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Overnight Treatment For Cracked, Painful Fingers

Viola enjoys passing on the nuggets of wisdom she's collected. She has made eye contact with Robert Redford and chatted with Julia Roberts.

Fissures can occur anywhere on the fingers but are common at the tips of the nail beds.

Fissures can occur anywhere on the fingers but are common at the tips of the nail beds.

Fingertip Cracks

A fissure is a deep crack or crevice. Fissures can occur on many areas of the body, including the corners of the mouth and on the feet and hands. When this happens on your fingertips, the resulting pain can make everyday tasks, such as typing or using a phone, excruciatingly difficult.

Causes of Fingertip Fissures

Skin requires moisture to keep cells plump. When the cells dry out, they pull away from each other, especially if there is already an indentation in the skin. The tips of fingers, near the nail beds, are susceptible to cracking since there is a natural ridge in the skin where nails adhere to fingers. Repeated hand-washing or immersion in liquids not only cause increased evaporation from that area but soaps and detergents deplete the skin of natural emollients that keep the skin cells moisturized. Fingertips can also dry out simply from coming into contact with so many different surfaces throughout the day. When fingertips become dry, they lose their flexibility and tend to crack with even the slightest pressure. If cracks are accompanied by flaking, scaling or itching, consult a doctor or dermatologist as this could be a sign of eczema or another skin condition.

A lack of moisture causes cracks and fissures.


Heal Cracks Overnight

The key to speedy healing is to prevent moisture from being lost. Follow these three steps and heal fingertip cracks fast:

  1. Moisturize. Apply a moisturizer with humectant properties into fingers and hands. These creams and lotions draw moisture to the deeper layers of skin. Try creams with urea, glycerin or lecithin, such as Eucerin or O'keefe's Working Hands which can also help loosen dried skin. Cocoa butter is also an excellent emollient.
  2. Seal in moisture. After moisturizing, coat fingers with a product containing a moisture barrier such as dimethicone or lanolin to seal moisture into the skin. Dimethicone is a silicone-based polymer that prevents moisture loss. Lanolin is a natural wax secreted by sheep.
  3. Wear rubber, plastic or latex gloves. This is the secret to healing fingers overnight. Gloves will prevent the greasy emollients from rubbing off your hands. Wear gloves for at least four hours but preferably overnight to prevent moisture loss. During the day, wear gloves when immersing hands in water for long periods, such as when dishwashing or bathing a child. If gloves are too uncomfortable, finger cots also work very well to seal in moisture.
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Is It Dry Skin or Another Condition?

If cracks are due to eczema or another skin condition, see your doctor. Symptoms of eczema include flaking, peeling, red skin and itching.

If you only have one cracked finger, a finger cot can help protect it and seal in moisture.


Finger cots for dry, cracked fingers


Viola Horne (author) on May 30, 2018:

The tips are in the action steps. Thanks for your question.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on May 30, 2018:

Do you have the home remedy tips?

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