Q. I never suffered from split fingertips before, but I finally understand why people complain.
My index finger has split open along the edge of the nail. It hurts to button my shirt or to use the computer. I am desperate for a remedy.
A. You have lots of company. Fingertips frequently crack or split in cold weather, though we don’t know exactly why. Readers have found that liquid bandage or instant glue to seal the skin can make cracked fingertips less painful.
A nurse wrote that constant hand washing causes cracks at the corners of her thumbnails. To overcome this she uses two or three thin coats of instant glue.
Other solutions include heavy-duty moisturizers such as Aquaphor, Vaseline, Vicks VapoRub or lotions containing urea, such as Udderly Smooth Extra Care 20. Some people report that an antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin can be helpful, while others prefer virgin coconut oil.
Applying the moisturizer to cracked fingertips at bedtime and then putting on thin cotton gloves to protect the sheets and keep the moisturizer in place can often be helpful.