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Sharon Basaraba

Surprising Remedy for Finger Cracks

By January 30, 2013

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Chapped hands

It just doesn't seem right that something so small should be so painful, but that's certainly the reality of finger cracks, or fissures.  Because of forced-air heating and drier climates, they're often a bigger problem in the winter.  These skin breaks around your fingernails can also be more common as we get older, thanks to changes that occur in aging skin.

There are a few things you can do to prevent - and treat - skin cracks.  The first line of defense is moisturizing with a thick, emollient lotion or cream.  Look for ingredients like petrolatum and wax, and avoid components like dyes or fragrances that can irritate already damaged skin.

If you want to seal that crack in a hurry, try super glue!  It sounds surprising, but even dermatologists recommend it as a quick, simple and inexpensive product that provides almost instant relief.  Just keep it away from your eyes, and your children (most brands come in childproof containers).

Finally, soap is a major enemy in the war against dry hands.  Try using a mild cleanser that doesn't contain lathering detergents (or fragrances).  Since they're unlikely to kill the viruses and bacteria that cause illnesses, be sure and use a gel hand sanitizer.  They seem to be less drying for winter skin than soaps can be.


Cyanoacrylate microbial sealants for skin preparation prior to surgery. US National Library of Medicine Plain Language Summary. Accessed January 22, 2013.

Dry Skin. American Academy of Dermatology Public Information Sheet. Accessed January 22, 2013.

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