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dry, cracking and sometimes bleeding skin on tips of fingers
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dry, cracking and sometimes bleeding skin on tips of fingers

Each year, at about thgis time, the tips of my fingers become hard, and sensitive, then the skin cracks. For the past several weeks I have been using hand cream, but as I type this I notice what appears to be white, dry skin on my finger tips, and a slight burning-like sensation. I have tried "Bag Balm" and almost every major brand of hand cream - currently Curel and Aquaphor - but they appear to be of only limited help. (I also experience dry cracked skin on my knuckles) I am a Eucharistic minister in my church. If my hands are cracked, etc. I would not be able to serve Communion. Therefore, my questions are: what can I do to prevent or remedy the condition long term. AND what can I do to get my hands in shap on a temporary basis so that I am able to serve Communion on a given day?  Thank you.

(PS I have hasd this condition for a number of years. It is of particular significance now because I only recently became a Eucharistic minister. During the summer, my hands are fine. I have a desk job; but I do handiman work around the house, including wood working.)
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Eczema of the fingertips presents in this way.  Cortisone-based creams, usually of the more potent, prescription-strength variety, are needed to heal the cracks.  Allergies to things the fingers touch are not usually found, but if the problme just began and if you work with your hands, allergy testing may be worth looking into.  I would consult a dermatologist at your early convenience to have this evaluation.

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
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