Monday, November 8, 2010

Cracked Fingers

Maybe I’m just abnormally clumsy or inattentive but I think I manage to acquire at least one minor wound a day a welding splatter burn, a burr cut, a bruised thigh just at anvil horn height, whatever. Thankfully I’ve never gotten seriously injured but the injury squeamish person might argue that’s just a definition of terms issue.

Those are random and quickly resolving unpleasant nuisances but cracked fingers are an enduring aggravation. I was going to take a picture of one of the cracks but I found a nice illustration on a better looking finger at this URL.

It is even more disturbing that I can’t seem to figure out exactly why this happens.

The cracking season begins around Halloween and lasts until just about income tax filing time - half of he year. The splits develop on the tip of some fingers at the tip of the fingernail on the side nearest my little fingers and are more prominent on right, dominant, hand.

Maybe this is a genetic thing with environmental overtones. One of my sons, a working carpenter, shares the pain of the finger splits so we can compare and share our experiences.

So, what can be done about this malady? I have some suggestions based on my experiments. First, I think keeping the nails trimmed short and well manicured can help. Second, Using skin softening products on the calloused areas on a regular basis, daily or more often. I carry a Chap Stick tube in my pocket. I keep a couple of jars of Udder Balm in the studio and a plastic tube of Gold Bond Ultimate Healing lotion in the pickup and at my computer work station. I believe all these products, and probably many which I haven’t tried, help heal or prevent the painful cracks, but I haven’t found a real magic bullet so I’ll be dealing with this until the trees leaf out next spring. Worse yet, Chapped Lip Season is coming soon too and will run almost as long.

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