Laughter is the Best Medicine

DermTV – How to Heal Cracked Fingertips [ Epi #125]

Hello, I’m Dr. Neal Schultz [pause] and welcome to DermTV. Fingertip cracks are so, so painful but they
are amazingly easy to fix, and they are easy to fix with stuff you already
have in your medicine cabinet, stuff like Band-Aids and practically any ointment
like Vaseline, petroleum jelly, Aquaphor or even the antibiotic ointments
we talk about like bacitracin and Polysporin and, as crazy as
this may sound, if you catch that crack real early, Krazy Glue will fix
it. In order for you to understand why these things work, you need
to understand what’s going on here and what causes them. So I’m going
to explain three different facts. First of all, the skin of the tip of your
finger is very thick, just like the skin of the palm. Second, any time fluid
comes into something, it gets larger, just like when you sprain your ankle.
The ankle swells up because of all of the fluid that comes in to help
heal it and, on the other hand, when you lose fluid from something, it shrinks
and shrivels. That’s how a grape goes to a raisin. And third, in the
wintertime, the temperature is lower, the humidity is lower and there is
much more evaporation of water from all parts of our skin. So, let’s start with this representing the
curve of the tip of your finger and the thickened skin. You can see this little
line. This line represents a crack. That crack can come from a simple
scratch, just over drying of the skin or any other trauma that happens to the
skin. But you get a crack. The surface of that crack then loses some water
by evaporation. Because the skin is so thick, there is more water being
lost at the top than at the bottom. As a result, the crack starts to open.
Well, now the inner part of the skin is exposed so the fluid, because
of the lower temperature and humidity, can evaporate from there and, as
it evaporates, it pulls a raisin deal on us, it shrivels up, so the inner parts
of this crack shrivel up and pull apart from each other and they keep pulling
further apart as more and more water is lost. It’s a little bit like
a positive feedback cycle because, as you lose more water, it opens
up more, it exposes more of that inner skin but look at what else is happening,
it’s getting deeper and, as it gets deeper, it starts to hit nerve fibers
and that’s why it’s so painful. So how do you fix this? Just stop
the leak, and we stop the leak of that inner fluid by putting bacitracin
or Polysporin or any of those other ointments I mentioned right into the
crack and then covering it with a Band-Aid. The Band-Aid and the ointment
prevent the natural fluids inside from evaporating. As a result, the fluid accumulates
inside and, as it accumulates, it causes swelling of the inner
walls of the crack and,s as they swell, they move closer and closer together
until they touch each other. It becomes less deep, less painful
and, as a result of the two sides coming together, it actually heals. This process
only takes 2-4 days of using your ointment and Band-Aids 24/7 for
it to actually heal. And the reason you can’t use Krazy Glue when it’s
deep and open like this is the Krazy Glue will go in too deep and it will
hurt but if you use the Krazy Glue at the very beginning, it won’t hurt
and it can seal it just the way the Band-Aid and ointment does. So the next
time you get a painful fingertip crack, just head to your medicine
cabinet, and you will be able to fix it in 2-4 days.

100 thoughts on “DermTV – How to Heal Cracked Fingertips [ Epi #125]

  1. Another good way is to cut the thumbs / or finger/s off a latex glove and put them on the effected thumb or finger/s , with or without vasoline or simular – a bit of sticking plaster around the base of the cut glove piece to keep it in place , it's easier than a bandaid as you dont have the uneven bits sticking up..

  2. What happens if you have done this for a month, without it healing?  Every time it appears to be healing, it dries out, the crack goes away, and almost immediately, it gets another crack, not always in the same place, but on the same finger.

  3. I have used Doc's ideas for years and yes this does work but c'mon, 3-4 days? I work with my hands and these little suckers are a real pain! I need to find a way to (prevent) this from occurring not a remedy.

  4. Thank you thank you thank you Dr. Schultz you're a lifesaver! Continue to bless people with your knowledge, because you were doing such a service to your fellow men and women. Much love to you and yours!

  5. Thank you for fully explaining this! I've been dealing with a thumb split for over a week now, so I am gonna load that sucker up with neosporin and bandaids. THANKS!!!

  6. My fingers are shit I bight my finger nails and if there is no nail left I night my skin in front of the nail and since I have peeling skin above and on the sides of my nail I also have a bunch of culicals or what ever it's called on the nail. Like or comment if this happened to you

  7. yes i use to get the fissure cracks as well on my fingers. I do believe it is a vitamin deficiency vitamin D and some other vitamins as well. but now the fissures are gone on my fingers and still get them on the heals badly. On my index fingers i have dry scaly skin not the fissures and only on some figure tips on both hands. When i put band-aid on the skin gets soft but once i take band-aid off the skin is dried out again. No creams work. its something we are not getting in our GMO food. The result is the drug companies are laughing at us to the bank for buying all the creams.
    Plan to take a multi vitamin a vitamin B12 vitamin Ds 1000 each and omega 3 vitamins and E vitamin to see if this works. And trying to eat more wisely Whole nutritious foods.
    When I was younger no Adult was suffering with this! Its our bad food!

  8. I think, Doctor you should also address other culprits why this may be occurring. Inside. What's going on inside my body to cause this at an alarming rate. I'm I deficient in some vitamin or mineral? Do I need any vegetable or fruit consumption to prevent this? I'm a coffee drinker, and have just recently decided perhaps I should stop drinking coffee. Maybe it's the cause.

  9. Just do exercise and eat vegetables thats it! Tried all the solutions like band aid, amoxicillin and ointments etc nothing works.

  10. Please help me I'm suffering from this kind of skin reaction. I have dry rough peeling cracking itching bleeding and loss of sense of feeling on my right fingers to nails.Its been more than six months now. I've tried ointments and creams but to no healing. Thank you in advance for assisting me.

  11. After years of suffering with this I changed the approach and started taking Honey Extract supplement. Two capsules a day and it changed my life. The supplement has natural anti-inflammatory properties. It heals from within!!

  12. I use clear finger nail polish or clear fingernail polish cover/nail protector. Does a far superior job to super glue. Develop the cracks every Winter. Nothing has worked better. It's true that the sooner you start treatment the sooner it will heal. The Wet n' Wild nail protector is only about a buck at Walmart and just as good as any of the more expensive polishes.

  13. I have four affected fingers and one affected toe right now. Hurts like hell, which is why I came here. They have lasted for days. Thanks.

  14. Thank you so much for sharing this video of solutions. My hands are so dry that they're snagging fabrics that I touch. The severe dryness on my hands started with a solution I used to clean my fruits and veggies. I'm don't mind using greasy cures…wondering if you have something for dry hands besides coconut oil. It's not working for me. Keri Lotion Original Formula used to work for my body however, they changed their formula. Crabtree and Evelyn Gardners Hand Therapy had the perfect formula however, they've changed their ingredients and their new formula doesn't work for me at all. Please advise. Thank you in advance.

  15. Dr Schulz ! Thank you – you clarified a few things I was correct about and taught me a few things I didn't know. Folks: Medical questions, ask a DOCTOR not a goofball friend!

  16. I get them on both thumbs every winter. Google "latex finger cot". They cover the whole fingertip, prevent infection, and won't let out any of the moisture. Put Neosporin on it and roll one of those little rubbers and you're good for the whole day. Perfect for chronic hand-washers like myself. Cheers.

  17. Went on trip to Fort Myers, FL for a week to break up winter in PA. Fingertips healed up in 2-3 days. Amazing what a little more humidity does!

  18. I wrote an article on this as my fingers are really bad with cracks due to Eczema.
    It might help people suffering.

  19. thank you so much for making this video! I've suffered years of winter time cracked fingertips (ouch). Actually starting the cure tonight, have everything I need on hand. Thank you again for this very helpful and easy to comprehend video.

  20. Love the explanation. At least now I know why my thumb hurts so bad!! I'm going to fix it right now!! Thanks!!!

  21. I have suffered from it for 15 years. In the end only one cream helped me and he actually did wonders, named EPICEAM

  22. Good video. I will try what the video recommends. I have some sort of eczema which comes on at any time of year, and is rearing its ugly head right now, and the temperature in June in near Augusta, GA is around 100 high. The fingers on both hands start cracking on the ends, beginning with the thumbs. It is very painful. Years ago, when this condition first began, my toes would also do this, and I was working back then with split open toes AND fingers. It was horrible. I could barely walk. Then, it clears up as soon as it appeared – overnight. No one has been able to determine the cause. The Medical College of GA Dermatology Dept. gave me several ointments and creams to try, but the condition cleared up overnight and I never did know which, or even if any of them, worked. It does help to use rubber gloves when using DAWN to do anything. DAWN is a nice product to cut grease and take out stains, but it is hell on your hands. NEVER allow your hands to come in contact with it. I would LOVE to know what causes this stuff in the first place. I do have asthma and COPD and take meds for both, and maybe they could be a problem. But years ago, when I first got this condition, I did not have asthma or COPD back then.

  23. Apply petroleum jelly. After 5mins trim the dry rough edges of the crack,then apply again petroleum jelly

  24. I use a product my grandmother used to put on me, the stuff is amazing for any wound. Check it out here:

  25. Burt's Bees Cuticle Cream and paper tape. I have suffered from this for years. I found a solution that works for me and I think has helped solve the underlying problem. A friend turned me on to Burt's Bees Cuticle Cream a decade ago and has saved my hands during the winter. I buy 4 or 5 at the beginning of the winter and label them "office", "bedroom", "car", etc. and keep one or two with my wallet and keys and put it in my pocket every day. I have gotten into the habit of just moisturizing my fingertips many times a day, probably a dozen or more times and that keeps it at bay. But if I forget or run out and develop a bad crack, Ive found that if all I do is apply it at night to the cracks, the pain stops within 30 minutes (and i can fall asleep) and the next morning it has started healing. For the worst cracks, ill cover the cuticle cream, wrappin the tip with paper tape. Its cheaper than a bandage and stcks extremely well. The paper tape will stay stuck through most of the day if you work outside for a living. Speaking of which- i found that that's a major cause of this, working with your hands exposed outside and especially with anything that strips the natural moisture out of your skin. Construction workers handling construction material: WEAR GLOVES! Buy any type of "hand repair" dry skin cream, slather on your hands and put on the gloves. You'll be able to be a construction worker AND hand model. Soon, the gloves will be coated inside with hand cream and you can just put on the gloves. BURT'S BEES CUTICLE CREAM. That stuff saved me. You have to have a HABIT of applying every hour or two.

  26. Wow , I have these cracks in several of my fingers as I am a carpenter and am allergic to cedar wood (dries out my hands, among other symptoms) and I was wondering "I wonder if Crazy Glue would be OK to use ? ". I've been going through bag-balm, band aids and finger cots by the dozens …!

  27. I’m getting fed up of this crack fingers, it happens every time in winter, I’ve used Vaseline and other moisturisers it heals then 2-3 days later start again and boy it hurts sometimes I can’t even put my shirt buttons, that’s how much it hurts.
    I’m wondering if it’s to do with weight training that I do in the morning…just wanna find a permanent cure.

  28. I suffer with this bad every winter. When my wife actually has time to help me with this it clears up fairly quickly. I find that a combination of longer finger nails and cold and wet conditions cause this so first trim down the nail including the corners as much as possible. Then my wife will trim the dry hard skin either side of the crack with nail clippers as I find that stops the healing, Then she will file down the loose jagged bits of the crack with a nail board which is a bit uncomfortable but worth it in the long run. I don't think the filing down is completely necessary but the first 2 steps are.

  29. Thank you SO much for posting this video. For the past few years my hands have been drying up as soon as fall starts and they just get worse until winter arrives. They crack and bleed when I make a fist in the winter. Usually at that point, I can either shell out a ton of money ordering Gly Miracle (which works great) or I try a variety of OTC or homemade stuff that doesn’t work until spring returns. I just started using Aquaphor after seeing this video and my hands look 80% better after one week of occasional use. This stuff’s fantastic. Thanks again!

  30. Thank you! Working at a resuraunt it's so painful when. I wash my hands or get vinegar inside of my cut. It's small but so annoying.

  31. Thank you for taking the time to post this. I'm sure there were other things you could have done besides offer free advice and help. I got some good ideas from it and they are helping.

  32. o keefs works within days wont crack at all with it i washed cars in winter my hands were screwed that stuff healed them within 48 hours maybe 24

  33. I realy appreitiate you putting this blog up, I`ve suffered for years with this painful re-acurring problem which happens every winter,I have used super glue in the past and filed it down as it slowly improved,but will try your suggestion and hope it will work.

  34. I’m down to three usable fingers on each hand. Got one thumb. Shit! Can’t hardly button my shirts. Wonder why it mostly affects guys who work with there hands because I’ve never noticed my suit friends with this problem

  35. Super glue no matter how bad it gets. the trick is to wet the hands allow to almost air dry, then apply just enough to go into the crack, wait about 10 sec and close the crack with your other hand and hold for min. it will stick the two together. Look up the history of SG in vietnam.

  36. Just like the old saying fight fire with fire, your best bet is to pour crack into the crack for maximum effect. See you when you come down, and you're welcome!

  37. Why is it I never used to get them but now get them often, I must be deficient in something for them to occur as I get older, but when young, I never ever got them.

  38. I’m down to a total of 3 digits on both hands. Thumbs went first. Then both booger and number one sign fingers. It hurts. So I sold my guitar. Grin

  39. 1) Stop washing your hands with soap, rinse only with warm water, and not very often.
    2) Avoid contact with dish washing detergent. If you wash dishes by hand use rubber gloves.
    3) Keep the wound treated with bacitracin zinc ointment ($3 at Walmart) under a band aid.
    4) Using rubber gloves to shower/bathe to avoid contact with soap is extreme but if the problem persists do it.
    5) Use common sense to avoid any kind of contact with solvent, fingernail polish remover, acetone, alcohol, etc and the wound should be healed in 5 days or less.

  40. Here’s the real deal, people: When a crack first opens (on your fingers, feet, or any other place you might have this problem) – scrub it with some good soap, dry it really well, and put a drop of Super Glue on it. INSTANT pain relief, my friends! INSTANT pain relief – did you catch that?!? The crack will heal before the glue washes off in a couple of days from normal hand washing and bathing/showering. No bandage needed – which is good, because putting a bandage on the end of your fingers is almost impossible; getting a bandage to stay on the end of your finger – pft, what am I even saying? That doesn’t work, either!

    And I’m sorry, Doctor – but petroleum jelly, I. E., Vaseline, actually dries the skin. Dry skin makes your fingers and feet and the backs of your hands crack apart – not a good idea.

    Try the Super Glue trick and use a good moisturizing hand lotion often. Your painful cracked skin will disappear. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years and it works every time. It’s amazing!

  41. I used to do snow removal at night as a side job and I found that wearing medical gloves under my winter gloves helped tremendously. They caused my hands to retain sweat and ambient moisture. I'd rather have waterlogged hands and fingers than blood leaking out from making a fist.

  42. Thank you!! Thank you!!! I wash my hands a lot at work and the soap drys my hands out so much . I get these on my thumbs a lot. I work in a produce cooler on top of having dry hands. Thank you for this Doc!!

  43. Hallo Dr. SCHULTZ Thank you for explaining. My body can not hold water well, I am thin and now I understand why if winter hits I get those skin "cracks" I can connect those two facts. Please can you explain some basic knowledge about how the body hold water? I drink a lot but cannot hold the water for some reason. Thank you!

  44. Thank You Doctor. I've used Krazy Glue for years but it just got a little too deep this time. Now I know how to make it better. Thanks again.

  45. I have this problem. I have used band-aids, Bacitracin, Polysporon non-stop since the beginning of Winter. It won't stay healed. If I take the band-aid of to change and leave off for a little while it splits every day. It is affecting my right middle finger and pinky on right hand.. Sick of having to wear band-aids all the time. Also the splitting , very painful. It started after I used New Skin for the cracks I had.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *