In case you have been in a cave or on an ocean cruise you know that we have had some pretty crazy weather in 2015. Many parts of the country have experienced record heat, which means the furnace has not been on. That will change and when it does the air will dry out. Low humidity leads to dry skin and cracked fingers, especially if you have to wash your hands frequently like this reader:
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.
Joe in Rhode Island offers this report:
“After reading a lot of the remedies for cracked finger tips on your website, I went with the Super Glue. What a difference! I wouldn’t even be able to type this if it wasn’t for the Glue. I used the Gel Super Glue from walmart for about 3 dollars. Much much better and thanks for the tip!”
Hondo in New Orleans says:
“I used to have problems with cracked fingertips only during the cold months, but as I get older, this became an all-year-round painful issue. I tried almost every cream and moisturizer for my cracked fingertips, but they provided little help.
“I started using Finger Care and Liquid Skin with some good results, but the cracks kept coming back. I experimented with Super Glue (original formula) and it works great and provides instant pain relief. I use Super Glue as soon as I notice or feel the crack coming back and continue using moisturizers as often as possible.”
Cautions about Instant Glue:
These products are not designed for use on skin and might be irritating for some people. That is why we generally 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. The challenge with such products is greasiness. Anyone who has to type on a keyboard knows how messy petroleum jelly can be. It can also gum up a mouse pretty quickly. If you need a moisturizer during the day you might want something less greasy.
Preparations containing urea such as our favorite Udderly Smooth Extra Care 20 Cream may sting temporarily when applied to cracked fingers, but do seem to speed recovery. The thing about urea is that it enhances healing and improves the protective barrier of the skin. We think a 20% urea moisturizer is fabulous at this time of year. Learn more about Udder Cream products (a sponsor of our radio show) at this link.