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Cracking bleeding hand skin

shootingstar2012-04-10 21:20:36 +0000 #1
Ever since I moved out to the prairies where the air is drier, my hands seem to acquire a small crack somewhere at least once a month - especially in the winter. Enough that my skin breaks and bleed.

I'm getting tired of wearing bandaids.

Yes, I use hand cream --twice daily at least. Does anyone have the same problem? What do you do? (Now don't tell me I have to wear mittens with hand lotioned immersed hands when going to bed.)
deeaimond2012-04-10 21:28:57 +0000 #2
Quote:

Originally Posted by shootingstar

(Now don't tell me I have to wear mittens with hand lotioned immersed hands when going to bed.)

haha shootingstar, maybe you should. on alternate days at least? use oil/ shea butter instead of just handcream? cracks must hurt!
OakLeaf2012-04-10 21:56:12 +0000 #3
Is it possible you have eczema/dyshidrosis? If it's an autoimmune issue, then reducing your overall allergic load should help, as will sparing use of steroid creams. Sun exposure usually helps too, if it's not too cold where you are.

Also make sure you're hydrating enough from the inside. It's always hard for me to drink enough water when I'm cold.

And +1 on checking the ingredients of your hand cream. If you're sensitive to an ingredient it will only make things worse; IME petroleum based creams damage the skin and get me "addicted" to them. Pure shea butter before bed works well for me, too - it's too heavy to use throughout the day if you need to be touching phone screens and/or computer keyboards, but if there are days when you're onsite using fiber-based information storage systems

you could use shea butter any time.
Blueberry2012-04-10 21:30:21 +0000 #4
+1 on 100% shea butter. We're packing/doing house chores for getting our house on the market and my hands were a mess last night - much better after a liberal application of shea before bed. If I actually get cracks, I use something like neosporin on them to help them heal.

I also find that I need to use a light lotion throughout the day in the winter (after washing).
malkin2012-04-10 22:57:33 +0000 #5
For me the magical and beloved hand sanitizer and 'germ killing soap' is the culprit. Can't use it at all, which is a pain, because it means toting my own little soap dispenser at work.

I also avoid normal house cleaning chemicals by wearing cleaning gloves with cotton gloves inside.

It makes me feel like a complete priss, but at least it keeps my skin from falling apart.
Muirenn2012-04-10 23:09:21 +0000 #6
I had that problem almost my whole life until I stopped using soap, and reduced the allergen load (as Oak said).

Winter is worse because indoor heating systems can cause dry skin. I still have flare-ups when operating the furnace.

Perhaps add a humidifier to your home? You can get a nice one from some place like Lowes (Or Menard's, if you have those in your part of the country; that's my dad's favorite store, btw ).

Instead of soap, I use Tate's Natural Miracle Shampoo, for both shampoo and body wash. All natural ingredients. It's made a huge difference in my overall health. (If you decide to try that, Nutrition Geeks has: www.nutritiongeeks.c...miracle-shampoo.html it at the best price). I buy it by the gallon. But to try, the 18 oz is probably the best deal. Pricey, but worth it to me.

I've used all the stuff that contains soap that is often recommended. Didn't help. These included unscented Goat's Milk Soap, Cetaphil, Purpose, Aveeno, Neutragena, Olive Oil soaps, anything and everything that has soap in it!

Petroleum jelly is good.

Eucerin products are good.

Aquafor is good.

Shea butter: it depends. The pure, smokey types can cause problems. But some work well. If there are too many added chemicals, this can be a problem too.

The Body Shop has a line of aloe vera based products for sensitive skin, including a body butter, that doesn't appear to cause any problems for me.

Burt's Bees and Say Yes To Carrots both have a body butter that I like. And the SYTC Body Butter is very soft.

Watch what you use while cleaning the house and doing laundry. And wear gloves, as long as the ones you choose don't aggravate the problem. Vinegar and water is good for most cleaning. I use it on the floor, and mix with water in a spray bottle. Mild dish-washing soap if you need to really scrub something (for the bathroom), is much less toxic than other alternatives. Dreft, Ivory Snow, and products like All Free and Clear are a lot less irritating in the laundry. Be sure to use as little as possible, too.

If you send clothing to be dry-cleaned, the chemicals they use are another possible cause.

If you have pets and they are bathed in soaps or flea controls that bother you, even if you are not the one doing the bathing, this is another possible source. I wash my dogs in Tate's, and use an oral medication (Comfortis) for flea control. Works for them too, since Boston Terriers are prone to sensitive skin.

Pet hair can be another issue. Mine aren't allowed on the furniture. That helps a lot.

Steroid cremes often don't work well for me. It depends what exactly is causing the problem. I believe, in my case, the cause is not always the same.
shootingstar2012-04-10 21:53:47 +0000 #7
Marni, I try to avoid using hand sanitizers. I don't work in a hospital so going around using hand sanitizers often doesn't make sense to me. I get cold/flu once a year or not even that.

Just washing my hands under the tap is great with a touch of soap.

Very interesting Murienne. Thank you for this thorough list!
Sky King2012-04-10 23:49:01 +0000 #8
as I type this without using my right thumb because the crack it deep and it hurts

I use liquid bandage and have a friend who uses super glue (but I think that stings too much)

Muireen thanks for the tips, I will on "non soap" and other lotions

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