My whole life I have had eczema on my wrists, fingers, and feet, but it has never kept me from playing my instrument. However in the last few months, my eczema on my hands has become inflamed to the point of extremes. I cannot spread my fingers without the webs in between cracking, and the dryness underneath my fingernails cracks and bleeds whenever I play. There could be many causes for this recent inflammation ranging from stress, metal allergies, other contact allergies, food allergies (gluten, yeast, etc.) and the cold winter weather; and I have doctors appointments scheduled with specialists in the coming months to try to finally get to the bottom of it. I'd normally go to an eczema forum for remedies but I've tried every moisturizer on the market, ointments, prescription cortisone creams, light therapy, daily meditation.. everything. I'm on talkbass because I NEED to continue playing. I'm a fourth year student at the Bard Conservatory of music, I have recitals scheduled throughout the spring on upright bass and electric bass, and I just can't afford to stop playing, it would mean my academic career, and several disappointed venues in NYC and the Hudson Valley. There has been threads talking about ways to play through the dry skin, but they have ended prematurely. I've heard talk of silk gloves, kevlar gloves, finger tip protectors, nylon strings. Has anybody actually tried any of this stuff? I'd rather not go out on stage looking like I'm ready to give a cavity search, but if that's what it takes fine. Anybody else with eczema? contact dermatitis? psoriasis? It sounds extreme, but I now literally can't touch the instrument that I love.. you bass players could imagine what it's like.