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Have you ever experienced dry cracked fingers or thumbs?  Many people who live through cold, dry winters are plagued by this malady.  As a recently retired dermatologist I know lots of easy tricks:

  1. The first and best approach involves prevention. By this I mean wear gloves as much as possible to avoid hurting your hands. Thus I always told my patients that as soon as the outside temperature dropped below 50 degrees, they need to start wearing gloves when outdoors. So when I walk the dog, or get the mail, or take out the trash, etc. I wear gloves. I usually wear cashmere-lined leather gloves because they’re soft and relatively warm. These black gloves are from Lands End. I love them because the’re supple and they have that special design on the index finger which allows me to use my phone with my gloves on.


2. Wear gloves when washing dishes or using cleaning supplies. I actually have gloves hanging from all my under sink cabinets so I’m not tempted “just this once” to skip them. The dishwashing detergents and cleansers are very irritating to the hands. These blue gloves are called Bluettes and they’re great for doing dishes and other house work.



3. Whenever I wash my hands I apply hand cream right afterwards. I use several different hand creams depending on where I am. Here are photos of a few of my favorites.

4. Carry a tube of hand cream in your car so when you’re at a stop light you can cream up.


5. Once the cracks occur, the best trick I recommend is to seal the cracks as soon as you notice them with a drop of Skin Crack Care. This will temporarily seal the skin edges so the crack won’t hurt so much. It’s especially helpful to apply this right before bed so that more healing can occur while you sleep.

6. Lastly if all this doesn’t do the trick, go see your dermatologist as they can prescribe a steroid cream that will help decrease the inflammation and aid in healing.

I know as a long-time eczema sufferer, cracked fingers and thumbs hurt A LOT!   These tricks work but they’re a bit tedious.  Give them a try.  If you know someone else who suffers from this condition, please pass on my blog post.


Dr. Julie 

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