Avatar universal

Please help my dry fingers (not exzema or psoriasis)

Hi, I'm a fit, healthy, medium height / weight English 60-year old.
But I have dry skin on tips of both index (pointer) fingers and thumbs. Nearest is - but NOT - eczema. Used to be cracked then bleeding on several fingers (both hands) but now a different type of ugliness and discomfort... layers of dry, hard skin that I bite off or scratch off with my nails and have to decide how much/ how deep to go before it bleeds. Have tried expensive Nivea for Men (useless), olive oil, garlic olive oil, cut raw garlic then wiped on skin (ouch, stung), butter, margarine, lavender (skin, relax) and Tea tree (bleach) essential oil(s), all for several days in a row. (All useless) Doctor gave me Epaderm ointment. (I.e. no colour, no perfume... as organic and free-range as any ointment could be.) Much improved with the Epaderm (and squeezy hand grips for circulation can only have helped). I now put it on several times a days and go to sleep with fingertips smothered (Best). But, for months, can't lose these last two fingers! Any ideas?
Thanks, Anton
PS I wear a mask but – don’t tell the government – wash my hands as little as possible.
1 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
Not sure exactly what you mean.  It's winter, if you're outside and using your fingers for anything they will chap and crack.  Gets worse as you age, as your skin gets thinner.  The garlic and tea tree, which you cited as bleach but bleach is chlorine, not tea tree oil, well, they are for killing bacteria and fungus and are therefore drying, not moisturizing.  You would use those to kill something you were infected with.  Did your dermatologist give you a diagnosis?  Because it sounds pretty normal to me, I've got cracks in all the fingers on my right hand from clearing things off the frozen ground in winter.  It happens, and again, happens more as we age.  What your dermatologist gave you isn't "organic" in the sense you're using it and free range refers to animals grazing, but if you mean to say it's got no harmful chemicals, it's pretty much all chemicals and they might or might not be harmful to you.  Has alcohol, which is drying.  If it's working, that's great, though.  But it's not a natural product.  Basically, the problem with that area is that lotion doesn't stay there -- even if you just adjust your blankets or your shirt it wipes off because you're always using your fingers.  So if it's just dry skin, you can try consuming more beneficial fats in your diet, but well, that's what happens in wintertime if you use your hands outdoors and you get old.  You can avoid it by not exposing your hands to the cold and not doing any work outdoors with bare hands.  If it's some kind of infection, that's something else entirely.
Helpful - 0
Thank you for your full answer. My joke about the free-range/organic Epaderm was just to highlight its purity. I'm inside 95% of the time. Only go out to exercise for half an hour every other day and only when the sun is shining. No diagnosis from the doctor. Haven't seen a dermatologist. I will try consuming "more benificial fats in my diet" - e.g. avocados. And will ensure the Epaderm (or non-alcoholic similar) is on my hands almost ALL day. See how that goes. Thank again.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Dermatology Community

Top Dermatology Answerers
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn to identify and prevent bites from summer’s most common pests.
Doctors argue for legislation to curb this dangerous teen trend in the latest Missouri Medicine report.
10 ways to keep your skin healthy all winter long
How to get rid of lumpy fat on your arms, hips, thighs and bottom
Diet “do’s” and “don’ts” for healthy, radiant skin.
Images of rashes caused by common skin conditions