a few differant doctors and many failed solutions, I read in a women's magazine a possible helpful hint which I tried and it worked wonders, no more splits: just take a 1200 mg Flax seed oil soft gel daily takes about a week to work been doing it for years NO MORE SPLITS. David

We use Zim's Crack Creme liquid skin care on our fingertips and heels during the winter months. It's fantastic, very effective and very pure, only 5 ingredients. Be sure to get the liquid version.

Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Skin Therapy Lotion keeps my fingers from cracking.

My splits were from the newspaper! I started wearing cotton gloves and no more splits. Something in the ink or acid wash in the newspaper was causing my finger tips to split. I had tried everything and one morning I heard a sizzle and felt a split opening up as I held the paper. I have NEVER had another split with the gloves.

DRINK PURIFIED WATER. A few days ago I noticed that my fingertips were starting to crack again, as they have every winter season. I then realized that I had not been drinking my normal daily volume of purified water so I upped my minimum daily water intake back up to 6+ glasses immediately. I said purified water because I believe it rehydrates the skin but it likewise helps to remove other harmful toxins from within the human body.

Jointly, I have been using a heavy coating of "udder cream" (available at most pharmacies) on my fingertips and hands 3 times a day; rubbing and massaging the lotion into my skin until it disappears. (Udder cream in the tips of disposable glove would probably help for even added crack hydration.)

My fingertips are now definitely on the mend. Remember and take heart! I painfully waited a couple days before reacting to my split fingers, so now it's going to take as long to heal them! I hope this helps you! Happy Holidays! :) :)

I have this cracking/splitting skin problem on my fingers every winter. Oddly enough, if I have acrylic fingernails applied, the splitting and cracking does not occur.

I have found that CARMEX works quite well for cracked fingers as well as cold sores and chapped lips for which is is marketed.

I have suffered from split fingers all my adult life and so has my mother and my grandmother. I have a background in nutrition and take many vitamins and drink plenty of pure water. Nothing seemed to help. After reading the suggestions on this site, I remembered that I had some Bag Balm in a drawer from my elderly dog whose pads were worn. I rubbed some into the 5 fingers that were splitting and felt immediate relief. Within minutes, the skin was less hard and the splits felt soothed. I won't know for sure for a few days, but this seems to work the best of all the remedies I've tried over the years. I plan to slather it on at night and wear gloves to bed. I'll keep you posted and thanks!

My husband and I both suffer from this problem. Last year one of our surgeons shared some of his hand cream that he swears by with me and now half of my hospital is using it. He has used it for years for the splitting problem. When I went online to order it (it can be found at pharmacies also) I found another product that helps heal also, and it works really well. The two together are the best help we have ever found. The hand cream is TheraSeal Hand Protection and the "healer" is HANDY manum by DERMAdoctor.

Hi everyone and thank you for posting your helpful suggestions on this website. I have Raynaud's Disease, which affects the blood flow to my fingertips. After reading everyone's ideas on how to heal the splits in my fingertips, I found one comment in particular that I could totally relate to. It was the one by LC on 11/20/07 when he mentioned that he asked his doctor to stitch up the splits because they were so painful. I had just asked the exact question to a nurse the day before I found this topic online (sadly the answer was no).

Anyway, I decided that since I had tried most of the other suggestions, that I would order some lotion from Well let me tell you, it truly is the only thing that is allowing my skin to close back up. I have tried everything, including Vicks VapoRub, Bag Balm, Vasoline and every lotion imaginable. It has almost completely healed a crack on my thumb that I have had for two months, and I've only been using the Porter's Lotion for 48 hours!

I am going to place another order for more of their products since the original lotion works so well. I highly recommend Porter's Lotion to anyone with fingertip cracks or any disorder that would make it more difficult for the body to heal itself quickly from cuts or cracks. And like the gentleman LC said, I am not profiting by endorsing Porter's Lotion. I just want other people to finally experience the relief that I have long sought out.

I too suffer from the splits. It is currently 4 a.m., and I cannot sleep dut to the pain. Last year I came close to going to the hospital, my fingers were so painful.

I have a small split on the tip of my thumb I've had now for years that won't close up. I've tried everything, from Neosporen, steroid creams, butterfly bandages to try to hold it shut, even tried a product called Split Finger Fix, which was basically superglue, that didn't work either. I've always worn bandages because without it will hurt.

At my most recent dermatologist appt. she said they couldn't take a stitch becuse of the location and she gave me the strongest steroid cream on the market, which a month later hasn't worked either. She said the next step is a slice biopsy -- not appealing -- to see if there's something in there preventing it from closing up. I will try some of the suggestions I've read here. Does anyone else have any other remedies for me?

I've been suffering since I was 17, I'm 64 now... thought after menopause my splits would go away or ease up some. Instead I don't get relief in the summer anymore. There are times I literally cry with pain, it gets so bad I drop stuff... not to mention how unfeminine I feel. I can hide them under gloves in the winter... summer they're out in plain view. Band-Aids bring me relief, but don't solve the problem, as soon as they come off the spilts start to open again.

I've seen so many dermatologists in my lifetime... they prescribed a steroid cream and tell me to keep my hands out of water as much as possible... ha!

Glad I found this forum... I'll try some of your suggestions... thanks!

Wow! I posted a message on 3/10 about my split thumb--I have since used the Nexcare Skin Crack care and also started taking Flax seed oil, 1000mg daily and it's amazing! The split hasn't completely closed yet, but after only a few days it doesn't hurt or sting anymore, and I can tell it's healing from the inside--for the first time in 4 years! Sounds silly to get so excited about this but my husband has called me "Bandaid Lady" for the longest time. Just wanted to let people know that I appreciate their help.

Tie an onion to your belt!

Just Kidding, use some numbing agent to ease the pain and stick your finger in cider.

Is it the Porter's Original Lotion for dry skin that I need? I am in the UK and dont want to order the wrong stuff! My wife's fingers constantly crack and are painful; then as one heals the next cracks. Constant band aids and blood.
Really want this to work

I have had cracked skin along my fingertips for months now, and recently found that it was caused by using products that have aloe or by touching latex (I am allergic to both). Latex is used on calculator and remote buttons, car door remote buttons, and also on washer and dryer handles, as well as on many other common products, such as grips on pens and the handles on kitchen utensils. Aloe is ever more common in soaps, cosmetics, and lotions.

Both cause my fingers to crack and my skin to turn red. Recently, on the Mayo Clinic website, I found an article that explains that people allergic to latex are also often allergic to aloe, and these symptoms are among the ones that indicate the allergy.

You might want to try discontinuing contact with aloe and latex and see if your skin heals. Mine has! I have put tape over the washer and dryer handles, got rid of the liquid soap with aloe, thrown out all of my lipsticks with aloe (which were causing my lips to split and bleed), and also got rid of the "Fungi Cure" liquid that I had been using on my fingers because I thought I had a fungal infection. It turns out that Fungi Cure has aloe in it, so I was making the problem worse.

Anyone allergic to aloe and latex will want to avoid latex gloves and bandaids also. Most pharmacies sell latex-free gloves and bandages.

Best of luck to you, fellow sufferers from this allergy!

My acupuncturist suggested the following: first rub the split with fresh garlic, wait 1 hour. (this may sting a bit briefly) Second, apply a drop of sesame oil. Worked for me!

This may be a duplicate posting...But I have used a product called BoilEase on my fingertips. It contains a pain reliever in the lotion. It does not heal the cracks or stop the bleeding but it does stop the pain within 10 minutes of putting it on.

Just reading through the comments, as I suffer from the same split finger problem, and I read the comment (Dec 6 '07) about the acrylic nails -- I noticed that when my nails are long, I don't get the problem, probably because the tips are protected from damage by the long nails. In winter because the skin is dry, it's more susceptible to damage. The splitting only occurs in winter because in summer the skin is mostly moist from perspiration. Just about any cream seems to work in healing the splits but they keep coming back. I'm off to buy the glue, though, as I'm fed up with band aids.

I'm so relieved to find this site because I have suffered with these painful cracks for about 15 years. They used to only occur in winter but now I have them year round, especially with the dry summers we have in Texas.

I've tried everything including most of the products suggested on this site. The doctors have called it eczema, but I never have the itching described as one of the symptoms, so I think I am being misdiagnosed. After trying 4 different, expensive steroid creams, my Harvard educated dermatologist did a patch test on me, and found me to be allergic to Caine mix, which includes several chemicals, medicines (bacitracin which is in the Polysporin I was using to help heal the splits!); but the Mayo Clinic CARD database that my doctor has access to also told me to stay away from fragrance, formaldyhyde, neomycin, benzocaine, and a bunch of other things.

The doctor printed out a list of items I can use, most of which are only available through special order at pharmacies or over the internet. I have had to revamp practically my whole life, and have spent nearly $300. in the last 2 weeks on products. In spite of that, I am still getting the splits on my fingertips, and I am miserable. Does anyone have any other suggestions not seen previously on this site?

I have the same problem, I use super glue to seal the skin closed. It stops the stinging and I just read in your readers comments about using Vick's Vapor Rub.....Think I'll give that a try also. Jim P....NC

I highly recommend Neosporin. It moisturizes dry fingertips and heals splits almost instantly.

The trick is VITAMIN C, 1000 mg per day. This took me from 4 or 5 painful splits to zero in 2 weeks. I think of splits as a scurvy of the fingertips.

I have suffered from split thumbs and occasionally split index fingertips since I was a teen (and am now 50). The only time I was free of the splits was when I had acrylic nails. I have filed or trimmed the calloused skin away when I have the splits. That takes the edge off the pain, as the hardened skin seemed to keep pulling the splits apart. I then use the super glue or 'liquid band-aid'. I am anxious to start the Flax which I have in my cupboard unopened, and a major split on each thumb. I hope it works, as topical treatments have helped very little. Thanks for the suggestion!

I've had split thumbs for years. I'm 62.After doing all the old stuff, nothing helped much. But would you believe, after looking over this site I took the best sounding cures, put them together. WOW With in
24 hrs. big difference. 48 hrs.
almost gone.

Told two of my pals with same or worse.Worked for them too. Here it is:
800 IU. vitamins A&D. 1000mg flaxseed oil. Udderly Smooth cream on hands at night & morning. You will be surprised.
Good Luck! RICK

You can purchase inexpensive cotton gloves at any pharmacy. I saw them at Target also.

My best results were from using neosporin, pretty much immediate relief. Neosporin ointment works better than the cream. Continue use for a couple days and cracks go away.

Have lived with split fingertips for years but had none this winter (2008-09).The only difference is that we have changed our type of heat and are living at cooler temps this winter. Using radiant heat more and the furnace a lot less. The humidity in our bedroom is about 40% now and was much lower in past winters. So I assume that's the answer. It has been so nice not to be troubled by this problem for the first winter in years.

The pain from split fingertips really can be excruciating from even the slightest touch, especially when the split is wide enough. My wife, being a nurses aid for 25 years now keeps a box of latex gloves at home for her home care jobs. What we do is cut a finger from a latex glove, put a glob of bacitracin on the effected finger & slide the latex finger on.
Within an hour the pain is gone and after keeping it on for a day or two the split is closed & healing is on its way.

I'm a nurse and keep my hands in water all day!. I have tried almost everything (bandaids, new skin, lotions, steri strips...etc) except the vitamins and super glue. I have recently bought Heel balm from Walgreens and I've put it on my split fingertips as much as possible. Although it is thick and greasy, it absorbs quick and completely. So far no new cracks and less pain. I will keep you posted.

super glue works like a charm

I had a split thumb for a couple of years and it began to cauliflower, It was horrible. One day I was thinking maybe there is a fungus in there that won't make it heal. So I tried Tinactin antifungal cream and rubbed it into the thumb tip.

After 1 week it was completely healed, I was so amazed with this and relieved that after seeing dermatologist and doctors, that I figured it out on my own. I still get split thumbs from time to time. Actually I had one on Friday and put the Tinactin on the thumb and its already pretty much healed. I recommend this to anyone, what do you have to loose.
Regards and good luck.

My thumbs and index fingers have started splitting on ends, it has happened the last couple of years. I work with modeling balloons-entertainer. yes it must be the latex, what can i rub into the ends of fingers? Iam in the UK.

I have a cure that has worked for me and it seemed to happen fairly quick. My thumbs and 1st two fingers on both hands were cracked, very painful and not getting better so this did it. I wash my hands then dry them. I then use Bactine Pain Relieving Cleansing Spray, as it doesn't contain alcohol and burn more tissue when applied, so it really feels good and kills the pain. Then I apply Ultravate Cream .05% (halobetasol propionate cream). There is a generic so its not expensive. Do this morning and night till it clears up then once a day and less and less. It worked for me and my fingers are great. Good luck, Rich.

I have a cure that has worked for me and it seemed to happen fairly quick. My thumbs and 1st two fingers on both hands were cracked, very painful and not getting better so this did it. I wash my hands then dry them. I then use Bactine Pain Relieving Cleansing Spray, as it doesn't contain alcohol and burn more tissue when applied, so it really feels good and kills the pain. Then I apply Ultravate Cream .05% (halobetasol propionate cream). There is a generic so its not expensive. Do this morning and night till it clears up then once a day and less and less. It worked for me and my fingers are great. Good luck, Rich.

yep i have the same problem. splits for the last twenty years or so best thing i have tried is super glue. it seals the wound and stops the pain. i think i will try porters lotion also.

Use Porter's lotion on legs, hands, heels, knees, and elbows. If I am out of the stuff I suffer. My back up for hands only is water-based Working Hands Cream from Joseph, Oregon. I don't sell either of these. The grease solutions don't work for me.

For the past year and a half I've experienced the finger tips on both hands (thumb and index fingers) the skin starts to peel off and then the flesh splits in small incisions at multiple locations on each finger and thumb, then it starts to heal then splits open again, and again, and again bleeding occurs at each split (fingers get so sore that you cant perform any relative functions without pain).

Very uncomfortable and its always on your mind, even hard to sleep. I've tried numerous products, such as petroleum jelly, spray-on band aids, super glue, neosporin, my dermatologist prescribed "Mometasome Furoate Cream UPS, 0.1% 15 grams", "Colbetasol Propionate Ointment USP 0.5% 30 grams" I also took "Prednisone 10mg tablets on a 28 days cycle", and took "Kenolog 40 1cc & Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate 1cc injections" but to date nothing has worked for more than a few days before the splitting returned. I've started soaking my fingers in (off the shelf) Peroxide solution 1% and it seems to retard the splitting and helps the healing.

I first suffered this condition over 10 years ago and my doctor said it had to do with stress so I took up running and weights. It pretty much disappeared. but I have has a relapse lately and (not going to the gym) and have tried many things. I had splits and peeling fingers on 7/10 fingers and 2/10 toes. i' am now "healed" and this is my prescription:

1000mg flaxseed oil, vicks vapour rub, moogoo moisturerer, zinc cream and - wrapping diprosone OV and cling wrap to your fingers at night. for some reason, since I upped mu vitamin C things seemed to get better too. I also take zinc and multivitamins too. hope you get relief.

I had a small callous on the tip of my thumb that would not go away. A dermatologist said it was a wart and froze the spot three times in a row. Agony!
Ever since, the area splits continuously. One will heal, slowly and as soon as it is gone, a new split occurs.
Help! I have tried every cream in North America.

I thought I was alone in my world of pain! There are some interesting remedies here, which I will be trying when the dreaded splits return in the winter. I have found that just soaking them (and myself) in a hot bath for an hour or so does a lot to ease the pain. I have thought about the super glue treatment, but have always been unsure of which one to use!

I just might have the cure!! I tried most of the remedies suggested here. Although interesting, they did not work for me. What did work was ALOE VERA GEL. It's used for sunburn pain. It is inexpensive and can be purchased just about anywhere. Just rub a small amount in your palms making sure to cover your fingertips and other problem areas. The next day, right before my eyes the cracks and splits on my fingertips began to heal. I've had amazing success with this product for a problem that has nagged me and disrupted my life for a long time. Let me know if it worked for you.

I remember taking vitamins and extra vitamin c for years and didn't have problems with my fingers. I forgot why I stopped taking the extra vitamin c then I starting getting skin splitting on my fingers and dryness and rashes. I was told I have low immune system. I started taking the extra vitamin c again and I am healing. The problems I was having are now going away.

The greasier the better: Carmex, petroleum jelly, antibiotic ointment like Neosporin, and Vick's vapor rub have all worked very well on my cracked fingers.

My Dad has suffered from splits in the lines of his palms for many years. He has recently retired from iron work which exacerbated his problem because of the severe cold he endured. His doctor recommended that he not use petroleum based products on his hands. He washes with a skin cleanser. The name brand one is Cetaphil, but every drug store has a generic.

He moisturizes with Purpose hand cream, a thick non-petroleum moisturizer. I have developed split fingers in the last couple of years, brought on by cold weather and dry climate. I have tried Neosporin and the like to no avail. I'm going to try Purpose, and if it doesn't work, I'm going on to Porter's and Nexcare and the others. I have tried the Neutrogena Norwegian one and find it helps somewhat... Best of luck to everyone! I'm going to plug in my humidifier.

I bought some Nexcare advanced hand cream 2 days ago and I haven't used the creams my doctor gave me...seems to be working pretty well so far!! give it a try

Believe it or not, coat the fingers with Vicks Vapor Rub....cover with a band-aid. You'll have relief in a day or two. It's amazing.

FYI I've been taking vitamins regularly and still get finger cracks -- so those few posts who suggest taking vitamin C, or vitamin D, are not going to help. Also note my elderly father tried solving with moisturizers & keeping his finger(s) wrapped in band-aids, and after a while developed fungus infections on his fingernails (which have proved fairly intractable)... so don't try that option. (Those are the only things I can comment on with authority!)

I too suffer from the dreaded splits on my thumbs. I use the liquid bandaid alias superglue. Feels better for a very short time, then wears off, and the dried glue splits right along with my skin. I am so sick of the pain and irritation! I am going to try any/all of these suggestions until I fine one that works!

Get Your Vitamin D3 Level Checked ASAP!

I have had terrible fingertip cracks for several years. My late paternal grandmother had them terribly as does my dad. I have tried nearly everything others have listed on this blog. In my annual physical, I had my blood work done and found I have been vitamin D3 deficient.

I began taking D3 supplements to get levels up and miraculously my fingertip cracks were GONE after less than 1 month of the D3 supplements. Seeing my results, my dad had his D3 level checked, found out he was also deficient, began taking supplements and his fingertip cracks have healed as well.

PLEASE see your doctor and check your vitamin D3 levels. I wish I had done it years ago. I also wish my grandmother could have had her level checked and possibly gotten rid of her painful condition as well. Wishing you crack-free fingertips for the new year! -AK

These are helpful product suggestions, I'll try them. Another couple of points--a friend/dermatologist suggested that any lotion be applied to wet skin--to help trap that moisture. Also, I've found that ALWAYS wearing protective gloves while I wash the dishes makes a big difference in how quickly my skin will crack in the winter. I think the detergents on the market now are so effective at "fighting" grease that they extract any oils from exposed skin too. Unlike Lady MacBeth, I'd rather not wash the seas (or dishwater) caradine thanks to my cracked, by the splitting of my thumbs, something greasy this way comes.

Superglue works great. Put some superglue on the end of a toothpick and then dab the split with the end of the toothpick to apply to the split. Seals up the split and also does not let water continually get to it. The superglue washes off by about the same time the split is healed. Works great!

Experts agree finger splitting is caused by dry skin, dry winter air and dry conditions such as handling cardboard or dish detergent exposure. Most hand creams have lots of alcohol, which causes more drying to some degree, and attacks the symptom, not the cause. If lotions haven't helped, improve your diet by eating sardines in olive oil, using olive oil on salad, fry your eggs in olive oil or take flax seed capsules. Flax oil works also and is available in Walmart and nutrition food stores. The dietary approach removes the cause of split fingers.

A doctor gave me a tube of clotrimazole and Betamethasone dipropionate cream UPS for a rash on my knee.

I decided to try it out on my cracked and very painful slices around my fingernails...This is what you need. I put it on last night and all the slices are healing mega fast by tonight they will be gone.

This stuff is very expensive, like $50.00. Ask your pharmacist about it... maybe there is something else comparable at a lower cost.

I, too, have been plagued with splitting fingers and they are so sore! I tried the Aloe Vera Gel last night and this morning my fingers look much better! It is almost too easy of a solution, but I am going to keep at it!

I am a plasterer, I suffer with cracks and splits on each finger sometimes very painful. I use Germolene which seems to stop the pain but I can't get them to heal, I know that it is because of my line of work, I have used gloves, my hands always feel dry and painful. Any ideas?

I have read all the recommendations for split sensitive skin on finger tips which are very irritating and painful. However, I feel this is a genetic problem as I've found no amount of cream or lotions seem to toughen the skin up, which is what's really needed.

I also suffer from very dry and cracking heels which need sanding smooth from time to time. Sometimes they are so painful that it causes me to limp when I walk.

Has anyone found that there is a chemical or vitamin deficiency that may be causing both problems ?

I stumbled upon this thread, I have a page of notes to follow-up on. Right now some of my cracks are making it difficult to type (keyboard is super easy to type on!)

I started learning to play an acoustic guitar about 5 months ago. This is when I first really had a problem w/ the cracks on either side of my nail at the tips of my fingers. I have had these cracks come on as long as I can remember, I just had to live with it. I don't live in a super cold climate, so I don't know why I'm having so many cracks in the past year. Some days I can't even practice my guitar, it's just way too painful to press on the strings or hold the pic. I have tried many of the recommended cures: Super Glue, Nexcare liquid bandage/glue (I think they stopped selling the glue version), sleeping w/ non-latex gloves w/ my hands slathered in Aquaphor (a greasy jelly-like dressing), to name a few. Now I wonder if the rubber gloves that I must use to wash dishes all the time in might be a contributor? I might have latex sensitivity, but not sure. I know my cousin is allergic, and I didn't know that there was a connection between latex allergies and having problems w/ aloe. Good to know.

I will try some of the suggestions and hopefully something will work. I have started taking the Flaxseed oil again, and will keep it up if it's going to help. I was just taking it for my general health, but if it repairs my fingers, that's even better. I see the vitamin C connection; as vit C is for collagen renewal. I will also take that supplement religiously if it helps the fingers. Hopefully I can check back here in a few weeks and report some good news. Thanks to everybody for your contributions.

I am so glad to have found this site. I have put up with painful bleeding thumbs for several years and my Dad had the same problem with his fingers. I will try the Loctite today and the vapour-rub tonight. As soon as I can I will get some flax seed oil tabs and the vitamin A&D. I have hope at last. Thanks for all the tips.

hey guys so I am not alone...
lately I have experienced something close to what you are describing here. Strangely, it is happening only on one finger , the middle finger. My skin kind of splits or peels off a little on that finger underneath there is a wound. It is so painful, what is it?? Why on one finger?
I use latex for my ortho treatment I assumed it is an allergy , but I haven't worn it for the whole month to give my gums a rest, but the skin rash doesn't go away. What is going on ...

I have carpal tunnel in my right hand and also got splits on my fingertips, really painful :( is it possible these two things are related ?

I had carpal tunnel in both hands, had surgery (which was successful!!!) but still had the split fingers. Aloe vera worked wonderful for me!!

I've used most methods on here, and many others, and the only success I've had is with two products.

1) Neosporin (bandage the hell out of it for a couple days, and the splits are far better)

One of my friends swears on this next one, and I'm going to try it tonight, but he said to pour lemon juice on your splits and while it hurts a lot at that moment... he said it heals rapidly. He was very adamant, and he's never led me wrong before, so I figured I might as well try it.

My thumbs and two fingertips on both hands crack and are very sore. I have gotten several different creams from doctors and nothing works. I have been dealing with it for a couple of years now. Could it be caused from nerves or stress? I have tried all the lotions and petroleum jelly, etc. etc. etc. you name it I think I tried it. I have to type at my job and my fingers are always bandaged. Unsightly to say the least. HELP!

I trim my finger nails irregularly and this leads to a slight hardening of the skin around the finger end and sides at the nail. Dry and at times painful.

I use a nail file to reduce the hardened skin.
This leads to less skin to 'catch' and cause pain.
Gives the skin less aggravation so healing takes place much quicker.

Yeah! So glad to find this website! Have just made a list of remedies to try. Will keep you posted.

My fingertips were constantly split open for about 8 years. So painful that it was difficult to just button a shirt or zip a zipper. I could squeeze the ends of my fingers and blood would drip freely.

I tried all the over the counter remedies that I could and then I tried everything the dermatologist would prescribe including the $60 tubes of ointment and months of UV light treatments. Some of these things helped but nothing was ever permanent.
I tried most of the ideas on these forums and the A&D ointment and the Walgreen brand of A&D ointment seemed to give me the most relief. I would use it twice a day and rub it in very well. I then started taking a Cod Liver Oil capsule every day for about 6 months.

My fingers healed completely and I have not had a split fingertip for over a year and a half now. I don't take the Cod Liver Oil anymore but I still use the A&D ointment once a day.
I hope this info will be of some help to someone else.

I have Raynauds also. How are you dealing with it? It affects my fingers and toes. Showers, grocery store, refrigerator, church the list seems to be getting longer as time goes on. Doctor told me to wear gloves, which I don't wear gloves in the store and work , shower etc. Maybe in the winter outdoors or in the car. Even my toes when I am wearing my socks and shoes, I can tell it is happening. I have just never talked with anyone that has this before. My fingers split open quite often too. Do you think the two could be related?

I feel so much better after reading these posts! I too have had problems with split skin on my thumbs for several years now. My 85 year old mother uses a liquid band-aid called New Skin at the advice of a dermatologist. It works very well for her at dealing with the split after it happens. She's painting the stuff on constantly in the colder weather. I am looking for something to prevent the problem, and am going to try some of the suggestions on this forum. Thanks so much for all of your ideas!

I have always used Blistex and a band aid. The blistex takes the pain away in seconds, but the split takes a day or two to heal over, but once covered no more pain.

I cut a stripe of Moleskin and wrapped it around the tip of my finger. It cushions the area and helps relieve the pain.

This is eye opening. I am so glad to read these comments. I have recently moved to a colder climate and have been having problems with these split thumbs. 2 days ago my left thumb and today the right. It's hard to do things because of the pain. Last night I put Neosporin & bandaid and it seemed to be a lot better today but I didn't put a bandaid on it and it is open again. I did try New Skin yesterday but it didn't help. So, tonight is an experiment.

On my left thumb, I am using A&D Ointment. On my right I am actually going to try Manuka Honey. It is actually used on MRSA and on skin ulcers that don't heal so I figured, what the heck. I will let you know if either helps. BTW, I also have Renauyds but only in my hands and only when I get cold so maybe there is a connection.

Thanks for having me in the split-finger club. My typing & my Morse code suffer. I gave up the violin because of splits, plus arthritis and, to be honest, ineptitude. It occurs to me reading every comment that, maybe, like seasickness, hiccup cures, & stupidity, what works for one might not work for others. I find handling large sums of money to be very comforting. Perhaps I should become a millionaire ?

Lotil & Loctite superglue help a bit, but my weird diet makes me think of trying flax-seed oil, vitamins & more wine. I'll drink to your health.


This verifies my suspicions that the lack of sunshine and getting enough vitamin D is the reason I get split finger tips in the winter and not the summer. The A & D ointment may be just what I need.

I have tried everyone of the above suggestions and nothing so far has helped. I have also tried about every lotion possible. The only two things that has corrected the problem is to be on Predisone* (not a good idea) and using paper tape which suffocates the split but as soon as you take away the tape the problem comes back quickly.

*When I was on Predisone at one time, I had no split finger problems.

I have suffered from my finger tips splitting open for some time now. I only suffer with this condition in the winter. I recently retired and moved back home only to find that every one of my brothers and sisters suffer from the same condition and my father as well. IT IS SO PAINFUL at times I can hardly do anything with my hands. The cracks typically are diagonal along the finger right at corners of my finger nails. I see so many of you good people who suffer from the same have tried many things but it seems that most are POST CONDITION. I put Neosporin on at night and although it helps a little it certainly does not prevent this condition. Is there anything that can prevent it? It cannot bear to think I will have to suffer with this every winter from now on. Thank you good people for sharing your ideas and I hope together we can come up with a cure for this.

Same here regarding lack of results and seems nobody including dermatologists really have a remedy. The only thing I can do is try to treat it after it happens and right now both thumbs, both middle fingers and index fingers have painful splits right at the corners and lead under my finger nails. My brothers and sister and Dad all suffer from the same so I'm thinking first obviously it's genetic, but what is causing it? I know for me it happens for the most part in the winter. I do not do anything different in the winter. I have read some people say it's the lack of humidity, exposure to indoor heat, and maybe it does contribute to my/our condition, what do you think?

I am so relieved I am not alone! I can barely type I'm in such pain with my fingertips. Thank you so much for all the information. Thank you and God Bless! MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I read every entry and decided to try something with the flaxseed oil. I take 1300 mg every other day. At night, I pierced a capsule and spread the oil directly on the cracked fingertips. I then placed my hands in vinyl (not latex) gloves overnight to keep the oil in place. I have done this for 4 nights and the top of the crack is still slightly open but the part near the fingernail is healed. The pain is gone and the the skin is softer around the cracks.

Last night I put the oil directly into the glove's fingertips then placed my hand inside and worked the oil into the tips. My granddaughter has a constant fine rash on her cheeks that doctor's have not been able to relieve. You guessed it--I put some flaxseed oil on it and in about 3 hours it was gone. I hope this works for others as well. Angela

I'm a heavy equipment operator and I've had painful splits on my thumb and fingers for two years. No help from doctors or online other than super glue (actually gorilla glue worked best for me). I also used an over the counter sunburn treatment made of aloe and lidocaine that gave pretty good pain relief. It was very helpful those nights that my hands were keeping me awake.

BUT about a 2 months ago a pharmacy clerk recommended opening a vitamin E capsule and rubbing it into the splits and rough spots on my hands. About two weeks later I removed what was left of the glue and I have had no new splits.

I open a capsule once or twice a week and rub it into my hands and any other rough dry skin like my knees or elbows. It's very thick and takes a while to rub into the skin. The first time I did it I opened two caps and it took forever to rub in. It left my hands tingling for hours but I have had no other reactions.

I have had a very busy month with lots of heavy outside work in low temperatures.

I use the highest concentration I can find.

BTW - My doctor said to use a little antibacterial cream in the splits before applying glue otherwise no problem with glue on the skin as long as it doesn't cause irritation. He said that these glues are very similar to surgical glue but much cheaper.

The only thing I have found to help is crazy glue and a small piece of dryer sheet,(washed clean of fabric softener).
The crazy glue, or super glue I use comes with a brush, much like nail polish. I work in a factory and cannot use bandages on my finger. I dab a little glue over the split and then place a small piece of the dryer sheet on the glue, then add a little more glue over it. It will usually stay on until the split is healed.

Hey a bad part of life is cracked fingers, they are so painful you cannot sleep because of the throbbing.

My husband has done timbering, farming, construction and concrete work his whole life. As a farmer also shoes horses and feeds cows all winter and his fingers are always cracked. It is the saddest thing. His fingers bleed and throb with pain. He has always worn- yellow chore gloves. He does little to fix his problem but complain. Don't get me wrong I love him, he's great, we've been married over 35 years. But I believe that to fix or change something you have to move forward searching for a solution- that requires effort.

I have worked in a potato production plant for years and have been required to wear latex gloves. Wearing those gloves cures cracked fingers, but those gloves over extended use have given me and other people in the plant terrible itchy eczema, just like your hands are on fire. It finally took a doctors prescription called "Betamethasone Val 0.1% CM" and two weeks to start healing. I now wear a glove made by Atlas #541 that are a grey color with a palm that is dipped in a rubber like material. They are a special cut glove, by that I mean that they are made to prevent your fingers from getting cut if you use knives or tools. They are nice- they let my skin breath, they protect my hands and I can wash them, I can also slide another pair of heavier gloves over them when I need more protection.

My solution, use good gloves...keep your hands as dry as possible. Don't cut your finger nails too short- you need the nail to protect those edges of your fingers that are constantly receiving impact from use. Use Liodocaine (a pain killer) or pain relief neosporine, dang even an Advil helps when you have to keep working with a painful crack.

Most Important--Constantly Keep Your Fingertips Clean. We are constantly touching things that are covered with germs... Bite the bullet... rub soap or peroxide or hand sanitizer into those cracks all the time. Then after they are clean...use chapstick, carmax, or whatever you got in your pocket- rub it into that crack.
Use a bandage. Always remember-A cut will not heal unless it is kept clean!

SUPER GLUE! A little works great, honestly, it works!

Clear fingernail polish works as well as Superglue or Newskin for a temporary bandage. Put a large drop on the split, hold upside down and let dry to form a clear protective cap. This will stop the pain and last for a few days while the split heals, but it will return and the nail polish will have to be reapplied. So far, only summer weather heals my split fingers.


Thanks to everyone for all the great & helpful suggestions! I had no idea this was such a common ailment. My fingertips & thumb only crack on my right hand, obviously from being righthanded. NEVER had one on my left hand and only during the cold months from December to February! The cracks get so painful & sensitive that even the slightest touch from anything makes me yell out with pain. My family has come running before to see what I did to "hurt" myself! When I tell them it was my "split/cracked fingertips", they usually look at me like I am an over reacting "Drama Queen"! It's like with any other pain, you have to experience it to be able to fully understand it. From personal use, I think the liquid Bandage product is not worth the cost. I definitely plan to try the Porters Lotion.

One absolutely tried & true piece of advice for CRACKED HEELS: after you bathe/shower, take your pumice or exfoliating skin file (Dr. Scholl's) and rub the dead, dry skin off. Then take some tissue or paper napkin or paper towel and get a big glob of PETROLEUM JELLY (like Vaseline or even the cheap off brand) and saturate your heels with it. And I do mean heavily saturate! Then slip a pair of cotton socks on over that and wear for at least a few hours if you can. Overnight is the magic trick! I GUARANTEE you will have the smoothest baby soft skin on your heels after that Vaseline has absorbed into your skin! I have even just applied it and put on terry slippers during the day while I am just cleaning the house and it works. Ladies, if I have to wear pantyhose, (Yes, there are some babyboomers who still wear them!!), I do the same thing right before I put them on and it works fantastic! No more shredded pantyhose or knee-high heels anymore! Hope this helps someone!

When I left my comment about clear nail polish on the 13th I was about one week into using a new product called "gloves-in-a-bottle". I have been applying it to my fingertips and thumbtips for about two weeks now, three times a day, morning, noon, and night. I am seeing encouraging improvement. My current splits are healing and I have not had to apply any clear nail polish. If this works it will be the first I have tried that really does.

mj My experience was slightly different then yours. I live on the st.johns river in florida and I fish almost everyday. One day I noticed that my thumb was very sore and splitting. At first I thought it was either the the fishing reel chaffing my thumb, or maybe the worms That I was putting on my hook. I came to this site and for months tried almost every cure on it. Nothing worked. Some gave me temporary relief, like the new skin, or super glue but nothing really worked. It spread to other fingers, all on my right hand. One day my right hand and both of my feet began to swell very much. My Doctor told that I was swelling because I was allergic to a prescription that he had given me, but told me that was not the problem with my hand. He told me some kind of long medical term for it and wrote me a prescription for it. The drug store that I took it to was out of that med. but had the generic version of it. The company name on the tube is Perrigo, and the name of the generic medicine is betamethasone dipropilonate cream usp

I have had these splits almost every day for over 20 years and NOTHING has ever worked to stop from keeping them coming back. I'm a potter and clay and glazes don't help the problem. One thing that does bring almost immediate relief with the excruciating pain is PREPARATION H. Buy a tube of this for using only on your fingertips - no need to explain this one.

It numbs the split and makes it a whole lot easier to function . I am typing with only one hand right now as I have 4 splits on my right hand. I don't think I've ever had one on either of my pinkies! Isn't that curious. Bandaids at night time with lots of prep H on underneath. Hope for the best and hope that the next ones wait a while before they decide to split!! OUCH!!! They really are a pain. I'm going to buy some Nexcare tomorrow and try that too.

Thanks for all the suggestions!! My prescription corticosteroid creme was a waste of money!!!

I recently have tried Fruit of the Earth's Aloe Vera 100% Gel. I had tried most of the remedies suggested above but this worked right away.

I've had the same experience. It's an expensive solution though.

This is a problem that really plagues me. It is especially pronounced if I am working with my hands such as on a home improvement project. Even worse when my hands are in water. I will try some of these solutions, but the thing that helps the most is to clean the cut and then do whatever it takes (tape, glue, etc) to hold the cut tightly together until it grows back together naturally. The sooner this is done the better.

I'm so glad that I found this website. Years ago, a doctor gave me a prescription for clotrimazole-betamethasone cream for an unrelated sore on my leg. It's half anti-fungal and half corticosteroid, prescribed when the doctor doesn't know for sure what's causing the problem. It's what I've always used on my finger splits. A recent doctor insisted that I have contact dermatitis and it was the corticosteroid half of the cream that was doing the work and changed the prescription to a corticosteroid. Ha! It was useless.

From reading here, I think fungus is the main culprit. Maybe you start with a dry skin crack or allergy and then fungus sets in and keeps it from healing. I googled lots of the remedies listed here. Surprise. Many of the lotions contain products that are antifungals. Here is a list of natural antifungals. Aloe, garlic, vinegar, Tea tree oil, carrot juice. Vitamins E, A, C, D, zinc. Goldenseal, colloid silver, cloves. Grapefruit seed extract, essential oils of lemons, oranges, grapefruit, caraway, dill, peppermint(menthol), spearmint, tomatoes. Caprylic acid from coconuts. Castor bean oil. Olive leaf extract, red thyme oil.

Serveral people mentioned aloe, a natural anti-fungal. Several recommended Porter's Lotion. If you look at the ingredients, there are several oils that are antifungal. Diaper rash products contain antifungals zinc and vitamins A and D. Vicks vaporub has thymol, extracted from thyme, listed above as a natural anti-fungal. Lotil cream is an antifungal. Nexcare Skin Crack has tea tree oil listed above as a natural anti-fungal. Gold bond lotion was mentioned... it's got aloe and vitamins A, C and E... all antifungals. Heard of Propylparaben or methylparaben? They are antibacterial and antifungal preservatives that are in lots of the lotions that have been mentioned. Bag Balm has 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulphate, an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial product. And get this, superglue has Hydroquinone. Googling Hydroquinone only gave me a headache but if 8-Hydroxyquinoline Sulphate is an antifungal, Hydroquinone probably is too. And Flax seed oil? Yes, that too is an antifungal. Vicks vaporub... menthol is an antifungal. Certainly enough evidence to me that fungus is the culprit.

Hi, thanks for all the ideas on treating this painful problem. Nola, I like the way you think, and fungus is a likely suspect for some of us. I have used antibiotic ointment in the past with bandaids and it healed the cracks, but they came right back. Same with liquid bandage, the kind that paints on and smells like nail polish. Today I decided to try clotrimazole antifungal cream.

The whole fingertip was pink and peeling and a crack had worked down behind the nail, making the nail bed recede. After a few hours with the antifungal all over the finger, covered with a bandaid (the ever popular knuckle/fingertip model) the skin was reddened but not painful. So far so good - I guess it takes 2 weeks to clear up fungus so we will see what happens.

Since I began taking pain medicine for another chronic ailment, I have been constipated and this resulted in many aspects of "holding in:" water, sweat, tears, urine, and heat: perfect lab for splitting finger tips. Unfortunately, no one who oversees my medical care agrees with this line of reasoning.

Obviously, winter-indoors, lower relative humidity must dry out skin. A few years ago johnson & johnson had a product for this named something like liquid skin, came with 12 applicators with medicine on the q-tip. provided moderate pain relief and protected the wound. The replacement is much simpler: a nail polish bottle with a strong smelling solvent which stings mightily when applied, don't breathe the fumes if you can avoid them. I cut the tips off the regular latex gloves and protect my finger ends and anything I have to touch. "it's gettin better all the time. . .it can't get much worse". . .


KMC on 11/23/07 recommended using Super Glue to cure cracked/painful fingertips. At about that same time, my family doctor recommended using small amounts of Super Glue. I tried it and it worked like a miracle. As soon as the glue dried, the pain disappeared and the cracked fingertip began to heal. The application burns slightly but disappears as the glue dries. To me, this is a tried-and-true cure that I would recommend to everyone.

Thanks all for the suggestions,
I have had a cream from the doctors..... no use! I have every conceivable cream/lotion you buy over the counter..... no use! I have just ordered some Porters so will try that. My problem is I teach people how to sail, so my hands are always in sea water or in the wind so if they do repair themselves one tug on a wet rope they split again!!!!! it gets embarrasing with my students when I cover the ropes in blood every 5 minutes...... then in the winter they split again anyway because I work on boats, I can't win.
I'll let you know how the Porters works.

What an excellent site! I have suffered with all of the above symptoms and appreciate all of your suggestions. My own treatment has been to use Neosporin on the tips at night (though I can't say the Neosporin works any better than the above recommendations). However, instead of bandages, I cut off the fingers of my surgical gloves and slip it on the appropriate finger. I've done this for years because I can't sleep well with gloves on. In the morning the skin is soft and tips not painful. Much easier than applying bandaids.
Best, Gayle

I've use super glue for about 3 years now, the real trick to using it is to use a tooth pick so that you only get it on to the bottom of the crack and not on the skin next to the crack. One little sting when you put it on then in a minute all the pain is gone and the crack heals in a day or two.

I began having splitting thumbs when I moved back to Las Vegas. Nothing helped until my niece reminded me that I was back in Las Vegas and was I drinking all the water I needed. Unhappily I had to admit I had not. Well that very day I got back on my old system of keeping very well hydrated. Sure enough within 3 days not only were my thumbs no longer rough and splitting but I felt better all over. You don"t have to live in Vegas to be dehydrated in the winter, and the cure for that is water, water, water.

Well I thought I would add my findings using Porters liquid now for 2 weeks........ What cracked fingers!!!!! since the 1st day of spraying on and the dting to say something is happening they have healed up progressively.

Two days spent servicing outboard engines outside and a couple of days cleaning our yacht so my hands are sea water and strong detergent and they are still fine.

So I have a bottle of lotion in the bathroom, a small bottle in my car and the hired hand by the sink in the kitchen.

So a 100% success for me, no more split fingers.

emulsifying ointment. you can buy it for around a fiver and all it is is aqueous cream without the water. it's brilliant!

I take both Vit D, Vit C and fish oil daily, along with flax usually every day too. But this year is the first year I've developed splits and I think it is a combination of the more cold than usual winter we've had and maybe the dry skin caused by the soap at the office and a lot of hand washing so for me the Vit D, fish oil and flax have not prevented the splits from happening.

I am hoping they will disappear once the weather is warmer.

I cannot do latex! I may be allergic. I've had this problem for past 2 years. Dr. told me to avoid soap... impossible!

I am told that the dry and cracking fingers that I have been plagued with is psoriasis brought on by stress. That being said, all the moisture in the world doesn't help when the skin goes from dry mode to cracking mode. The best thing for me is to paint on the Nexcare Skin Crack Care to keep it from continuing. It works great but is only sold in a small (7ml) bottle and costs anywhere from 6-10 dollars. I found it at Walgreens once with a coupon attached and it cost $5, but that was the best price. I wish I could find it in larger quantities or something that competes with Nexcare that is priced better.

I have been suffering for many years with cracked and splitting fingers. I see I am not the only one with this problem. I have suffered for years with this. It is sometimes so painful I can't even touch a piece of Kleenex. I have tried many things such as Vaseline and other lotions, even a prescription from my Dr. It works for a while but it always comes back. I will try some of these ideas. I also wrote to Dr OZ.I'll try anything . THANKS AGAIN ALL

I have tried everything possible. Besides gluing the cracks together nothing else works. Not bag balm, not petroleum jelly, not any kind of moisturizer. I put tons on and rub it in and sleep with gloves. Nothing works. This morning I woke up with another crack instead of them going away.

I am curious how many of the people on this forum smoke? My doctor said that smoking aggravates the condition. Please respond either way so i can get a sense if he is correct. Thanks in advance.

I do not smoke. I haven't had a split for a while, but am moving and doing a lot of cleaning, sometimes without gloves, and wa la, a split.

Cracks have been healed for some time, but not through any extensive treatments or products. My main treatment involved NOT using antibacterial soap. Along with moisturizing daily with lightweight hand lotion, I avoid using antibacterial soap or hand sanitizers. In my case killing all germs good and bad did measurably more harm than good. Many different remedies posted that can be helpful, so perhaps someone may find this tip useful. God is the ultimate source of healing.

ML, I never suffered with this problem when I did smoke....... I gave up 4 years ago so not relevant for me.

Just years of using hand cleaners, oils, greases, resins etc is what I think. Bloody sore though, have had a split thumb now for three weeks.

Having just been diagnosed with my first squamous cell carcinoma as my resected above brow basal cell carcinoma heals, I have started to think that my finger-split dermatitis is related to HPV as well. Mine is recurrent but not usually so painful and occurs in one finger.

Could HPV vaccination help?
Lysine which is used for cold sores might help, and I have started that today.
There are non-alcohol sanitizers that could be used instead of frequent hand-washing.

Hi Ralph,
Just wanted to thank you ~ as I have dry feet and now splitting fingers and I think your answer : humidity is the key!

I also am never thirsty so water drinking is challenging which makes sense as I am dehydrated inside and out.

Will take your wonderful suggestion and run with it!

Thanks again!

Tried Vicks and it seems to work well after 2 weeks . My contribution is the means of application. I took several thin poly gloves and cut the fingers off. I covered the Vicks covered thumb tip with the finger and secured it with scotch tape. Stays on all day and I change it at night and also when a change is needed.

I use real butter with my meals almost daily. Whenever I get some on my hands I rub it in. Same thing with bacon grease or any animal fat. Rub it in. This and letting my dog lick my hands are the only things I've done different, and my fingertips haven't cracked for two seasons. I used to take Omega oil supplements. That did not prevent the occurrence for me. Made me wonder why in the world plant oils would be a replacement for the animal (skin) oil we lose that results in dry skin. Too bad they don't have lotion made from human skin oil!

Prior to discovering this I tried all kinds of lotions, super glue, bandaids, and had pretty good luck getting them to heal and nipping them in the bud by cutting away the dried/dead edges with a nail clipper. Do this when the first sign of cracking appears, but careful, not too deep! Applying enough bandaid sheer strips with the gauze removed kept the area moist, so they wouldn't crack further, and helps hold the crack shut.

I am so thankful to be rid of this suffering! And I didn't have to buy anything different! Hope this helps someone else!

I work in a warehouse and unload freight, which cracks my fingertips in winter months. I keep finger cots on split fingers while working and this keeps moisture inside, which speeds healing. I use Gold Bond healing lotion at night.

I have had these splits on my fingers for the first time since November. I was ready to go to the Dermatologist. However, I decided to try some of the people's recommendations I read about on line first. There were references to a fungus that causes the splits.

I have been using Lotrimin cream along with Tea Tree Oil for 1 week now. I also use gold bond for cracked hands while sleeping. The splits have totally cleared up. I'm going to continue this regimen for another week or so. Who would have thought a fungus could cause this problem???

Omgosh, about 2 days ago on my right hand I noticed my fingers were splitting at my fingertips. I honestly thought something was wrong with me! I was at work today and on my right hand, my index finger, it was so dry and peeled off to the point where I seen the red part of my skin. It doesn't really hurt, it's just really annoying. At work I'm constantly washing my hands from greasy food, and have to clean frosty machines! I figured out that's why they are probably cracking. The thing is I've never seen this before!!!!!

So I was reading some cures, and some said A+D ointment, so I went in my make-up bag bc I've had 5 tattoo's in the past year. I put it on INSTANTLY!!! The split is almost completely gone & it's only been on for 5 minutes! Try this!! It works!

I haven't smoked for 5 years, and still get splits, mostly on right thumb. The NexCare product works well, but is hard to find and expensive. I'm going to try the Desitin suggestion... it's something I haven't tried, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't have a fragrance, which is important for me.

The cracks on the palms of my hands, tips of my fingers and on the heels and bottom of my feet got so bad I had to take FLMA and stay off my feet for 2 weeks. Every time I stood up my feet cracked open and bled, and my hands were unsightly and freakish looking. My nails even got all covered with skin and twisted up. Ended up at Duke Medical Center, where they ran all kinds of tests. Not a fungus. Not psoriasis. Not, not not.

Ended up putting me on a dangerous medication called Cyclosporine, which they give to people who've had organ transplants to keep them from rejecting. It cleared it up in 5 days flat. Of course, it came back a few months later, and I end up getting back on it for a week or so, to knock it back. I have very bad asthma as well, and my entire family except me has been diagnosed with Celiac disease. I'm wondering how much of this is diet-related. Anyway, Cyclosporine did work quickly. Short term relief, but relief nonetheless.

Hi, I'm a 49 year old female. I can not believe there are so many people with this problem. I have had this problem for about 4 months. And I wonder ... where did it come from? I have had it from March to present time; June. I work in a doctors office all day long on the keyboards and some days my fingers hurt all day; and my typing is a mess.

I have worked there for 8 years and I wonder why now. And my fingertips hurt. Mostly thumbs, 1st and 2nd digits. They crack over and over again and hurt and bleed. I have tried many of the things mentioned above and will try some of the things that I have not. But I must mention a great band aid replacement. One of the nurses wrapped my bleeding finger tips in it one day and I was sold on it.

A little expensive; but worth it. THE BANDAGE IS CALLED TAGADERM FILM AND COMES IN MANY SIZES. Look it up on the internet; some drug stores sell it or you can order on line. I like it because it is like your fingertips are wrapped in a thin piece of clear plastic wrap. And it is hardly noticeable. It will take you a few pieces to learn how to cut and wrap your fingers that fit best; but if you wear it for a few days to a week they will heal up for a while. Hope my heal totally up soon; this is getting so old. thanks for the information.

Have looked at every comment on here glad to see I'm not alone ! I have both thumbs and 1st digit split as well as both big toe.... it is all so painful ! must be something we can do ! ?? Will be back x

I've had this problem for years as well, and for QUICK healing apply Neosporin to the splits & put a bandaid over to keep it covered & moist. Sometimes I do this only at night, but it helps tremendously!

WOW! There's a lot of different remedies. I don't have just split fingers.
Since I am right-handed, I also have splits on my palms and dry, flaky palms & fingers. On occasion, my left hand gets the same thing but mostly the fingers are the problem. Besides my hand problem, I'm also a foot-picker which means I pick my feet... have been for about the past 20 yrs. I'm now trying to break my habit and get my feet healed up which is NOT easy. Maybe one or more of these remedies can help them... which ever ones I haven't tried before.

I grew up with the usual dry skin off & on. When I became an adult, the problem slightly got worse. Then, I got a job working in our small-town cafe kitchen. I was not only the short-order cook, I did a little bit of everything in the kitchen along with waitressing a little. Since the owners would NOT get a dishwasher, we cooks were the dishwashers. That's when my hands got worse. Where I worked, we did cook with & without gloves but we were quite clean though. I'd be cooking one min. and the next, I'd be washing dishes. There was a bathroom sink next to the entrance to the kitchen doorway which just showed how well the owners felt about cleanliness. I became allergic to latex gloves. I'd somehow get water in them or, I'd sweat in them. I'd break out on my hands and up my arms.

I had to go to the doctor to get a prescription ointment that was specially made up for me. I ended up washing dishes without gloves. My hands were in dishwater, rinse water, & bleach water. The wife owner eventually ordered a lotion-type dish soap which was a little better but I still broke out. I worked 2 yrs. at this job. Was off for almost 2 yrs. when the owners took back the place from their renter. Worked 1 more yr. for them and this time, I was their main cook. My cracked, dry hands subsided some while at home.

Then when I went back to work, whether after being off for a weekend or off for 2 yrs., the problem came back. I quit my job last July... got fed up with my job and was ready to go on to other things but working in a kitchen is never too far from my mind. I like working in a kitchen but not the dish washing part.

Well, after I quit my job, my hands continued drying & cracking. Mostly my right hand is affected 'cause it's the one that wipes down stuff with the dish rag and gets dirty the most. I'm not only allergic to the dish soap my sister & I use, I'm also allergic to most hand soaps. We use liquid soap but due to my skin allergy, I use unscented Dove bar in the shower/tub. Last month, I started buying Cetaphil liquid hand cleanser... have used it before. I've tried Ivory liquid hand soap and it's OK but is harder to find in my area. Due to my sister's allergy to laundry soap, we use liquid All Free & Clear.

When it comes to my hands, I've tried a few things but the bad part is that I haven't been consistent to using anything specific. Just when I think my hands are about healed, the cracks reopens whenever I use a dish rag or use a cleanser for cleaning something without gloves. On top of this whole mess, I'm also diabetic. My sister blames my problem on it 'cause I'm not healing fast.

I haven't seen a dermatologist 'cause as far as I know, I can't see one without a referral. I've gotta check into that a bit more 'cause I might be able to get around that problem but we'll see. I don't have the money to see one and as usual, my sister pays for my medical bills & insurance.

I keep various gloves on hand at all times. I've used them at my job many times. I have plastic gloves for certain food things or other things, including our dogs. I mostly use vinyl gloves for cooking. I use them for cooking most of the time and wash them off as if they were my bare hands. Meat gloves are always thrown out. I also wear the vinyls for many other things. My favorite for washing dishes is Playtex Great Lengths Disposable Gloves. They are nitril and are a little longer on the arm than the normal nitril or vinyl gloves. They fit nice but as with all of the gloves, the fingers are a little longer due to my small hands. My hands don't sweat in them. They're sometimes hard to find. I buy 3 or more pkgs. at a time to make sure I've got plenty... 30 gloves per pkg. They're definitely worth the money!

Sorry I got so long-winded. Thanks for the tips. I'll try the ones I haven't used.

just wanted to comment that I have been suffering from the same symptoms for a while now. I went to see a dermatologist he said I needed moisturizer creams. I will tell you what worked for me. After all the stuff I have tried, on and off for three years. This worked, I bought Lotrimin ultra cream, yes a fungal cream and it started to heal my fingertips, in two days I started to see a big difference.

About one week, my finger tips all healed! I have tried everything form doctors and nothing helped. I still use the Lotrimin at least once a week just to be safe. But my finger tips are back to normal. I hope this helps someone else. Believe me, I have been suffering with this for about three years.

I cannot believe how many people have this problem! I have tried quite a few things but nothing has worked. Thank you for the ideas - I will definitely try them! It is soooo painful!

I tried BLISTEX MEDICATED LIP BALM this year for the first time on my cracked fingertips. It helped heal the cracks, and none have come back for a couple of months now. It is easy to carry in your pocket, and doesn't leave greasy residue on the fingertips. Just putting it on a couple of times a day has made all the difference. It is also cheap and doesn't smell.

As a plastic surgeon of 30 yrs practice, I'd advise forgetting all the folk remedies. Just keep your hand skin in good shape by avoiding de-greasing agents such as detergents & if you still get the splits, go straight for super-glue. Forget the stuff sold as medical grade. Just buy the stuff from £ (or dollar) stores & carefully fill the crack & allow to set. The effect is magic, is waterproof & only needs renewing about every 2-3 days.

Which Porter's Lotion? There is original and Sweet Porters. Both are for dry skin.

I have suffered a few years with splits mostly on my thumbs next to the nail and I remember a lady I worked with over 20years ago had this problem and swore by wrapping BLACK INSULATING TAPE round the fingers affected for a few nights before going to bed and removing in the morning there seemed to be something which helped them close up slightly each day and I have done this ever since and it works for me so maybe worth a try.

I use extra virgin olive oil ... helps speed up healing and another lip medex works great at night with a band aid to cover it.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I'm putting my money on THIS BEING CAUSED BY A FUNGUS.

Not to bash the Chinese, but my wife started working at Walmart handling boxes (all made in China) and soon developed a severe blister like rash on her hands. It's impossible to do your job there wearing gloves and she had this rash for over a year. No doctor could tell her what it was other than to prescribe ointments and have her go away.

Just after her hand rash appeared, the ends of my fingertips began to split (Yes, we still hold hands after 32 years!). My problem has persisted ever since. I am a former Green Beret and know how to "Take the Pain!" However, this is as bad as I can imagine some torture methods and its 24/7. I have been in many third world countries exposed to about every parasite, bacteria and virus around but have NEVER had anything like this in 65 years.

Within two weeks of my wife being promoted into management, which relieved her of box handling, her blister like rash disappeared. My split fingers persist and are getting worse. I make a connection between her rash/blisters and this finger tip condition.

As far as doctors go, save your money. Most of them are still of the mentality of "draining blood with leeches cures all illness and malady", add 200 years of medical advances and diagnostic capabilities that seem confuse most of them.

I have tried many of the cures on this forum with only temporary results. A couple of you have the belief that this is a fungus.

In desperation, I sprayed the split open ends with Lotrimin which caused the splits to go away entirely for one month. The splits are back again and I believe it is from me wearing the same gloves I wore before, re-infecting my fingers.

After reading on this forum and bringing this issue up with my friends (some have this problem also) I am amazed that medical science has not discovered the root cause/s of this. In my opinion, it is NOT JUST DRY SKIN or purely genetic. We have all handled Chinese made products and especially their boxes. Some of us may be more susceptible to this than others, maybe weaker immune systems?

I'm putting my money on it being a fungus that causes the splitting end of fingers like a couple of gentlemen did before me. I heeded their opinion and am now convinced of this. I am treating my old gloves and treating my fingers again with an anti-fungal.

The vitamin deficiency may cure some of you also as you jack up your immune system to prevent or kill this fungus. I don't know as I'm not a scientist. All of you working together have posted ideas that help.

Thank you to each of you for your posts and I will post again after reviewing my situation.

You are good human beings for attempting to help each other.

Merry Christmas and the best to you for 2012!

JCL Para Commando
Member Special Forces Association Chapter 51

“We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand as our guardians in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. A soldier must seize every advantage to defeat his opponent. He must strike swiftly and strike hard… he who dares… wins. But under all circumstances those guardians must stand ready to protect the innocent and those too weak to defend themselves…”

Introduce Vitamin D and B complex into your diet as supplements. Within a short time you should see a reduction of symptoms and eventually it will be healed.

I am so grateful I found your website. I also have chronic finger splits. Your readers have ideas that have worked. Reading newspapers with cotton gloves on to avoid inks with chemicals has been the best suggestion. My husband had some cosmetic eye surgery and the plastic surgeon gave him scar cream which contains only pure lanolin and aloe. I believe you can ask a pharmacist for it behind the counter. My splits are nearly 100% gone. I wear the cotton gloves as much as I can over the cream and keep my hands out of water too!

For the last five years, as I've gotten older, each winter has found me with dry skin. Especially painful cracks would open up repeatedly on my fingertips. I would have to glue them closed with superglue at least every other day. Now I've gone two months with no splits at all. I've used "gloves in a bottle" which is a "shielding lotion". It is not a moisturizer and doesn't feel like one. It leaves your skin a little shiny and feels like a microscopic barrier on your skin.

Because of my work I wash my hands twenty or more times per day. For the first month I had to reapply the lotion probably ten times a day. Now the splits are totally gone and I only apply a dab maybe four or five times a day. I came to your site for answers when I was suffering and am happy to share what I have found that works for me.

neosporin really works well also. I have been getting cracks on the ends of my fingers for years... even in the summer months it happens a little bit. Winter months and outside work are the worst for the cracks. What vitamins are good for helping the circulation? Vit. A and D? Is B12 helpful??

I have found the solution for this most painful problem of dry, cracked fingertips. I live in south Florida and not in the cold dry north so as you can see this problem is everywhere not just in the cold states. I have had this problem for 2 years now and noticed that each time I went camping or on a vacation somewhere for a while my fingers started to get soft and normal feeling again. I asked my girlfriend what am I doing or not doing when I am away from home?

Thought about this several times and figured out that when I am away I do not have my daily regiment of vitamins with me. These consisted of a 1 multiple, 1 vitamin C, and 1 aspirin. I thought this sounds crazy but I have to try something as my fingers were raw. I stopped taking these daily vitamins and within a week my fingers were back to normal.

I was waiting to post this until I was sure the problem was gone and it has been a month now and my fingers are totally normal again. I have never posted anything on any of these forums before but have gone to them to see if anyone else had the same problem when I was at my worst with this painful and annoying problem. All I can say is, Try it and I hope it works for you as it did for me. If you don't take any vitamins or pills for anything then I don't know what to tell you but I am a happy camper again. Good luck.
Johnny Lightning

I have tried all of the above items and many more. Nothing seems to help for any length of time. Some of the items seem to help for a day or so and then the splits come right back. There does not seem to be anything that works continuously. I try something several times a day. You would think if you kept your skin moist that the splits would not occur but not true. If anyone ever comes up with a magic formula, I hope it gets checked out.

I posted on this site over a year ago and get an email with every post. So I have seen all the suggestions. The only one that works a little for me is the superglue when you get one. That was until about 2 weeks ago when my thumb started getting dry and I knew it would be soon that I would have a crack. In fact I had one on my index finger. I happened to have some Vicks Vaporub in my nightstand. I used it years ago when I had a toenail fungus on my big toenail. I rubbed it on my toenail every morning and night for 6 months and it went away. So, I thought I would try. I have been rubbing some on the end of my thumb for 2 weeks and have had no cracks. The rest of my hand is really raw from the cold and dryness but my thumb is not cracking. So, whatever it did for my toenail, it is also doing for my thumb. It might support the theory that it is a fungus.
Anyway, it's working for me and I have tried everything that everyone has suggested.
Good luck!

Yes I have suffered from this since childhood, it is always the winter months it happens and they bleed always the same two fingers on my right hand, mainly my thumb and first finger, there is a cut though it will not stop it for good but it is certainly great stuff to use, and being small can be carried in your pocket or hand bag. Made in U.S.A. and can be used for cold sores as well as other things, the name of it is "CARMEX" I first bought it when on holiday over there, but since then you can now purchase it here, you only need a small amount I find it more beneficial applying it at night before bed and filling the splits with it, then leaving it, the splits do heal up but keep the cream going it is only about £1.00 and though small it goes a long way, I hope this helps you all, oh by the way you get instant relief.

I have suffered with this for years and recently for the least 6 months but, finally my fingertips are healed... and I used everything. I tried superglue, coconut oil, tea tree & E, Burt's Bee Hand Salve, Neosporin, Bag Balm, and Egyptian Magic. I used an fine emory board on the dry rough skin; I slept wearing ointments with gloves; and did dishes wearing gloves. This week I bought Neosporin Eczema Essentials Cream and in 3 days, my fingertips were healed and not dry and cracked and feel smooth and healthy and my fingers don't hurt.

And here I thought I was unique!!!! I just visited a dermatologist this past week and was not very impressed with his services. He looked at my thumb for 30 seconds and said I had psoriasis. I went on the internet and looked at photos of psoriasis (at least 500) and did not see anything like what I have. I have splits that happen while I watch and then the bleeding. I have tried many prescription creams, vitamins and over the counter creams. Then I thought I should go on the net and look up splitting fingers. This is when I came up on these comments. WOW! I am not alone.

I am going to try some of the ideas mentioned here and see if they help. In the meantime, I am going to try to remember what I did different last year. Maybe there was a change which brought this on. Thanks for all the help.

I put Mentholatum Ointment on my cracked fingertips last week just because I had tried everything else. Well, this is the first time in months that my fingertips are totally healed and not tender!

I have been having splits on my fingertips for years. I have tried almost everything I've read on these pages. I recently read an article that suggested asking your dr. for a cortisone cream. I did and my dr. prescribed Hydrocortisone Valerate Ointment .2%. This has worked the best. Within a couple days all but the two worst splits have healed. Such a relief. Try it.

I have had skin splits for the last 10-12 years while working as a nurse. They only occur on my thumbs, and middle fingers. I get a pain in the tissue before the split even happens, or before the skin opens. Sometimes there is a small dark pinpoint dark spot at the end of the skin split, or in the middle. But the pain comes before the skin opens in the split. What is this? They are very painful.

I have used 1% and 2% hydrocortisone cream, and also neosporin. I would like to know what it is, and no matter how much lotion, etc, or oil, etc. you put on. It does not stop them. It happens about every 6 months, but has been happening about every 2-3 months recently as I get older.
I would like to know what it is?
Thank you.

A Chapstick works great on my cracked fingertips!

I searched for a solution to my painful cracked fingertips and found this site last week. I just wanted to update on a previous post. Richard posted about Porters lotion in 2007. I searched them and found many rave reviews. I ordered it on Friday March 9, 2012 - it arrived in the mail on Saturday March 10. By Sunday March 11 my thumb was noticeably better. It was not red, hot nor as painful as it had been. As of today, Tuesday March 13, 2012 all but 1 of my deepest cracks are shut and my hands are 90% better than they were on Friday. I am amazed.

I ordered the Porters original lotion. It's not actually a 'lotion'. It's a liquid, so you spray it on your hands. It absorbs fast and is not greasy. I also ordered a small purse size of the original and sweet original. Both are great.

I do not work for Porters, I just happened to read about it on this site and thought others might find this helpful. I will be ordering again, this is the only thing that has helped. We heat our house with wood so it gets mighty dry - I can't wait for next winter now!!

I found that putting my fingers in warm/hot salty water helped to heal the spit skin. It took maybe a week or so. I would put salt into a mug and pour boiling water into it. After about 5 mins or so I would dip my fingers into the mug. If the water was too hot I would wait a while and try again 5 mins later. I would do this at work about 3 to 5 times per day. (Teleconference calls were good - I would make the salt water in a mug just before the meeting and spend the next 30 mins or so with the fingers of one hand in the water for 10 mins or so)

I'm a window washer and I've had problems with split fingers for years until I finally discovered that the problem can be almost completely prevented by taking Evening Primrose Oil. If I take at least 6 capsules a day, I don't have a problem but if I miss even one dose I will probably have a split finger the next day. I also take 4 capsules of Salmon Oil a day but these aren't nearly as critical as the Evening Primrose oil. It's not what you put on your fingers it's what you put in your body that makes the difference.

It's far better to prevent this nasty little problem than to try to fix it afterwards but if you do get a split finger the best way I found of getting it to heal quickly is painful but works well. You put a dab of Polysporin on the split and then take a finger nail and press it into the split, yes it hurts, and then drag it back and forth a few times driving the polysporin into the wound as deeply as you can and then finish off by rubbing in some more Polysporin. If you do this as soon as you can after the split presents itself and keep doing it several times a day you will find that it heals quite quickly, usually within a day or two instead of hanging around for days. Hope that helps.

My fingertips cracked and bled and the skin got thin and brittle, making it very tender to the touch through all seasons. Quite by accident they cleared up when I changed my diet to avoid sugar and simple carbs in an effort to get out of a condition that I (right or wrong) self diagnosed as candida. In two months I lost close to 20 lbs and my finger tips cleared up. I am not a diabetic, by the way.

Eliminating as much sugar and simple carbs as possible made a huge difference in my fingertips, my weight, and improved my energy level. Otherwise, I do not restrict my diet. I use xylotol as a sugar substitute in my coffee, I eat whole grain pasta, rice, and cereals, whenever possible. I eat more fish, fruits, nuts, and veggies and made no change in consumption of meats and dairy products. My triglycerides and cholesterol dropped from above normal to below normal. By the way, my candida symptoms also improved.

This happened to me last year as well. I work for an accounting firm & have flipped through pages & pages of documents (tho' yrs. of prior legal word processing didn't yield this problem).

I also sew a lot & originally thought the split in my middle finger was from the needle, apparently not.

I worked today & bled on a couple of pages, had to stop for a few minutes, really inconvenient, not to mention painful.

I used the Gorilla Glue Tonight after reading this site, in an hour or two the pain subsided, enough for me to fix & eat dinner, then almost completely.

Otherwise, I'd been trying lotions w/ Tea Tree Oil which I find usually helpful, weren't enough.

I'd suggest trying the Gorilla Glue.

I've had finger and hand splits almost all my life and I'm almost sixty. The foot splits probably only for a few years. I am also a foot picker and have done it so badly that I have trouble walking. I think I've stopped the foot picking thing so that might help. Also I treated my thumb split to Vicks Vapo Rub last night and its almost healed.

I'm so grateful to all of you. Thank you, thank you!

I have had cracking on my fingertips for 2 or 3 years now. Doesn't matter whether it is winter or summer. They are extremely painful to the point that my 4 year old will ask me if I have "finger cracks" before asking me to do something that she knows hurts me.

Well, 3 weeks ago I started doing and not doing a lot of things. I stopped eating dairy, eating less sugar and artificial sweeteners and less wheat and very little caffeine. I also was diagnosed with low vitamin d and was started on Vit D2 50,000 and a calcium with D3, also started eating 4 tablespoons of milled flax seed every day, actually taking my fish oil pills every day and drinking a lot of smoothies with fruit, including bananas in them (which I NEVER ate before). So I am not sure which thing it is that fixed them but my left thumb is normal looking for the first time in years and my right thumb is getting there!

I suspect it was the increase in D or the no dairy so try one of those things if you get them all the time and see if it helps! Nothing helped to make them feel better except for the Watkins Petro Carbo that I got at Cracker Barrel. :)

My parent had this problem of split fingers at the corners, very painful. As I got older The same problem happened to me, while at the same time a white pimple would form at the inside of nose, or a split there also. We discovered that, in our case any way, it was caused by too much acidic foods, like citrus, tomatoes, and possible pickles.

I just purchased this creme for $6 USD. I have the same splitting flaking finger tip problem, but not on the thumbs. I'll try to post if it helps

I have suffered from painful split fingers for many years. I tried everything from Neosporin with butterfly closures to gluing the cracks shut with super glue. As a result of input from this and other sites, I began taking both 5000 IU of vitamin D3 pills and a 1200mg flaxseed oil pill daily. The problem cleared up almost immediately and has not recurred for several months. Interestingly, I started taking 1000 mg of flaxseed oil because I could not initially find the 1200 mg pills and the problem did not entirely go away.

As soon as I upped the dosage to 1200 mg the problem went entirely away so I suspect that the flaxseed oil may be the most effective but I continue to take both. A surprising and welcome side benefit was that my chronic nosebleeds that I had had since I was a child also entirely cleared up. I know that bodies are different but this regimen has worked very well for me.

My problems were diagnosed as Psoriasis. My fingers split and it is like I have paper cuts appearing from nowhere. I was prescribed psoriatane which I took for about 6 months and it helped almost 100 percent. The problem is the cost. In the US, it was $30 per pill (daily) but from Canada online I got it for $3/pill. But online, you never know where it comes from. One batch was great and the second batch was mediocre. Now they tell me they are out and I have to try another company. I wish there was another way...

Hi Michael,

I'm the "Karen S." who posted here in April 2012. I'd suggest you forget medications for this, especially bought over the Internet where their contents are unknown to say the least & inconsistent as you said.

My symptoms were exactly as you described, paper cuts from out of nowhere. a couple of days of applying Gorilla Glue & I was all better. I have not had a recurrence since April. I repeat my suggestion of Gorilla Glue.

I've been miserable for weeks with 5 split fingers, two very deep and painful. I read through all the posts and here's what I decided. First I tried the super glue and it WORKS! I have a bottle that has a plunger end so that acts like the toothpick some have mentioned. I filled the cracks and on the smaller ones the relief was almost immediate. It seals the wound and forms a protective coating so that it's no longer painful to touch things. I could hardly type before. On the two larger cracks, it stung for quite a while and I needed to apply glue the second day, but now they too are healing and are not painful.

I consider super glue the immediate treatment for acute outbreaks. My longer term strategy for preventing the dry skin and cracking was to purchase a bottle of Porter's lotion. There were enough positive reviews to give it a try. I haven't received it yet, but I am hopeful it will work wonders like others have claimed. I had been trying bag balm and wearing vinyl gloves at night but it wasn't helping at all.

I've tried many major brands of hand lotions without success. I am going to try the Vicks vapor rub with gloves tonight and see if that helps add some moisture to my skin. So the verdict is still out on long term prevention, but I will post once I have tried the Porter's lotion. For short term instant relief, nothing compares to super glue. If your finger are cracked and bleeding and causing severe agony, USE THE SUPER GLUE NOW. You won't regret it. Good luck.

I actually read something totally different than all the suggestions above skin creams etc. Can't remember where but it said that cracked fingers, might mean you are low on Omega 3's that the problem is internal not external and take an fish oil high in Omega 3's that should clear up the cracked fingers. Worth a try to see !

I am using O'Keeffe's Working Hands with phenomenal results. The cracked skin on my thumb is healing rapidly. You only use a small amount 2- 3 times a day. My husband found it at Lowes. It is also available at Home Depot. I've had this problem for years and this is the first product that has given me such great results within a few days.

It is my opinion, and my experience, that NONE of the above "remedies" are useful in any long-term sense, EXCEPT the guys that recommend Superglue, Loctite, same thing.

Now Curex, I think it is, makes a product that is extremely effective; it appears to be part Superglue, part Tea Tree Oil, part Aloe Vera and part Vitamin E. This, along with the Superglue (which can be painful to apply) are a lead pipe cinch to cure finger splits. DON'T WASTE TIME ON ANYTHING ELSE. The Curex product seals and heals, and is NOT painful to apply.

william, can you be more precise? you say you 'think' it's curex? I need the name of the exact product! thanks.

ACTUALLY, it's called "NexCare", made by 3M. You should be able to find it without much difficulty online, even. I bought mine at a Kroger pharmacy. It's a really, really great product, best I've found, since I began suffering from this in the early eighties, while working as a dishwasher.

Hope this helps.

I've had this problem for years as well. I use a clean razor blade to shave away the hardened skin. Then apply lotion, which allows the crack to heal within a day. I will try more vitamins. Wow, I never thought there would be so many folks with this painful issue.
Good Luck All
Happy New Years.


If I may so, why bother? All else pales & as others have said the Gorilla Glue is the answer, a couple of times & yes, the relief is almost immediate. Can't see why do otherwise?

Last night, after having tried so many other "cures," I used Dermaplast. I sprayed it on the gauze part of my bandaids, then covered the split parts of my two thumbs. This morning, although the splits didn't magically disappear, they look and feel much better. Thanks to all who have previously provided input.

I ordered some Porters Lotion but by using the info here and some additional research, I was able to stop the pain so I can type. I am at a keyboard all day.

I wanted to get the root cause, so I wasn't too interested in the super glue treatment. My vitamin intake is good including Omega 3s, Flax Seed Oil, and vitC, but I wasn't taking D3 this winter as I had in the past and though its colder this year and I do get some sun on a daily walk, I think that's the main reason I got the finger split problem this winter. What I did was mix Castor Oil (not mentioned here, but it is anti fungal) with Carmex healing lotion. In addition in the morning before reapplying, I rubbed my fingers in a freshly squeezed lemon rind. I expect that is anti fungal as well. I had already recovered enough by morning that the lemon wasn't too painful.

I remember in the past I have used Corn Huskers lotion. It worked OK, but I expect the Porters will be an improvement. And I plan to get some Evening Primrose Oil and use D3 every winter.

Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences.

Scrolling through this site a few days ago saw that I had tried many to no avail however while out remembered while in the baby product aisle someone recommending diaper rash cream. Bought some super strength (40% zinc as opposed to 15%). It's been extremely cold lately with excruciating pain all week. The relief even as I was rubbing it in was incredible ....I kept it on for about 1/2 hour and then thoroughly washed (stays on well but watch your clothing ...can leave a white residue). The relief was close to 100% EVEN though the skin hasn't healed back together. Can hardly wait for bedtime & a night long session with this miracle cream!

For the first time in my life, I started getting these cracks in my fingers this winter. I super glued them, and moved on. Then one day three cracks opened up, two on one finger, and that was the last straw.

After finding this page by Googling, only one solution really stood out for me. Vitamin D. Because of a knee injury and indoor projects, I have not seen much sunshine this season.

I started taking 2000 IU of vitamin D3 a day, and the cracks stopped within one week, and I have had none since. Of all the supplements I have dabbled with, only two I have confirmed to really work. Vitamins C and D.

Thank you for this page.

I read earlier that soaps and detergents with sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate is the cause of most split and or dry skin. It is a foaming agent. It is what makes soap... well, foamy. It is also in toothpaste.

It is almost like a conspiracy. You buy their soap to get clean. Then because of the SLS, you have to buy lotion, too.


I will switch to AJAX dish soap for hand soap and see if that makes a difference. I will also try taking vitamins and eating healthier.

Thought it was all over - read everybody's comments here - thought - what's up with the gluing the finger thing ! A friend recommended an anti-fungal shampoo (can you believe it - shampoo !) Called Nizoral - what can I say - sleepless nights with popping fingers have been replaced by absolute nirvana !

how do you use the shampoo, geoff, and how often? thanks!

Just use it like a hand cream - just a few drops rubbed into affected area - more importantly many advise against regular hand creams because one school of thought says splitting may be fungal related, and hand creams could propagate fungus growth!

I usually use Neosporin & band aids for some kind of quick relief, but I look forward to trying many folks suggestions.
Thanks to all.

Try latex finger condoms instead of cutting up rubber gloves, they'll fit much better and stay on well.

I have tried EVERYTHING listed here for the chronic thumb splits that have plagued me for years. It used to be that they would split primarily in the winter. Now they are split all the time, year round. I really believe that the skin integrity of my thumb dermis is permanently compromised. My occasional forefinger splits usually heal rather quickly. I have tried the following remedies (and I'm forgetting some, I've tried so many things):

-dermatologist prescribed 2% hydrocortizone ointment (dermatologist told me its exema) I have it bad
-bag balm AND udder cream
-vaseline and Vicks Vaporub
-Every kind of lotion from Vaseline Intensive Care to Eucerin and their ointments too
-Flaxseed, Vitamin E and Fish Oil supplements (even took to breaking open the supplements and applying directly to the skin)
-Every kind of ointment imaginable
-Cornhuskers lotion
-Vitamin C up the wazoo
-Zinc supplements (I'm a nurse and know that the combo of Vit C and zinc are often used in wound protocols
-Vitamin D supplements 2000 mg per day for years
-multivitamins, Vit E and Vit A supplements
-I eat absolutely no wheat whatsoever
-I eat exceptionally healthy diet
-plenty of fluids, plus I drink lots of green tea, no sugar
-have been tested for all kinds of allergies and it appears I'm not allergic to anything
-liquid bandage (makes splits MUCH worse btw)
-I have no exposure to latex and use vinyl glove to do dishes
-wear gloves to bed with lubed up hands
-pure aloe vera gel

NOTHING, nothing works!!! As soon as the skin starts to heal, I can feel it as it's about to "blow". I can barely tap the thumb and boom! blood everywhere. Same story over and over for years. It's the skin integrity compromised beyond anything that will ever heal IMO.

I have tried super glue after reading these comments & have had no plasters on my fingers for the last 2 days after having them bandaged up for weeks. Tried all creams & gloves but superglue seems to be working ok up to now. Fingers (un split) crossed x

In the same boat tarf10, thanks for letting me know what avenues to avoid.

I think my next step may be to cauterize the split on each thumb. Both splits are on the inside or the thumb and start from under the nail and often are 1/4 to 3/8 in. Very deep and often can't use thumbs because they hurt. The best thing I have found is super glue. Put some into the wound and then hold the split together until the glue dries. Sometimes it will hold for days depending on how often and hard I wash hands. Don't over use the glue. A little bit goes a long way. In the past I have even sewn them together but that in itself hurts a bit so the super glue is the thing for now. I think a cauterizing routine may be eventually in order.

I went away for three weeks, no washing dishes,no work, lovely weather, bliss, but my thumbs still split wide open, and hurt like hell, nothing works, superglue, yes for a while, but the splits sadly returned. Printers ink was a problem, I could blame the New York Times, the daily mail, or maybe it was the Australian papers I perused every day enjoying my morning read, until I felt the familiar tingle, and within hours the dreaded split appeared together with the awful pain, which really is the pits, Having pain consistently, doesn't improve ones irritability.

I find the minute the air hits the split, it hurts, cover them, and it's normal have tried everything possible, the iodine is my next trick.

Everything my fellow suffered say is true, all we can do is try try try again, what works for one, doesn't work for another, I can only say keep on trying, something will work, one day, hopefully, with many blessings to everyone.

What really did the trick for painful cracks on my fingertips was applying a generous dollop of AQUAPHOR on my fingertip at night, then cover it with a finger cot or the finger part cut from a plastic glove, secured with masking tape to keep it on all night. This healed the fingertip cracks in just one or two nights. No kidding. You can find AQUAPHOR at most any pharmacy for $5.00.

Best regards to all who suffer from this irritating problem. Hope you find the same relief that I did. I also purchased the Porter's lotion and Hired Hand Cream and they alleviated the dry skin on my hands in just a few days. It's not greasy and I only need to apply it once or twice per day. Yay.

I use chapstic on my thumbs when they crack and it works. You can put it on anytime too. Thanks Bob.

I have suffered from severe spitting/cracking on my fingertips and inside knuckles for years - it had reached the point where it was severely limiting my ability to enthusiastically engage in daily activities as I was in constant pain and anxiety about more splitting or more burning pain and bleeding. I have tried so many different things, from prescriptions steroid creams to sleeping with vaseline white glove covered hands.

I have used more bandages than I care to even think about - I am a professional and this was also a constant source of discomfort for me - there is nothing like attending a presentation with 6 or 7 bandages on various places on your hands - but when the alternative of your clients or employees seeing the bleeding splitting mess that are your hands, bandages are the only reasonable alternative. I found this blog and saw a couple of new ideas that I hadn't used (vick's, A & D ointment, liquid bandages/glue), but also saw the comments about Porters.

I ordered a bottle of the Porters and received it last Monday. I thought I felt relief by Tuesday but was skeptical that anything could work so fast. By Friday the splits were gone - today, less than one week later my hands looks completely healed - something that I haven't experience in so many years that I cannot count. There are simply no words that can express my utter relief. The lotion (more an oil) is quick absorbing, the smell is not offensive (sort of herbal) and is simply a miracle. It may not work for everyone, but it certainly worked for me and I am overjoyed!!

For years I had a problem with cracked, split, dry and bleeding fingers. I tried every remedy or cream that I could find. Finally, my wife suggested that I try putting my hands in her foot tanner which was equipped with UV lite. This UV lite worked miracles. After appx. six weeks my fingers were completely healed. Her foot tanner was large, bulky and hard to manage so I ordered a Gel Nail Lite used to dry finger nails from Amazon. This UV lite was stronger and the nail dryer was easy to handle. I used it for about 30 minutes a day while watching TV for a few weeks and haven't had to use it all during the past month. My hands and fingers are as clear and soft as they have ever been.

I can relate to your long finger nails which seems to protect finger tips splitting.
Because I play guitar, I always try to keep short fingernails for fretting on my left hand.
And I always got splits on one or two fingers. But the right hand with long fingernails(for picking) most the time, I don't have the problems.

I have tried several things listed here for the very painful cracking & bleeding of my fingers, this is a year round thing for me. I have to be very careful in touching anything because my hands are sensitive, it's like avoiding papercuts when working with paper. And it has happened for 3 or 4 yrs now.

I use Neosporin plus pain cream, (or the generic plus pain version) and they are wonderful to help deal with the pain (my mom also used Neosporin pain cream for her Shingles, and it seem to be the thing that helped her most with her Shingles pain), but Neosporin pain does nothing for healing my hands. My son uses the Neosporin plus pain cream to help with shaving bumps and loves it for that problem. Bandaids won't stay on if using anything wet, so I use paper tape to keep fingers wrapped. I only wish over the years I had owned stock in bandaids! I have tried the following measures, and I'm sure I've forgotten to list a few.

-DR prescribed ointments & creams to no avail-been told I had both eczema & psoriasis as well as the painful fingers and bleeding.

-bag balm,Vaseline petroleum jelly,Vick's vaporub, and A&D ointment (are gross feeling-but would used anything if it worked), and udder cream (loved the feel of the udder cream that I bought @ Walmart-it felt good on, but didn't help)

-Heeltastic foot cream and Zim's hand crack cream, also used O'Keeffe's-a hand crack cream for concrete workers, didn't help.

-Vaseline Intensive Care lotion, Eucerin lotion, coco butter lotion, Kroger hand lotion, and vitamin E lotion, baby lotion, Cornhuskers lotion, and many other lotions (also have used with gloves at bedtime).

-Vitamin E capsules, as well as vitamin E oil applied directly to the skin. Was told by Dr had vitamin D deficiency-so was taking 5,000 IU's daily as prescribed by DR, still not helping with the problem.

-Have tried a daily Multivitamin,Vitamin B12,Vitamin C, tried zinc capsules, & fish oil capsules and Biotin capsules.

-I drink plenty of water, plus I've taken green tea capsules, I keep my diabetes in control by doing Atkins type low carb dieting (have lost down from about 280 pounds to 230 pounds).

-used liquid bandage/super glue (not a fan-it did burn, and I don't like the feel of super glue on my skin-when I get it on my skin by accident, I dig at it until it's off).

-Have used gloves to try do dishes (don't feel I get them clean, because I can't feel through the gloves).
Once my hands start to heal up the least little bit, the whole nasty process starts over again. I would say 90 percent of the time I have my hands taped, so I'm not bleeding, and apply Neosporin pain plus to deal with the painful hands.

I would be interested in trying: the Porters Lotion that I've read about, also the 1200 mg flaxseed oil (though that didn't sound like it worked for others), the Neosporin Eczema Essentials cream, & also the humidifier (both my husband and myself have had issues with the dry skin, and since we both had trouble I wonder if that ideal may help).

My husband went before to the dermatologist and was told his problem was a fungus they gave him creams to treat the fungus and that helped his problem clear up-so I might also try the Lotrimin ever one has mentioned on here.

Thanks To All for helping us brainstorm-may together we will eventually beat this thing. I did notice one time before when I was cutting up a zucchini that I got this weird film on my hands from cutting off the peel, but it also felt wonderfully healing (try that one see what you think). Best of luck to all, in your continued search for health!!!

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