Eczema Dermatitis On Palm Of Hand And Fingers

Q. I am a nurse, and the constant hand washing and antibacterial hand gel give me cracks at the corners of my thumbnails. They are painful, and I am always afraid of picking up an infection through the broken skin.

To protect myself, I clean the area first and then use two or three thin coats of instant glue. If the area is rough I smooth it with a fine nail file. This closes the cracked skin, and I think it heals faster.

A. Cracked or split fingertips can be quite uncomfortable. They make it hard to button a blouse, type on a keyboard or play an instrument. The rough edges may snag on fabric.

Many other people report that instant glue can be helpful for cracked fingertips. Such products contain cyanoacrylate. They are not designed for use on skin, however, and might be irritating. That is why we suggest liquid bandage instead.

Other approaches to split fingertips include heavy-duty moisturizers, such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or similar products (Aquaphor) applied at night under cotton gloves to protect the sheets and keep the jelly in place. Preparations containing urea such as our favorite Udderly Smooth Extra Care 20 Cream may sting when applied to cracked fingers, but do seem to speed healing.

You will find lots of other remedies, from abstaining from diet soda to Neolia soap, on our website. You may also be interested in our Winter Skin Survival Kit, with Udderly Smooth Extra Care 20 Cream and our Pomegranate All Natural Lip Care.

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  1. Mike
    Oklahoma City

    I’ve had this problem for twenty-five years or more, and I’ve tried all the suggestions above. Super Glue never worked well for me. Liquid Bandage is more expensive but no better, and it stinks worse than Super Glue. Udder cream and lotions and oil and vitamins don’t work for me either.

    The dry skin notion never made sense as I get the splits in cold weather, not necessarily during dry weather. Dry weather can occur any time of the year here in Oklahoma, but I get the splits only when the weather is cold.

    Anyway, my dermatologist told me the root of the problem is inflammation, not the temperature or the humidity, and he prescribed Fluocinonide Cream. This cream really works, because it attacks the problem, apparently, not the symptom. It will heal up a split fingertip in a day or two; just put a little bit on the splits of an evening, before you go to bed. If you don’t like going to doctors, I understand. I don’t either, but give these guys some credit; they study this stuff for a living.

    Submitted with respect and humility, 10-25-14, Oklahoma City.

    Best wishes.

  2. SueL

    I suffered with finger tip cracks terribly the last 3 years. I’ve always had problems with my skin over the years with allergies, eczema, etc. I solved all of them one at a time. This year I started applying extra virgin coconut oil to my face instead of face cream, and I noticed that I have not had a single finger tip crack this year. The coconut oil must work! I also put a tablespoon of it in my oatmeal and it gives it a great taste!

  3. cpmt

    and omega 3 and vitam. d. also check the soup you are using, you may be allergic. also alkalinity in your body, try to get more alkaline foods and water. 7.4 to -8,8 I buy 8.8 in the store but you can use water with 1/4 tsp. in a glass of water.

  4. JimP

    I am pretty active, so nothing short of superglue will keep cracked skin closed up on a finger tip or side of a knuckle. Even regular formula superglue fails to last for a full day on skin areas that are stressed a lot. I use the gel formula superglue, but you have to allow up to 15 minutes for it to completely dry. This creates a really strong protective cover over the cracked skin that last for 2-4 days. Two applications usually provide enough time for the crack to heal.

    I have also added some fat back into my diet this January after reading Dr. Stephen Sinatra’s “The Cholesterol Myth”. I have had only one skin crack this January, despite the bitterly cold, dry weather in northwestern Virginia. Was this a coincidence or does more dietary fat help keep your skin supple?

  5. L.A.

    I’ve had great success healing cracks on my finger tips with Lansinoh, a product for nursing mothers. It is thick so it has the added benefit of staying on after hand washing.

  6. LDH

    My Dad taught me to always carry a Chap-Stick in my pocket during cold winter months. If you get a crack on the edge of your thumb, you just dab it on & you are done! No more pain! Of course the pain come from the air coming in contact with the lower layers of skin due to that crack. Easier to carry too than anything else.

  7. marge h

    Liquid bandage (New Skin) has been wonderful for all the people I have suggested it to.

  8. EW

    I have used the Udderly Smooth cream and found it worked far better than the glue and I suspect is a lot less toxic. The cream makes the difference between being miserable and not having painful cracks around my nails.

  9. Donnie

    I can get cracks on my fingertips from metal zippers, coins and other nickel containing objects. I avoid metal zippers on jackets, and I wash my hands immediately after touching the metal zipper on my jeans. I avoid handling coins or other nickel objects as much as possible. If I get cracks on my fingers or hands, I treat with a dab of antibiotic ointment with pain reliever. It stops the pain and heals the crack quite soon.

  10. JAM

    Hi!!! Liquid bandage works well too.

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