Any Solutions for Fingertips that Keep Cracking?

by Susan Cowles.
(Palisade, Co.)

Any Solutions for Fingertips that Keep Cracking?  Discussion on Jewelry Making Journal

Does anyone have the problem with their fingertips cracking?

I go thru a lot of band aids, hand cream and pain.

Any ideas?? Thanks!

Susan Cowles

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  • Hi Susan, my hands get extremely chapped, especially in the wintertime. I’ve discovered that using Vicks Vapo-Rub (or the dollar-store version of it) as a hand lotion helps tremendously. I rub a generous amount of it very well into my hands, fingertips, cuticles, and fingernails. If I put it on my severely chapped hands and leave it on overnight, my hands are smooth, soothed, and almost completely healed by morning. It also seems to soothe aching hand and finger joints. I hope this helps! 🙂

  • Mary Morris says:

    A dermatologist recommended using flax seed oil capsules to help heal from the inside out. Then I use O’Keefe’s working hands at bedtime each night. It is too heavy to use during the day. I can usually have my hands healed in 3 days. Filing down the crack with a nail file Wil keep it from splitting worse. Best of luck, I know how painful it can be.

  • Pamela S. says:

    I’m a dog groomer so my hands are in water, shampoo and harsh cleaning products all day and I love to make jewelry too, so my hands really take a beating. I’ve used Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand cream every night for decades and it works well. When my hands get really dry I add a few drops of Vit. E oil or a little liquid lanolin to the hand cream.

    One of my clients told me he that if he gets a finger crack he lets it soak in a small jar of mayonnaise and it heals right up.

  • Noreen says:

    Hi Susan,
    Every winter my thumb (usually the right one) cracks, and if I ignore it, the crack gets deep enough to bleed. There are 2 things I can use after it cracks. One is New Skin, which you can find in the bandaids section of the store. It does take some time to dry, but works better than a bandaid. I keep reapplying it until the skin is pretty much healed. The second thing I can use is Super Glue. This also works well, and I reapply as needed until the skin heals. I do try to keep Vaseline rubbed well into the ends of my fingers and thumbs, but since I’m always washing my hands it wears off quickly. Sometimes I squeeze a gel cap or 2 of vitamin E and some Tea Tree oil into the vaseline container to help with healing.

  • Daisy says:

    Something I have found invaluable is Lassars paste. It takes the pain away whilst healing the cracks. You can get it via Amazon or on the internet. It’s definitely worth a try!

  • Kathy Roeper says:

    Okeefes hand cream. It is used by auto mechanics and wood workers. I found it at Home Depot

  • Mimi A says:

    My thumbs also crack in the wintertime and I use a combination of Bag Balm (yes, for cow udders) at night and New Skin in the daytime. I also have tubes of hand cream everywhere – in both cars, pretty much in every room of the house and my purse – so I can put cream on whenever I feel the dryness creeping up.

  • Gloria M. Lewis says:

    Pure African Shea Butter with a few drops of Lavender essential oil.

  • Barb Carpenter says:

    Chap-stick rubbed on frequently throughout the day will heal them up and also will prevent future cracks if rubbed on problem spots. A woman carpenter kept telling me this and I resisted trying it for years; trying else first. Silly me! this worked best and was the least expensive.

  • Judith says:

    Sewers who do a lot of hand sewing and creating have this problem also. I go along with Mimi on the use of a product called “Bag Balm” which can be found at fabric stores. It works for me.

  • Before you start using home remedies, please talk with your doctor. There’s a kind of eczema that affects the fingers called Hydrostatic Eczema that can make your fingers peel and crack painfully. There is a prescription topical lotion to use to help heal it.

  • Julie T. says:

    My fingers get so bad a person asked me if I had a fight with a razor blade and lost! A pharmacist suggested New Skin or any form of liquid band-aid to keep the splits covered. Exposing the splits to air is what really makes them hurt; super glue seals them just as well.
    Also the chap stick (medicated one) works extremely well; pack it into the splits this will keep the air out and help expedite the healing.

  • Anne says:

    I use nail file to file the crack down and body butter. But I have not found a 100 % fix to the problem yet. I will try all the tips given by you all. Thank you for sharing!

  • Michelle says:

    Sounds crazy but banana peel. I rub the inside of the peel on my hands. Works like a charm.

  • Cynthia says:

    I sometimes use chapstik (actually, Blistex) on my chapped, cracked fingers (and chapped nose, during a bad cold).
    Also O’Keffe’s “Healthy Feet” cream. It’s for cracked feet, so, why wouldn’t it work on cracked fingers, too? It does! You’ll find it everywhere, once you look for it – but always at Bed Bath & Beyond.

  • jennifer greene says:

    I have used regular transparent tape. They(above) are right, its the exposure to the air that makes it hurt, its amazing how much better it feels just putting a layer of tape over the split. (better than bandaids)Just like the super glue or nu-skin, one may work better for you than another.

  • Rosanne says:

    I saw the distinctive green containers of antiseptic Bag Balm in a quilters’ catalog about thirty years ago and have used it ever since for all my cuts, gashes, and cracked skin problems. Some people might object to the smell, but I consider that to be a small price to pay for relief from soreness and quick healing. It is marked for veterinary use only, which I have interpreted to include me. The active ingredients are listed on the tin and include a petrolatum lanolin base.

  • Stephanie says:

    J use Corn Huskers lotion to help prevent that same problem. On the occasions when I have forgotten I use Bag Balm and a bandaid with silk tape to keep it on.

  • I have also filed the splits and I use Lipmedics by Blistex. I also use finger cots to protect the cuts when I work and sometimes at night.

  • Natasha Burger says:

    treatment – crazy glue to hold things together and trim the ragged ends
    prevention – any kind of long lasting moisturizer you like – chapstick works

  • Jeannine says:

    NexCare has a relatively new product called Skin Crack Care. I’m not sure what the difference is between it and New Skin, but it works. It is like a superGlue but not as sticky. It dries pretty fast and made my last winter much easier on my hands. There’s a lot of things on this page that I wish I had known.

  • Freddie says:

    Mine would crack so badly that the would bleed.– so I sympathize. A colleague of mine told me about acid mantle cream and, for me, it was a miracle. The next best thing is an old world remedy for dry hands: rub the freshly squeezed lemon juice and glycerin mixture into hands at bedtime. Cover hands with cotton gloves. I hope you find a solution.

  • Gigi says:

    Avon has this AMAZING product called ‘Foot Works’ maximum strength cracked heel cream – it is an external analgesic and first aid antiseptic that is not greasy and no noticeable smell. My husband and I use it for all our scrapes and small cuts. I think it would work really well for your cracked hands. Good luck and have a wonderful day.

  • Paula J Countryman says:

    Those cracks and splits are so painful! I apply chapstick, the original one,. It instantly seals the crack and the pain is gone. Also, A&D ointment heals the splits too. My mother used to keep a damp paper towel with vegetable or any oil of choice in a shallow bowl by the sink. Every time she washed dishes or her hands, she’d swipe her fingers on the paper towel. It works!

  • Angela Darmali says:

    I also have a problem with dry skin and brittle nails, and I use olive oil to massage my hands and nails each night. Hope this helps you.

  • Liz Morgan says:

    I live in Alberta Canada and I suffer from severely cracked feet all year and my hands crack in the winter. It’s pretty bad right now as we have been in a deep freeze for a while now. 1st the pain is from bacteria. I use an antibacterial cream or ointment to immediately alleviate the pain. I read a lot of the comments and as far as sealing the crack goes there is a lot of advice I need to try myself. I am sure you can imagine how painful it is to walk on the cracks. My doctor gave me freezing ointment because sometimes I actually have to cut away the edges of the cracks in order for them to heal! You can imagine how painful that is! I have been using petroleum jelly to moisturize because everything expensive I tried over the years does no better, and I found these amazing socks at Walmart this year that really help to keep the moisture in. I don’t know the brand anymore but they were $5.00 CAD for 2 pairs and they are super fuzzy and soft inside. Best socks ever! I wash them inside out then turn them right side out to dry.

  • Liz Morgan says:

    Someone said ‘OKeefe’s healthy foot cream for your hands. There is an Okeefe”s for hands as well. These work well but the alcohol in them hurts pretty bad. When you have numerous cracks on your feet the pain is incredible!! I have tried everything as I am on disability and in Canada the government covers this kind if thing and nothing works any better than vaseline petrolatum jelly which never stings!

  • Debra Lowe says:

    Neutrogena hand cream, my husband used to work in a freezer and this was the only hand cream that healed his finger tips. You use very little and you will be surprised at how quickly it will help.

  • Brenda B. says:

    I’m thinking you may need to supplement with some Vitamin D.

  • Tracy says:

    I use crazy glue on the cracks.

  • Fay says:

    I just discovered by using Chapstick on my cut & bleeding cracked fingers at night for only a few nights. Fixed them up in no time. I also use Glysomed hand cream a few times a day.

  • Bj says:

    I rub Eucerin Aquaphor in while I’m watching TV in the evenings. When I’m out and about during the day I put triple antibiotic ointment on the crack and cover with a bandaid. It only takes a couple days to heal up!

  • Annmarie C says:

    Carmex lip balm has always worked for me. Put directly into the crack at night heals fairly well overnight. Even my husbands hard-edged, bleeding finger and hand cracks will heal in 3 days using Carmex only at night ,,, and keep your hands out of hot and/or soapy water until cracks heal.

  • Becky says:

    I’ve used most of the recommendations listed and they all work. Trouble was that I needed to keep my fingers “grease free” while working with metal and beads. I now use “Finger Cots” from Walgreens. I apply my remedy and then cover it with a finger cot. Helps the healing go quicker!

  • susan Cowles says:

    Thank you for all your support & ideas. Some of these I have tried or do, but I will try them all!! Why not???

  • Laurie says:

    Positively okeefes working hands. The best.

  • Sue Screws says:

    Lots of great info for healing cracks. I have a suggestion to help AVOID them.
    I realized the skin on my thumb would crack when I was doing wire wrap. All the Pressure from squeezing thumb and forefinger together to hold the wire overstressed the dry skin.
    Now, I support the skin by putting a 1/4” wide x 1” long strip of surgical tape tightly across the fingerprint ridge that splits BEFORE I start wire wrapping. Place one half of the tape on one side of the ridge that splits at 90 degree angle, pull tight, then adhere to the other side.
    This reinforcement truly helps me avoid skin splits in the first place. Then keep the skin healthy with the moisturizer of choice at night and after washing your hands.

  • Natalie says:

    LOTIL cream, available thru Walmart, Amazon, The Vermont Country Store. Heavy on lanolin. I used to slather it on my hands heavily at bedtime and put plastic or latex gloves on to trap the moisture while I slept.

  • Alysen says:

    Rena, plus it keeps any lurking nose, throat, bronchial microbes at bay too! :)) Seriously though, I’m going to try it. I assume you put some cotton gloves on?

  • Alysen, I find it’s best to put on gloves to help the Vicks absorb into your skin – and also to keep from smearing it onto everything else. 🙂

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