Split finger tips

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
JinMe

Split finger tips

Post by JinMe » Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:30 pm

Hi all -
This is something that I feel sure must have been covered here, but various searches didn't turn it up. So I apologize if it is a tired subject.

Each winter the tips of my fingers get painful cracks and splits. Normally I use vitamin ointment and cover them with bandages until they heal. However, this obviously isn't consistent with the guitar.

I use all sort of hand lotions in an attempt to prevent these cracks and splits, but to no avail.

Am I alone? Anyone have a preventative or cure??

Janet

cn90

Re: Split finger tips

Post by cn90 » Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:00 pm

Hello,

Dry skin is normal in the winter but you seem to have a serious skin problems.
The best way is to see a local dermatologist = doctor specialized in skin disorders.

Regards,

rabidmuskrat

Re: Split finger tips

Post by rabidmuskrat » Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:22 pm

ditto on the previous....

I would get a really good, rich natural moisturzer like pure shea butter. You can find it at that very popular auction site - just make sure you get pure shea butter - not the shea butter based lotions. Or I've found that the Burt's Bees Hand Creme (the really thick stuff) works well. At night, apply this to your hands, with plenty on the tips, and then put on a pair of light cotton gloves. This will help to moisturize and heal. In the morning, moisturize lightly with the shea butter, let it sink in. Then apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly. Keep a small container with you, to use.

Natural plant and animal based oils moisturize and sink into your skin. Petroleum based moisturizers don't. But the petroleum jelly *does* sit on top of your skin, keeps out water, and keeps your skin from drying out and cracking. It provides a protective layer, while the shea butter moisturizes and heals.

hope this helps!
Susan

JinMe

Re: Split finger tips

Post by JinMe » Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:09 pm

Thanks for the advice!

I once saw a doctor about this and was told that in the "old days" this was known simply as dishpan hands and I should stop doing dishes. :shock:

Susan, I hadn't thought about using the combination of petroleum jelly over the natural lotions. Sure makes sense - thank you.

None of this was such a tremendous concern until I started CG lessons!

Janet

cn90

Re: Split finger tips

Post by cn90 » Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:18 pm

Janet,

You can do the dishes as long as you wear gloves. The soap removes the moisture from the skin.
For some people, it is not a problem and for others, the soap causes problems.

JinMe

Re: Split finger tips

Post by JinMe » Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:26 pm

cn90 -
There was an old TV ad in which a manicurist actually soaked someone's hands in dishwashing detergent. That just makes me cringe.

My solution for dishwashing, of course, is to have my husband take over that duty! I didn't tell him about the glove alternative...

Thanks for your response -
Janet

6000miles

Re: Split finger tips

Post by 6000miles » Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:53 pm

avoid anything with glycerin in it (which unfortunately is the basis for almost all hand lotions). glycerin, a sugar alcohol, while providing an initial soothing & smoothing effect, only accelerates the drying out of the skin, which of course is great for lotion manufacturers. Unless the humidity of air is over 65%, glycerin draws moisture from the lower layers of the skin and holds it on the surface, drying the skin from the inside out.

I would recommend to use a lanolin (wool fat) product, such as penaten baby creme (a very gooey white paste), which I will apply over night, which solves the problem of white paste all over my guitar...

Michele

Re: Split finger tips

Post by Michele » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:06 pm

I have the same problem every winter and until the cold weather completely goes away, I can count on having my thumbs split right at the nail. I have worn rubber gloves to wash dishes and to clean, but this is not a preventive measure. The splitting happens anyway. I have used petroleum jelly under bandaids at night and that helps as long as I continue for several nights. (A&D ointment also works.) Regular oils and lotions don't seem to help.

I may try the white thick baby cream and maybe that will work better.

JinMe

Re: Split finger tips

Post by JinMe » Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:03 pm

Thanks for the info 6000miles and Michele.

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one plagued by this. I just placed an order for the baby creme, which has extremely good reviews. I am, of course, assuming that what's good for diaper rash is good for my fingers!

Janet

JinMe

Re: Split finger tips

Post by JinMe » Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:55 am

Kudos to shea butter and Susan!

After a few days with regular use of pure shea butter, the skin on my finger tips is in better shape than ever! The cracks have healed and, even if I do dishes, as long as I apply a thin layer of shea butter, my hands are not drying out as usual. It is truly amazing stuff.

I found the pure shea butter at a local natural food store. Not too expensive.

Janet

User avatar
muirtan
Posts: 1249
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 10:00 pm
Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Split finger tips

Post by muirtan » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:38 pm

Hi even when using rubber gloves I find my hands and nails dry out. Every time my hands have been in water, however long for and even if wearing gloves, I use nail cream ( emu oil based) and hand cream. Have been spring cleaning this past week and my hands are OK although I did lose 1 nail knitting :(

rabidmuskrat

Re: Split finger tips

Post by rabidmuskrat » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:49 pm

Yay! I'm glad the shea butter worked well for you... I swear by the stuff!

:okok:

rgralnik

Re: Split finger tips/dry skin in general

Post by rgralnik » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:13 pm

This may sound a little weird, but consider it cross-pollination from my
other vice - pottery.

Potters have problems with dry skin because of keeping our hands coated in
mud for hours at a time. One solution is something with the marketing
department's dream name of "Bag Balm" (ranks right up there with "Hoof
Alive" for strengthening fingernails. The things we do for our art...)

Anyway, this stuff is made to rub on cows' udders (seriously) but it works
wonders for dry hands.

According to the product's official website, "Bag Balm is available at drug
stores, farm stores, pet stores, hardware stores, feed stores, and tack
shops." (so when you go to buy another jar of Hoof Alive for your nails
you can grab a can of this stuff for the rest of your hand.

Richard

JinMe

Re: Split finger tips

Post by JinMe » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:59 pm

Richard -
And to think I laughed at a friend when she went to our local farmer's co-op to get Hoof Dressing for her feet.

Actually, I think I have a tin of bag balm tucked away in my medicine closet - forgot all about it. I'll give that a try tonight.

Thanks -
Janet

Michele

Re: Split finger tips

Post by Michele » Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:06 pm

I have to admit that I tried shea butter over the past two weeks and it is remarkable at healing finger cuts.

Return to “Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists”