Winter and your fingers
I'm a builder so I'm out in the elements all the time. My fingers are so cracked right now, in haven't been able to button a shirt must less play my bass.
I've tried crazy glue, and the last two nights I've Ben putting on lotion every half hour, but they're cracked worse.
Want do you do to keep your fingers in tune?
I'm a builder, too, only indoors. But, my fingers crack around the nails in winter like yours. One was bad enough last year that it interfered with my playing a little. I told my doctor about it, and he gave me two different kinds of cream to try, but I really couldn't tell if it helped much. But, what it did was keep the skin from drying. Now I put a little lotion on my hands when they start drying out too much to hopefully keep them from cracking. Just don't do it before using any tools.
I have eczema and feel your pain. I used to get nasty cuts on all my fingers. Go see your Dr - they can prescribe something for you. Also, double your hydration, this make a big difference, but it'll take a few weeks to notice. Also, moisturize before bed, in the morning and throughout the day.
I build also and my hands crack really bad sometimes. Mine will crack around the nails and on my knuckles. The best lotion I have found that works is Vaseline Deep Moisture Creamy Formula. Here is a link.
This stuff works wonders on my hands. I usually only need to put it on twice a day. Sometimes three.
I've had 3 fingernails split since we've had the spell of below zero
I turn on the space heater in the practice room to get it warm enough fro my fingers to play and in a syndrome typical opf mid-winter once I'm warm, I fall asleep
for finger and heel cracking people I know in this climate use udder cream
I do cars and some stuff around the house which usually involves plenty of dirt and grime. I've built up a collection of gloves and this my best-ever investment in myself
I knocked up a compartmented box for them so it's quick and easy to change and not lose track of them.
There are those full rubber-coated thick cotton gloves for working with stuff like diesel and grease. Next up the trad colourful leather rigger gloves in two sizes - my normal size and a larger pair which I can line with the thin cotton gloves if I'm working in them for a long time. I got callouses on my first fingers middle joints from the leather chafing away at the skin, so the cotton gloves prevent this.
Surgical type latex gloves are cheap. I might wear these with the thin cotton gloves over to help make them last longer. The latex ones are excellent for mixing cement and plaster etc.
Over-sized washing up type gloves are handy when you suddenly have to do something wet. I have them big enough to easily slip over the thin cotton gloves and pull off quickly. This saves actually having to change a pair of gloves and then change back when the wet work ends. So I can change from leather rigger gloves over thin cotton gloves to washing-up gloves over thin cotton gloves (a must in cold weather) and back in well under ten seconds.
I know guys who won't wear gloves when working. They say they can't do anything when wearing gloves. I disagree. I've restored old cars and maybe had to take the gloves off once or twice to deal with real fiddly little things, which I first clean.....whilst wearing gloves :).
The best moisturizer in the world is water, but it evaporates from the skin quickly. I use the next best thing - liquid paraffin, which is safe enough to drink or treat a baby's nappy rash. It's can be used orally to relieve constipation. It's cheap. It is usually the main ingredient after water in women's moisturizing cosmetics. Check this out if you have any of these products in the house. The main ingredient is often listed as "aqua", which is bsht for "water".
I've had work-related skin problems over the years. The worst material is brake fluid - totally evil on hands, closely followed in the crap league by cement and some building adhesives.
Once a problem sets in, it's hard to get rid of it if you can't stop working and getting bad stuff on your hands. Gloves are the only way - prevention much easier than cure.
So, you're on a building site with the he-men and your box of pretty gloves - enjoy the sarcasm :).
All the pro car mechanics I've know use barrier cream. It fills up the skin to keep other stuff out. I use this, and the gloves help to keep it in place for a long time.
The skin dries out and cracks for many reasons, but the cause is the lack of oils in the skin. Weather conditions will strip oils on the hands as they are normally exposed. So where you employ the most pressure, in day to day use, is the fingertips, so where it will crack is around the joint of the nail....joints being a site of weakness..the joint is in effect a crack.
Washing the hands strips them of oils as well as dirt, oils are grease, so greasy skin is well oiled skin. Moisturisers will deal with dry skin, but not really cracked skin, they are more of a surface lubricant rather than a deep lubricant. To get deep the oil needs small molecules to permeate the skins pores, so it needs to be a 'natural oil' rather than a mineral oil. The more natural the oil and its extraction process the more likely its use on the skin will leave the molecules un-changed.
Of these oils, Virgin Olive Oil is a good place to start.
It is said to have many qualities;
one of which it has natural anti-imflamatory benefits;
it is a good skin cleaner (so will clean the skin without striping away natural oils to do so);
it can be used before working as a "barrier" (applying it and working it into the skin makes it harder for materials to adhere, fix to or stain the skin..it acts as a barrier to them);
it moisturises and lubricates deep into the skin layers so it is not easily worn off.
The only real draw back maybe is the smell, and the hands feeling greasy rather than actually being greasy.
So with just this example search out other forms of natural oil, nut oils share many of the same benefits as Virgin Olive Oil, but will offer many options of fragrance.
Some great nut oils for skin are;
Tamanu Nut Oil;
Macadamia Nut Oil,
are just a few of the ones I have used and found to be great ( I used the Virgin Olive Oil to clean my skin, and the nut oil to moisturise it and give my hands a better fragrance.)
But do some research and find the one that works best for you, here is a link to some others. Please take follow up any advice and claims for their benefits rather than take what is said at face value, and if you do use any, apply to a small area on the back of the hand to test whether you have any allergies or reactions to them...nut allergy reactions can be from the mild to the severe, different nuts can have different allergies, so check before use.
The real reason...
Believe it or not the reason for dry/cracked skin isn't about the surface, it's deep down inside.
You're simply not drinking enough water. Yup, plain old water, H20.
Coffee doesn't count, nor does juices or anything else you drink. Most people drink very little water. And we NEED water...just plain water...and LOTS of it, EVERY day.
I didn't believe it myself because I suffer from the same things with my hands the rest of us do, especially in the winter. But my wife is a health nut/nutritionist. She told me to drink LOTS of water (PLAIN water).
Guess what? My dry skin went away. Stay hydrated, especially in the winter and especially if you work outdoors, or with wood or paper and/or wash your hands frequently. And don't wait until you are thirsty either. By the time you feel thirsty, you have already been dehydrated for quite a while.
We've all been convinced via advertising for a long time to use lotions, but the problems stems from within. Try it! If you go a whole week drinking LOTS of plain water every day, you WILL notice a difference.
my brother who installs hardwood flooring in new residential homes, you'd be surprised how many he works in that don't have climate control on, has this issue. he doesn't play an instrument but dry and cracked hands and fingers hurt like a mo fo! he uses udder cream. ya know, stuff they put on cow udders to keep them from drying out and cracking from repeatedly being shoved into those lil milking units.
udder cream. he says that works better than anything.
Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Lotion
Sundogue's right- lots of good ol' H2O.
Also, I had a weird cracked and peeling skin problem a few years ago and found that using Bag Balm and loose-fitting latex gloves overnight helped as well. Took some getting used to but did the trick after a couple weeks.
Culturally, we do not consume enough water. We are inundated with ads for energy drinks, fruit and vegetable juices and what-have-you. But our bodies NEED regular plain water. Our bodies metabolize water in a completely different way than anything else that has water in it.
Plain water also flushes out toxins that contribute to all kinds of maladies, including skin problems. Help your body moisturize itself, from the inside out. ;)
Lotions can help in so far as protecting the skin from elements, but it really does not do for the skin what drinking water was meant to do.
Aveeno medicated lotion.
Use it daily though.
OK - this is one that is near and dear to my heart - a few years back, I started going through this very thing. Every freakin' winter, the same thing - when the temps plummeted, my hands would start to crack and split open.
I saw a couple of doctors and a skin specialist, none of which could offer any kind of rational explanation other than "your hands are too dry". Thanks a heap. :rolleyes:
A round of prednisone steroids will help tremendously (as it did for me), but doesn't actually *solve* the problem. Neither did the $15+ a bottle lotions or soaps the specialist recommended. Neither did drinking so much water I spent most of my day in the john.
In frustration, I did a little more reading on my own and found a combination of things that seem to work, at least for me. The temps here have been hovering around 7 degrees at night and 16 during the day, so now would normally be prime-time for my hands to crack; they feel a little dry, but nowhere near the cracking stage.
Ya' want the secret? It's both easy and cheap.
First, STOP using anything antibacterial, and I mean *anything*. I don't care if it is soap or hand sanitizer, nor whether or not the active ingredient is triclosan, alcohol, or whatever.
You replace it with something ridiculously cheap - Dawn dish washing liquid. No kidding. NOT the antibacterial kind - just run-of-the-mill Dawn. Put some into a small bottle if you need to and carry it in your pocket for when you're washing your hands in public restrooms, etc. It only takes a drop or two so a small bottle lasts practically forever.
Next, while you're at Wal-Mart getting your Dawn, pick up a bottle of Corn Huskers Lotion - it's over in HBA near the pharmacy and is under $3 a bottle. Use it every time after washing and drying your hands - it doesn't take much. It forms a protective coating on your hands that helps stave off the drying effects of winter weather.
That's it - do those two things. That's all. I went from several courses of steroids each winter and lots of expensive soaps and lotions that didn't work, to maybe one cracked finger in the course of each winter *if* I stop being diligent and screw up and accidentally use something antibacterial.
I feel your pain - quite literally. Or at least I used to - I hope this fix works for you.
Thanks, I'm a little surprised to see all the tradesmen here. Drinking makes a little sense, but my tile guy is a big health freak, drinks plenty of water but due to hands in the eater all day, he cracks worse than me.
Yeah those grouting materials that tile layers work with are hell on the hands.
come on, ladies,... just lick those wounds and get back to work!:hiding:
|All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:33 PM.|
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.12
Copyright ©2000 - 2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.