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The heartbreak of - contact dermatitis?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by unbasslichkeit, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Anyone else out there have to deal with this problem? For about as long as I've been playing bass my hands have been subject to dry skin problems, particularly around the index and middle finger of my right hand (my playing fingers.) I usually have to bandage them up fairly regularly (like now) to be comfortable typing or driving, and if I skin a knuckle it's a long time healing properly.

    This could be a lot of things, but I've been using D'Addario stainless steel half rounds for going on 20 years and D'Addario Phosphor Bronze on my acoustic guitars, and I've always wondered if exposure to the metal had something to do with it. When I was in college I actually bit the bullet and talked to a dermatologist but got no real diagnosis.

    I've always looked upon this as sort of an occupational hazard, but I'm thinking I really need to do more research.

    On edit: Found this link, with a link to the full PubMed article.
    (Believe it or not I was a librarian in a previous life - Google sure makes you lazy!)

  2. tkozal


    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    Heh, I just had to go back to wearing a tie at work, after 9 years of casual. All the guys here started to get contact dermatitis under our collars!

    If I were you, I would see a dermatologist.
  3. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    1. When was the last time you had a good medical physical?
    2. One common problem with fingers and hands is Eczema. I have it when exposed to cold temperatures or if my hands get wet frequently. My fingers get real dry and then they crack. It's real pretty.
    3. If you have wounds that don't heal quickly, make sure you don't have diabetes. Many people who have it don't even know it.
    4. Go to the doctor. <-- This is the best advise I can give you.
    5. If it were contact derm., chances are it would effect all the fingers that touch the strings, not just your right hand playing fingers. The two fingers you pluck with get more abuse that the four on your left hand, so the increased friction can cause more irritation to them. AND: Stainless steel is the most inert substance used in medicine. The body reacts the least to stainless steel than any other material that I know of. It's used as sutures (sometimes), screws, plates, pins, etc...

    Good luck
  4. Last year - in the summertime, when the hand thing wasn't as nasty as it is now, and as soon as my GP's office can schedule one. It's a very small practice and he can only do so many a month, but I'd rather go to him than to some gouger downtown who I don't know.

    This is probably much more what I am dealing with. The only reason I think skinned knuckles don't heal for me is that I tend to skin them more than once, usually when moving an amp out of the car trunk without wearing gloves. :scowl:

    There's all kinds of creams and stuff they tell you will work well for this. I've tried most of them but one thing I used to use under a bandage instead of ointment is Vitamin E capsules. That just about clears it up until I skin a knuckle again.
  5. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    Get a pair of $12.00 gloves at Home Depot. I use them all the time so my hands don't get dirty and gritty right before I play.

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