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Thread: Chapped cracked hands...

  1. #1
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Chapped cracked hands...

    From the "Gloves and rain" thread, some guys were talking about fingertips splitting during days on the river. Mike Strahan posted: "Some people have a very hard time with skin cracking in wet windy environments, and they really need a good glove. If you have that issue, you might try some Bag Balm on your hands; it really helps. I don't have that trouble but I've seen several people use it for chapped hands."

    1. I've had some luck with this for a couple of years -- only on "clean" splits. Here's a website that describes several solutions, including using super glue. From the People's Pharmacy, a herb and home remedy site (http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/archives/herb_home_remedy_qa/solutions_for_split_fingertips.php?page=2):

    "One last approach readers have recommended is sealing the cracks with instant glue. A liquid bandage product from Band-Aid is formulated for skin and less likely to be irritating than a household adhesive."

    Easy to carry. Quick to apply on clean splits. Useful for other things too and doesn't get strange scent on my flies/tackle.

    2. AmLactin or other brand of lactic acid lotion - available at Fred Meyer, probably WalMart, also works pretty well. Stings irritated skin and a little spendy.

  2. #2
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    I had so much bag balm inside of my gloves that it felt like I was thumb wrestling a jellyfish.

    I swear by that stuff.
    "...just because we didn't agree with you doesn't mean we didn't have good discussion. It just means you missed it." -JMG-

  3. #3
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    Albino Hare products (I think) has a lotion bar that looks like soap but is awesome for dry cracked skin and prevention of this. It is solid and will live in a sandwich ziploc and goes on a little oily but in minutes works into the skin so as not to get on the insides of your gloves. My wife and I love this stuff and many skin issues. Best razor rash relief is just one...

    George

  4. #4
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    I used to use Joshua Tree Climbing Salve back in my desert climbing days. Amazing Stuff! www.jtreelife.com

    J

  5. #5

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    My wife used to sell Avon a few years ago. The Avon Moisture Therapy lotion is the cheapest and best I've found for dry or cracked skin. I work in a water plant, so my hands are constantly wet, greasy or soaking in clorox. Couple that with the lack of humidity in the winter here in Fairbanks and my skin is constantly cracking. (Usually on my finger tips and knuckles.) The Avon product my not work on the water, but put it on and go to sleep and the next morning your hands will feel much better.

  6. #6
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    I have had major problems with cracking finger tips. I work outside and do lots of ice fishing. Four or five years ago I discovered Pro-Tech-Skin by Atsko. They are the makers of Sno-Seal (the boot and leather treatment). Pro-Tech-Skin is what I call Sno-Seal for your hands. I apply it once day (at bedtime) during the fall and winter months. In five years I have not had one finger crack. Well OK I have slacked on application for a week or so a couple of times and ..well you know..ouch. I asked my local sport shop to order some for me and now the owner can't live without it. He always has some in stoc. You can also get it from there website. I recommend it to anyone that works with your hands a lot. Use it for one week and you will be hooked.

  7. #7
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Super glue?

    Anyone tried the super glue idea when the cracks develop?

  8. #8
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    6X, I did on a 10 day float hunt a couple of years ago. It closed the cracks, but after a day or so they came back worse than ever, Not an infection, the crack just seemed to lengthen and deepen under the glue. Removing the base cause by keeping the hands dryer seems to have kept me out of trouble since.

  9. #9

    Default cracked fingers / superglue

    Used to guide river trips, used super glue for years. Works fine to hold splits closed, but won't last more than a day or so and needs to be reapplied. Helps to have the split clean and disinfected before glueing the germs inside.

    You don't "have" to buy the expensive medical grade, hardware store glue worked for me and many others.

    If you can keep your hands dry for a day or so, Neosporin ( topical antibiotic) under a band-aid works pretty good too. Not as good if it gets wet, needs to be reapplied. So good for a lay over day in camp.

    Bag balm inside clean cotton gloves works pretty good at night to heal up splits, just not as quick as glue or Neosporin.
    Whitewater

  10. #10
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    Default docs use glue

    Medical types have been using super glue for wounds for years. I have used it several times, and, yes, it is only good for a day or so, depending on abuse. Works well, though, but it ain't fun on open cuts; watch contact w/ flesh. Thin cotton gloves at night and most any greasy stuff seems to work well, too; Vaseline is cheap. If you are brave enough, I hear bacon grease works in camp. Protecto Skin (sp?) sounds worth a try. Will look for.

  11. #11

    Default

    I am w/ SoggyMountain on the "greasing the inside of your gloves" tactic. I used it for years in wildfire, because the ash would leach the moisture out of my hands (but strangely enough, river trips were harder on them). I think the key was having that constant re-exposure to somethign greasey every time I 'gloved up.'

  12. #12

    Default The Doctor Is In! ;) Long Version....

    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    From the "Gloves and rain" thread, some guys were talking about fingertips splitting during days on the river. Mike Strahan posted: "Some people have a very hard time with skin cracking in wet windy environments, and they really need a good glove. If you have that issue, you might try some Bag Balm on your hands; it really helps. I don't have that trouble but I've seen several people use it for chapped hands."

    1. I've had some luck with this for a couple of years -- only on "clean" splits. Here's a website that describes several solutions, including using super glue. From the People's Pharmacy, a herb and home remedy site (http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/archives/herb_home_remedy_qa/solutions_for_split_fingertips.php?page=2):

    "One last approach readers have recommended is sealing the cracks with instant glue. A liquid bandage product from Band-Aid is formulated for skin and less likely to be irritating than a household adhesive."

    Easy to carry. Quick to apply on clean splits. Useful for other things too and doesn't get strange scent on my flies/tackle.

    2. AmLactin or other brand of lactic acid lotion - available at Fred Meyer, probably WalMart, also works pretty well. Stings irritated skin and a little spendy.
    6XLeech-

    Thanks for posting this info. While I cannot attest to the bag balm, Albino Hare or Joshua Tree (but I will look into them)... Let me offer 'what I know'.

    First of all - I like to keep things SIMPLE, and although I am an ER Doc I believe in education and PREVENTION.

    I wash my hands between every patient - but NOT in hot water.. I use soap and friction, AKA rubbing hands 'in a lather' to clean.
    Hot water and many soaps can disrupt the 'acid balance' of our skin.

    The rave of 'anti-bacterial' hand washes need to be tamed as well.
    While it sounds intuitively obvious that they are a good thing - there is 'good bacteria' on our skin and we are killing it off - leaving our skin more defenseless (is that proper english?)..

    IOW - simple soap, frictioned into a lather with tepid water and rinse - can help prevent the deadly DRY skin condition from developing.

    If you have the antibacterial products on a trip, where water is a tight commodity, it will suffice. DO NOT PUT IN ON A WOUND - unless you really enjoy inflicting pain!
    Another note - 'antibacterial' doesn't do 'squat' for the flu or the other cold viruses'..
    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Next - the 'lube'..
    Best to put whatever skin moisturizer, body butter, lotion, what-have-you on WHILE THE SKIN IS STILL MOIST - it is better absorbed. And, yes, the petrolatum applied at night, with some kind of thin cotton gloves (pharmacies sell them) works great!

    OK... to 'restore' the acid mantle to the skin, yes, the lactate, or lactic acid products are good. One Rx version, IIRC, is Lac-Hydrin, but the OTC ones do work well.

    THE ABOVE REVIEW IS MEANT TO MAINTAIN DECENT CONDITION THE SKIN in our daily lives / work habits... so that it is better able to handle
    the rest of the situations we get them into!
    ~~~~~~~~~~

    As for the 'glues'...
    The medical glues we have today are junk, surgically speaking. Someday we will have 'collagen glues' - a more physiologic mend. Any time you use one of these current products, you are putting a 'foreign body', if you will, into a wound.
    They really are best used for wounds that don't need much of anything, if you catch my drift.
    The OTC one you refer to, 6XLeech, might be 'Nu-Skin' - or a similar product made with 'flexible collodion'...decent product.

    The key when using the glues, if you need em in a pinch - and this isn't easy - is to apply it so it does NOT get between the skin edges (like 'filler') but rather unites across the top of the wound edges so that the two sides approximate each other - with no foreign debris in between! Glue between the skin edges is how you get a 'non-union' or a gaping wound, once healed.
    ~~~~~~~~~~

    PERSONAL ANECDOTE... AND I CANNOT RECOMMEND IT, AS A PHYSICIAN = (disclaimer), but back when I was a surgical resident:

    While working the foredeck during an ocean boat race, I split my fingertip WIDE open - 'blood all over the foredeck and sails'...

    Cap'n was a neurosurgeon (not the best sailor, but a great guy and surgeon) - he advised me to use the 'crazy glue' product we had on board. I washed my fingertip and applied the glue (as described above).
    It took away the pain, the wound healed fine, and the foredeck remained clean, and no infection! Note: It can be toxic, and I really cannot recommend it, however - it did work well.
    ~~~~~~~~~~

    THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WITH ANY WOUND IS TO CLEAN IT!
    'The solution to polution is dilution'... Not squeezing or manipulation, but simple 'rinsing with clean water'.

    Didn't mean to be long winded - but hope this helps!

    Doc

    PS: I had previously suggested a 'medical type' forum, where we could help each other with remedies, motivations to get in shape / conditioned for our fave outdoor sports, lose weight, quit smoking, quit drinking, whatever - just to exchange health info, be a support group for fellow members...Thoughts?

  13. #13

    Default Clarification...

    I was questioned about the anti-bacterial agents not being effective against viruses, and their alcohol content,
    so I thought a moment of clarification was indicated.

    Part of the issue is a matter of semantics, part is big product differences.
    If the product says it is active against, eg, rhinoviruses, it has gone through particular testing.
    Sanitizers and disinfectants are different than anti-bacterial agents, and yes, they can contain alcohol,
    some 70% of isopropyl alcohol.
    They can have some antiviral properties. (Or you could save some money and simply pour isopropyl over yourself).

    They can also give someone a false positive urine drug screen for alcohol, incidentally......

    Label reading and education can blast a hole through the marketing smoke and mirrors, sometimes!

    Keep your 'acid mantle' intact! Use acidic emollients after washing!

    Doc

  14. #14
    Member Down Range's Avatar
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    If you want to end the problem of dry, cracked, split hands use this stuff! And it's Cheep too $3.99 for 3.38oz http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/sck85485.html Now Stop Wining!

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