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Dry hands with splits - any advice?

(56 Posts)
jamiesam Sat 12-Mar-05 23:01:06


I've suffered intermittently with this for several years now. Only advice / treatment from pharmacy is 'regular use of handcream' or fucibet cream from doctor when splits on knuckles become infected (ugh).

Anyone else discovered a great cream that lasts without being too greasy, is antiseptic, anaesthetic/painkilling and works quickly. Thing is, my hands can look passable one day, and then have half a dozen splits on finger ends and knuckles the next day, which will then take up to a week to heal.

I just know that someone out there know the answer...

HUNKERMUNKER Sat 12-Mar-05 23:03:35

Don't know of such a magic cream, but will sit on this thread, tongue poking out, panting slightly and wagging my tail at anyone who looks like they might know!

(Can you tell I get splits in my fingers/thumbs too?!)

mummytosteven Sat 12-Mar-05 23:05:11

first thought is, it is an exczema/allergy type problem? my friend has a really nasty reaction to rubber bands of all things.

a good general hand moisturiser that I have found is boots cheapo cucumber moisturiser - really light/easily absorbed, so realistic to daub on several times a day. not antiseptic/anaesthetic tho so might not be heavy duty enough. some people swear by neutrogena. what does GP say? would he refer you to a dermatologist?

jamiesam Sat 12-Mar-05 23:05:51

Doh. Thought unbelievably quick success there for a minute!

Anyone who reads but has no answer, do please bump for me as I don't tend to do the day shifts.

mummytosteven Sat 12-Mar-05 23:05:57

E45 i have always found more trouble than it's worth - takes ages to absorb, heavy, and because lanolin based can irritate skin slightly

Fran1 Sat 12-Mar-05 23:07:24

Buy some cotton gloves from a chemist (i'm wearing them now ) smother your hands in something like vaseline/zinc and castor oil or any other thick gooey cream and pop on the gloves. I wear these every night as well as moisturing as much as poss in the day. It doesn't cure it but it helps.

I'm also experimenting at the mo with hand soaps as i have noticed it is worse with some. I always try and buy the least perfumed.

maisystar Sat 12-Mar-05 23:08:38

i don't have exessively dry hands but diprobase is fab. use it for ds's excema and for my hands-especially in winter.

you can buy it from chemists £11 for massive pump thing(lasts ages) or maybe you could get it on prescription??

jamiesam Sat 12-Mar-05 23:10:29

Sorry MTS, hadn't seen you when I started typing...

Think it is excema and/or contact dermatitis - gp prescribed fucibet is for infected excema, though I've never had excema anywhere else before. Personally, I reckon hands were sensitised nearly 20yrs ago when I worked in hospital kitchens - very very hot dishes and frankly inadequate protection.

Funnily enough, I used the cucumber moisturiser until recently on my face (so finger tips got benefit incidentally). Have also tried neutrogena, E45 - good hand creams but don't somehow cope with whatever it is that takes over in 24 hours...

HUNKERMUNKER Sat 12-Mar-05 23:10:44

Some hand soaps leave my hands feeling like sandpaper - the one at work is like this. I have a tub of handcream in my locker at work and it sits on my desk all day! (It's a Body Shop one - think it's called Hand Rescue Cream - is an almond oil one. It smells gorgeous and sinks in well, but is only good as a preventative, doesn't cure splits quickly or anything ).

wheresmyfroggy Sat 12-Mar-05 23:12:50

I have just started getting this this winter. not so bad as to be too painful or get infected but uncomfortable at times.

both my parents had psoriasis (sp?) and was thinking it may be that?

ionesmum Sat 12-Mar-05 23:14:00

I've just started to get this. By coincidence I ran out of hand soap and used dd's Green People baby wash. This has reduced it to almost nothing

jamiesam Sat 12-Mar-05 23:15:38


Fran. Have tried the gloves/ vaseline thing - know what you mean about it helping. Have had the occasional thought that when my hands are really soft after night with gloves, they are very close to splitting..? Will give soap suggestion more thought - always have perfumed liquid soaps at basin/sink.

Maisy - thanks for rec. re Diprobase. Not heard of that. Certainly agree that winter winds seem to bring splitting on - not rocket science I know, but I slightly suspect contact dermatitis, ie allergy to something.

Janh Sat 12-Mar-05 23:18:13

Have you tried calendula cream? I sometimes get splits in the sides of my fingertips and put calendula cream on at night with a plaster on top and they are usually pretty well healed by morning.

Fran1 Sat 12-Mar-05 23:21:54

would other gps take this seriously? i went to my gp once about severe ezcema in my armpits and elbows (i have ezcema all my life and generally control it but this was out of control and wanted some help) he told me to keep moisturising and made me feel like i was wasting his time. i am very happy when i go to see him about other illnesses for me or dd, but i just wouldn't consider going about my hands after last experience.

i have had dry cracked often bleeding hands since i was a nursery nurse and became obsessed about handwashing.

Polgara2 Sat 12-Mar-05 23:24:31

I get this - soooo painful. I find Diprobase very good for keeping my hands moisturised (and I get it on prescription for dd2's eczema). Doesn't really stop them splitting all the time though (or maybe I am not applying it regularly enough?) Find they are worse in cold weather, and when I am stressed. Only relief I have found is putting zambouk (sp?) on a pad and taping it on overnight. Pain gone in morning, hand soft (but smelly unfortunately). But again not preventative just soothing. So am watching with interest for more ideas.

nightowl Sat 12-Mar-05 23:25:56

we had no hot running water at work and my hands would get cracked and very sore during the winter. i used palmers cocoa butter. it isnt antispetic or anything like that but worked really well for me and quickly too.

sansouci Sat 12-Mar-05 23:32:39

Dh, dd & I got this really badly at Christmas last year. We were staying at a friend's house in very rural France. The water was so "hard" and the air so dry & cold that our hands were almost useless because of all those painful cracks. Since then, we've moved back home & it's better but I'm careful not to be too manic about washing my hands, to dry them carefully after and use great globs of handcream. The best I've found: Hemp by Body Shop and Klorane's hand cream with poplar tree buds (?!) "au bourgeon du peuplier". You should be able to find this last one at Boots. Also, wear gloves or mitts in cold weather.

ionesmum Sat 12-Mar-05 23:34:40

My hands definitely got worse after dd2 came and I turned into Lady Macbeth re handwashing!

jamiesam Sat 12-Mar-05 23:39:56

Found Zam-buk embrocation! via google. Sounds wonderfully old fashioned. Might try buy on-line tomorrow I reckon.

Have cocoa butter from vague attempt to avoid and then get rid of stretch marks so could try that tonight.

Wonder if I've any calendula nappy cream left? Otherwise, sense trip to boots next week for Diprobase, unperfumed hand wash, and calendula!

PuffTheMagicDragon Sat 12-Mar-05 23:40:59

Aveeno might be worth trying. You can buy it in Boots. Lots of good reports about it here on Mumsnet for skin conditions.

Fran1 Sat 12-Mar-05 23:43:05

funnily enough aveeno is great everywhere else on my body but not on my hands it stings and is too greasy for use in the day

sansouci Sat 12-Mar-05 23:45:59

My 2 suggestions don't sting! You could also try Palmer's cocoa butter. I slathered that all over myself when I was pg. Great stuff.

jamiesam Sat 12-Mar-05 23:46:40

Right, I'll be going to Body Shop as well then. Dh going to be fighting his way into bathroom with all these extra potions I'm going to buy.

Sadly I tried Aveeno face cream recently - came out in what I believe was allergic rash! Most shocked as ingredients list made it look really 'innocuous'. Not generally sensitive to products - only otherwise Umberto Gianni shampoo/cond.

jamiesam Sat 12-Mar-05 23:51:21

Ooh, this is great.

I'm going to be doing some 'controlled' trials using different products for a couple of weeks at a time... Just as well I LOVE shopping at Boots, Body Shop etc...

Hmm, basic handwash, any ideas anyone (Green People presumably online only Ionesmum?)

Night night, thanks everyone.

sansouci Sat 12-Mar-05 23:56:29

I use carex in the pump dispenser. I tell dd to make sure she gets lots of bubbles by rubbing her hands together. It smells good, is anti-bacterial, practical but not that brilliant at keeping hands soft. I wash my hands all the time because of nappy changing, feeding, cooking, cleaning, wiping snotty noses... you get the drift. I think it's this constant washing that causes my terribly dry hands but I must say that the creams I mentioned earlier have really helped.

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