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View Full Version : Pesky, painful thumb cracks - what to do?



easyrider
Dec. 28, 2008, 09:09 PM
Every winter, I get deep cracks in the skin on my thumbs, at the inside corner of my thumbnails. This year, they've come very early. It got so bad last week that my thumb was throbbing.

I've tried Newskin, heavy duty moisturizer, Vaseline with bandaids over it, and nothing makes it go away. I'm lucky if it get a little better. I'm careful to moisturize my hands and always wear gloves when it's cold, and if my gloves get wet, I change them (the delight of frostnip taught me that), but it looks like it's going to be a tough winter for my thumbs.

Does anyone else have this problem, and any solutions?

Oakstable
Dec. 28, 2008, 09:13 PM
My husband had those cracks. The only thing that fixed it was Dynamite's Wound Salve.

Maybeapril
Dec. 28, 2008, 09:17 PM
A friend's father who's a doctor uses super glue on the cracks he gets on his hands. He swears by it.

Tasker
Dec. 28, 2008, 09:17 PM
The only thing that I've had work is wetting my finger (water) and dipping into the sugar bowl a few times a day. After 2 or 'dunks' they are much less painful & seem to be ok for a few more weeks.

Perhaps I should try this with my feet & the heel cracks? Hmmm, definitely not for the regular sugar bowl...

BEARCAT
Dec. 28, 2008, 09:18 PM
Put Super Glue on it.

pines4equines
Dec. 28, 2008, 09:22 PM
Have you tried the Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream? I use it every night before I go to bed.

Do you moisturize every night?

Lilykoi
Dec. 28, 2008, 09:43 PM
Bandaids and Neosporin. The Neosporin is the trick. I get them on all my fingers as soon as
the weather starts to get cold. It doesn't stop them from happening but it does heal them up quickly. Something that does help them from starting is wearing surgical gloves as much as you can when you are getting your hands wet. Even at the barn when you are doing tack. I think the constant wet/drying syndrome is what aggravates the skin.

Whitfield Farm Hanoverians
Dec. 28, 2008, 10:37 PM
I also use neosporin but use the PLUS with the analgesic in it. I really primarily use the generic triple antibiotic ointment PLUS. It does have to be the ointment, not the cream.

allpurpose
Dec. 28, 2008, 11:38 PM
I have found that if I can keep my thumb nails a bit on the long side ("long" for me is even with the top of my thumb) it helps defeat the cracks. If I succumb to my habit of picking and peeling my nails, I'm doomed with cracks until they grow out again.

Ditto the bandaids and Neosporin if things get bad... Good Luck!

Chief2
Dec. 28, 2008, 11:50 PM
All of the above!
Preventative: Neutrogena Hand Cream, or the CVS version
In the cracks: clean out with mosturizing soap, and fill with bag balm
Trim the nails back in the corners, and ditto for the skin on either side of the crack itself.
On the farm: wear latex gloves whenever handling water; wear gloves all winter
If your SO can stand it: before bed, cream or lotion condition your hands, apply bag balm to the cracks and on top of the lotion to seal it in, put on either latex or white cotton gloves and go to sleep for the night.

McVillesMom
Dec. 29, 2008, 12:14 AM
before bed, cream or lotion condition your hands, apply bag balm to the cracks and on top of the lotion to seal it in, put on either latex or white cotton gloves and go to sleep for the night.

Agree with this! I use the super thick Vaseline lotion (forget the exact name right now) and white cotton gloves. It's not as much of a problem for me now that I'm in school and not working, but when I was working in a vet hospital and washing my hands ALL the time, I used to have the same problem and the lotion + gloves really helped. Sometimes I would take them off in my sleep, though, and I always found one inside the other like I would remove a pair of latex gloves! :lol:

I've also been known to put Super Glue on the cracks. It's the same thing as tissue glue, more or less.

fourmares
Dec. 29, 2008, 12:19 AM
Working Hands Cream. It's made for hands that crack and bleed.

Party Rose
Dec. 29, 2008, 12:40 AM
Put bag balm all over your hands, put some cotton gloves on and have sweet dreams.

The Vermont Country Store is a good resource for many needs: http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/browse/Home/Apothecary/Body-Care/Moisturize-Protect/Sleeping-Gloves/D/30106/P/1:100:1000:10010:100030/I/f00148?evar3=SEARCH

goeslikestink
Dec. 29, 2008, 03:50 AM
Every winter, I get deep cracks in the skin on my thumbs, at the inside corner of my thumbnails. This year, they've come very early. It got so bad last week that my thumb was throbbing.

I've tried Newskin, heavy duty moisturizer, Vaseline with bandaids over it, and nothing makes it go away. I'm lucky if it get a little better. I'm careful to moisturize my hands and always wear gloves when it's cold, and if my gloves get wet, I change them (the delight of frostnip taught me that), but it looks like it's going to be a tough winter for my thumbs.

Does anyone else have this problem, and any solutions?

yeah i used to get that dont any more its due to circulation so keep the hands warm
ie buy finger less gloves they like gloves with the tipof thefinger missing so you can do your jobs and ride but not have the gloves interfere with anything you do
problem goes then its cause your hands are cold

you want these ones http://www.google.co.uk/products?hl=en&lr=&pwst=1&resnum=0&q=fingerless+gloves&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&oi=product_result_group&resnum=1&ct=title

prefeable the thermal ones

Guin
Dec. 29, 2008, 06:38 AM
Bag balm might help. Also try to keep bandaids on.

regeventer
Dec. 29, 2008, 07:19 AM
Ditto the gloves at night - I started doing this last year and it REALLY helped. And use super glue. I also found a product at Wal Mart that you put on like nail polish - it helped as well.

But the clincher was using a good shea butter cream and sleeping with cotton gloves on. Very geeky but useful:lol:

mtpony
Dec. 29, 2008, 08:22 AM
I have had better luck with the Bickmore Gall Salve than the Neosporin, it seems to work quicker and toughen up the thumb corners a little. My thumb cracks are usually much better after one night.

Ware Whip!
Dec. 29, 2008, 08:46 AM
Start with an ounce of prevention, after you wash your hands, take an emery board to the skin, keeping the dry skin down will help prevent the cracks. Do glue them shut, after you clean them well, this will help them heal and keep infection out. Keep the skin in good shape, bag balm is excellent. Most dermatologists recomend Polysporin over Neosporin.

As soon as that skin starts to get thick, file it down, and keep it moisturised, I know this can be a chore in and of itself, but it pays off in spades.

DeeThbd
Dec. 29, 2008, 08:51 AM
For a quick fix while out and about, fill in the crack with ChapStick
Dee

JSwan
Dec. 29, 2008, 08:52 AM
Bag balm

You may have some luck wearing gloves at night. Those spa glove thingies. Goop up your hands with whatever potion you like and then put the gloves on. A dab of bag balm and bandaid may help in the daytime, as will wearing gloves or mittens at all times while working outdoors.

Flash44
Dec. 29, 2008, 09:05 AM
KEEP YOUR HANDS DRY AT ALL TIMES

Go buy 4 pairs of extra large rubber gloves. You can put them on over top of regular gloves. ALWAYS wear them when getting hands wet. It's the combination of water and cold weather that causes the cracks, and they won't go away unless you keep your hands dry. It's like cracked heels for people, and the same prevention principles apply.

Party Rose
Dec. 29, 2008, 09:24 AM
I just had a thought.
Please don't laugh.
It's awesome stuff.
I was first introduced to it by Oprah.
It's a great story too!
Does everything I've ever asked of it.
Try it on your horse too!!

http://buttpaste.op4web.com/default.cfm

"Pharmacist George Boudreaux opened his Louisiana drugstore in 1978 and soon began whipping up an old fashioned elixir that magically cured lots of irritated baby bottoms—and people discovered it also worked wonders on itches, scrapes and cuts.

Local doctors started sending people to George for his miracle cream—they just didn't know what to call it. One doctor recalls laughing, "I'd send them over to see George and say, 'He's got a really good butt paste.'"

And so the name "Boudreaux's Butt Paste" stuck and became a legend. Now George's product is "kicking butt." George says athletes—even some famous ones—love "Butt Paste" because it helps soothe jock itch!

You can find Boudreaux's Butt Paste in Walmart and Target stores nationwide."

JSwan
Dec. 29, 2008, 09:28 AM
:lol:

That would be a pretty good addition to a horsey gift basket. Butt paste, monkey butt powder, and Tired Old Ass soak, along with some hand cream, travel bottles of aspirin or tylenol, and chocolate!

x-rab
Dec. 29, 2008, 09:56 AM
I have used bag balm, Zack's crack cream and just about every other product. Gold Bond Hand Cream works the best for me. You can keep the dry skin down using St. Ives Hand and Foot scrub cream. It moistures too.

KnKShowmom
Dec. 29, 2008, 09:57 AM
Corn Huskers lotion with gloves at night as a preventative. Once you 'feel' one coming on, paint the area with liquid bandaid 2x a day. Helps to minimize the size of the crack and speeds up healing much faster than the bandaid/antibiotic ointment.

pearl's mom
Dec. 29, 2008, 10:05 AM
The best for me is good old Corona that you use on your horse. It's super thick so put it on at night with gloves if possible. the best daytime moisturizer I have found is Aveeno or it's generic equivalent. It soaks in fast and doesn't leave your hands all slimy.

easyrider
Dec. 29, 2008, 12:20 PM
I knew I could count on you! Now I have even more things to try. Very good suggestions here and ones I never considered. What an easy and obvious solution to put big rubber gloves over my others gloves when I'm handling water (my SO already has them). It also makes sense to file down that tough skin because it seems that the skin gets tough and then the cracks happen. Tonight, it's cotton gloves and some kind of goo. I'm looking forward to feeling better soon. Thanks everyone!

Diamondindykin
Dec. 29, 2008, 12:45 PM
Bandaids and Neosporin. The Neosporin is the trick. I get them on all my fingers as soon as
the weather starts to get cold. It doesn't stop them from happening but it does heal them up quickly. Something that does help them from starting is wearing surgical gloves as much as you can when you are getting your hands wet. Even at the barn when you are doing tack. I think the constant wet/drying syndrome is what aggravates the skin.

I get these too and I also use the Neosporin and bandaids. Since we have had so much cold weather and snow here lately I have a real bad one and the other night I did the Neosporin and bandaids and it feels much better.

Equilibrium
Dec. 29, 2008, 12:56 PM
KEEP YOUR HANDS DRY AT ALL TIMES

Go buy 4 pairs of extra large rubber gloves. You can put them on over top of regular gloves. ALWAYS wear them when getting hands wet. It's the combination of water and cold weather that causes the cracks, and they won't go away unless you keep your hands dry. It's like cracked heels for people, and the same prevention principles apply.


You have to have the rubber gloves!!!!! I now have those cheap magic gloves and add the disposable gloves over top. That is my feeding paraphanelia. Once not feeding, switch to heavier neoprene or wool/neoprene waterproof gloves and continue working.

If you all ever go to the body shop they make a Hemp Hand creme. Rub it in before bed and use cotton gloves. Morning on again. I also do the neosporin and band aids, but I am having no problems this year unless I get my hands wet.

Now hubby on the other hand is Mr. Bandaid at the moment and just can't get the keep your hands dry thing. Then after I do his bandaids, he wants to me to rub hemp creme into the other parts. Like there's nothing left to hemp creme!

Terri

Quiet Riot
Dec. 29, 2008, 06:31 PM
I also suffer from skin cracks and us Gold Bond Hand Cream.....works great!

Brockstables
Dec. 29, 2008, 06:59 PM
Our pharmacy has a cream for diabetics to use for healing difficult wounds and skin cracks. Use it on hands and feet, cover with cotton socks, sleep well. A few nights of this should do the trick. I have not had the usual problem this year (yet) as I am religously using Avon's hand repair cream MANY times a day, on hands and feet. Best of luck!

Go Fish
Dec. 30, 2008, 03:20 AM
Avon Moisture Therapy...stuff doesn't even wash off. Using it overnight is a good idea.

Believe it or not, getting a weekly manicure helps.

My DH swears by Corn Huskers.

BaaramuLuke
Dec. 30, 2008, 08:00 AM
I swear by this stuff.

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/WW_Nexcare/FirstAidProducts/Products/SkinCare/

It is Nexcare Skin Crack Care, and the link provides a dollar off coupon. I found it in the grocery store (Ukrops I think), and it is a wee bit pricey, but worth it.

Not only do I have the horsey stuff to do, 50% of my day is spent washing dogs, so I cannot avoid wet hands, and I can get the exact same crack you describe anytime, summer or (mostly) winter. Avoiding them is definately the trick, but if it happens, this stuff is great.

I also try to wear gloves outside as much as possible, and I use a shea butter lavender hand creme from a NC crafter as often as I can. I can find the link to that if anyone is interested. Great stuff too, not greasy and smells so wonderful, really stays with you.

mtk9122
Dec. 30, 2008, 09:07 AM
Nexcare is the only thing that works and also seems to take the pain away for me. It appears to also speed the healing process. Some of my finger cracks have extended from the top of the finger underneath the nail and have bled copiously. But a couple of days of the Nexcare have brought dramatic improvement and a few more days - almost totally healed. It is pricey but worth it.

lizard
Dec. 30, 2008, 10:21 AM
My husband and I use Aquaphor from Eucerin. We get it at WalMart, and it is not too pricey. It is amazing how much those cracks hurt!

saddleup
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:01 AM
I've used Desitin, and it works. But I'm going to try some of the other ideas, because the Desitin is messy and smelly.

kookicat
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:09 AM
For a cheap but effective hand scrub, I use brown sugar. Yep, just plain old brown sugar. :) Wet your hands ( I soak them in a oatmeal bath) and then grab a handful and rub away. It works really well

easyrider
Dec. 30, 2008, 02:56 PM
Wow, what great suggestions. Last night, I did the goop and gloves routine and my thumbs feel much, much better. I also got rid of some of the tough skin and I'm sure that helped, too.

BaaramuLuke -- I'd love the source of the lavender cream. I hate greasy, so that would be great to use during the day.

Lady Counselor
Dec. 30, 2008, 04:52 PM
One more thing to be aware of, coming from a fellow sufferer...
Lack of sunlight & Vitamin D are big factors in the skin cracks. I use the Nexcare line of products on mine, (moisturizer and the skin crack sealer) but find they go away if I start tanning in the winter. I also find that winter tanning gives me more energy ( I have a mild case of SAD)
So, splurge a little bit in the name of good health. ;)

fourmares
Dec. 31, 2008, 12:01 AM
Another good dry hand treatment (though maybe not the best for cracked hands - ouch) is to take salt and olive oil and make a paste. Rub your hands with it for several minutes, rinse with warm water and pat dry.

camohn
Dec. 31, 2008, 07:49 AM
Every winter, I get deep cracks in the skin on my thumbs, at the inside corner of my thumbnails. This year, they've come very early. It got so bad last week that my thumb was throbbing.

I've tried Newskin, heavy duty moisturizer, Vaseline with bandaids over it, and nothing makes it go away. I'm lucky if it get a little better. I'm careful to moisturize my hands and always wear gloves when it's cold, and if my gloves get wet, I change them (the delight of frostnip taught me that), but it looks like it's going to be a tough winter for my thumbs.

Does anyone else have this problem, and any solutions?

Gold Bond Ultimate Cream (avail in drug stores and some groc store aisles). On the upper end of price for OTC stuff and works great. I have barn duties at home and also work in healthcare where I have to wash and use alcohol on em all the time and no Gold Bond mine crack too.

mkevent
Jan. 1, 2009, 06:28 PM
I second the Gold Bond Ultimate Cream-that stuff is amazing!! Also works if your skin is itchy-I like it better than cortisone cream for itchy skin. Good luck

JanM
Jan. 1, 2009, 09:24 PM
If you don't find the lotion or creme you're looking for in the pharmacy section try the infant section with the diaper rash stuff--I looked all over Wally World for the Boudreaux stuff and finally tried the infants section. The bag balm didn't work for me but I'm going to try the cotton gloves and Boudreaux's this time. I guess you have to keep trying different things until you find one that works for you.