Causes And Treatments For Cracked Fingertips
Cracked fingertips are typically caused by lack of environmental moisture or skin dryness however, they can also be the result of various skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis as well. Individuals suffering from this uncomfortable problem may find the condition is often exacerbated by harsh soaps and detergents that may be good for cleaning but they certainly take a toll on your hands. This is usually experienced by individuals who do not utilize gloves for housework or gardening chores.
The combination of cold and dry weather is typically the culprit behind cracked fingertips. Winter weather has a way of drying out the delicate skin at tips of the fingers until they crack, become painful and often even bleed.
Old Man Winter and Jack Frost are not the only causes behind dry skin though. A skin condition called contact dermatitis can do some serious damage to your fingertips as well. Contact dermatitis occurs when your skin comes in direct contact with certain irritants that are found in disinfectants, harsh detergents and products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, a foaming agent that is found in many personal hygiene and cleaning products.
Additionally, eczema and fungal infections can cause cracked fingertips as well. If eczema is the cause, the condition creates a thickening of the skin that becomes crusty and scaly and sometimes lesions or blisters that are filled with fluid will develop.
If the cracked fingertips are due to a fungal infection, the affected skin will usually be not only scaly and dry but will also be accompanied by a burning sensation or severe itching. It is interesting to note that in rare cases, a thyroid gland that is under active can cause excessively dry hair and skin.
Cracked fingertips are not only unsightly, they hurt too and if they are bad enough, they can keep you from handling you simple daily tasks.
- Humidifier – If you have low humidity in your home, primarily in your bedroom, you will find it very beneficial to run a humidifier, at least while you are sleeping. Dry air in your bedroom robs your hands of moisture through the night. If you aim to keep the humidity level around 45 percent it will also moisten your mucous membranes which decreases your risk for catching a virus or cold through the winter season as well.
- Soap Choice – Cracked fingertips can be directly resulted from using the wrong soap and washing your hands too often with that soap. Sodium lauryl sulfate is very damaging to skin and most people do not realize that don't need foam to clean. Try using a natural, olive oil-based soap and you will be surprised at how clean and soft your hands are.
- Overnight Treatment – Apply a nice thick layer of Shea butter or olive oil to your hands and then put on cotton gloves. When you wake up in the morning and remove your gloves you will see a significant improvement. Do this nightly until your cracked fingertips are completely healed.
- Wear Your Gloves – Whether your skin is dry or not, it should never be exposed to harsh chemicals or detergents. Invest in a good fitting pair of gloves and wear them when you clean the house and wash dishes. Additionally, a protective pair of outdoor gloves should be worn when you work in the garden, tend to your landscaping and mow the lawn.
- See Your Doctor – If your cracked fingertips are severe and you have tried home remedies, you may need to see your doctor or dermatologist to check for eczema, fungal infections or psoriasis so that proper treatment methods can be determined.