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6 tips for Cracked Fingers

Why are my fingers dry, cracked and bleeding?

A common cause of dry, cracked fingers is exposure to an irritant combined with sensitivity.

6 Tips for cracked and bleeding fingers

1. Wear gloves when washing dishes

2. Try to avoid hand soaps that contain SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)

3. Avoid contact with heavy-duty clenasers, including those containing ammonia

4. Apply hand cream and or lotion designed for barrier protection and moisturization

5. Limit skin exposure to wind and cold temperatures

6. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers sparingly


Preventing and treating dealing with cracked skin

Since healthy skin has a slightly acidic pH, exposure to alkaline substances , such as many heavy-duty cleansers an even hand soap can contribute to degradation of the skin. Ongoing exposure to alkaline substances will slow down the skin’s natural barrier repair process by inhibiting normal skin acidity when there is continued exposure to unfavorable environmental factors.

The best treatment for severely dry, cracked skin is not letting it happen in the first place. Hands should be protected from any factors that can damage it. Physical protection, such as rubber kitchen gloves, is needed whenever hands might come in contact with cleansers.

Moisturizing hand cream or lotion should always be applied after hand washing and must also be reapplied repeatedly throughout the day and before bedtime.  Creams that form a protective skin barrier can’t protect like physical barriers such as gloves, but can be worn throughout the day. Most soaps and cleansers that  cut through grease will also (somewhat obviously) remove natural oils from the skin. Repeated hand-washing with detergents and dish-washing can exacerbate this problem.

If your dry fingers happen mainly during winter, you may have common reaction to SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate). Especially if the dryness and cracking gets worse during periods of heavy cleaning or handwashing. While this ingredient is in many cleaning and personal hygiene products it can be avoided if you know to look for it.