How to Prevent and Treat Cracked Fingers and Fingertips

Updated on December 27, 2016
Susie Writes profile image

I live a peaceful life with my husband and an assortment of animals on a small farm in the hills of Northern California.

Stop the pain!

Painful cracked fingers

It's winter—the time of year when my husband gets the worst cracked fingers. You know, those painful little slits that look like tiny paper cuts but feel like major surgery. Some of them go quite deep. He used to suffer from them constantly, until I found a couple of good treatments for them. Treatments, but not cures.

Be aware that this information is for cracks caused by dry skin or cold weather and NOT from a disease or other health condition that may require medical intervention.

Prevention

Prevention is key, but sometimes that's fairly hard to accomplish. Especially for a burly construction worker who isn't keen on keeping his hands slathered with scented creams or wearing soft white gloves to bed each night. I think he'd rather suffer the pain of the cracks than those minor indignities.

Steps to take to prevent the painful cracks. (If you already have the cracks, scroll on down to the treatment section; then come back and read this prevention section.)

  • First, be sure to keep your hands moisturized. But I must tell you that even though I keep lotion on my hands all the time, I still get an occasional finger crack in winter.
  • Slather up and don cotton gloves at night to keep the moisture in while you sleep.
  • Don't let the air in your home dry out too much.
  • Drink plenty of liquids. In winter we tend to not drink as much as we do in summer. Our skin dries out a lot more in winter and consuming liquids will help keep us and our skin hydrated.
  • Do a weekly paraffin wax treatment for extra moisturizing. You can have this done at a spa or you can save your cash and do it at home yourself. Here's a video of how to do this at home with a special unit. You can do it with a pan or crock pot but must be VERY careful not to get it too hot lest you burn yourself.

Treatment

Okay. I've given you some tips on how to help prevent painful finger cracks. Now here's what to do if you already have them. One word to remember. Okay two. Super Glue. Yep. That's right. Super Glue. Also known as Krazy Glue and a host of other brand names. You've heard the warnings to be careful with Super Glue because it bonds skin instantly. It even says so on the package. Use this to your advantage with finger cracks, paper cuts, or other similar but minor skin wounds.

You'll be amazed at how much this single little product can help relieve the pain and speed healing. One of my doctors told me about this secret years ago and we've been using it on splits and cuts ever since. He told me that this is the same type of glue that is used for surgical applications.

Just a drop on the split will bring much welcomed relief. It might sting a little bit when you first put that drop on, but after that the results are amazing. My husband now carries a bottle with him when he works and has shared this little secret with others he works with. It's simple, cheap, and more effective than anything else we have found. It will keep dirt out of the wound and hold it together to help ease pain. You'll have to reapply, especially if you keep your hands well lubricated with cream. But the little effort to reapply is well worth it.

Here's an additional tip. I know a man who had a little paper cut on his lip from licking an envelope. Don't laugh. It happens more often that you think. Anyway, this cut on his lip was so painful that he couldn't eat. Every time he opened his mouth to take a bite, the cut split open, bled and left him in agony. When he called us to cancel the dinner plans we made together and told me why, I instructed him to put Super Glue on the cut to which he scoffed but I was insistent. He called later to thank me and to say that he kept the glue on the cut and was able to continue eating while it healed.

Try it and see the results for yourself. You'll never be without it again if you suffer with cracked fingers.

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    • profile image

      Dave 3 days ago

      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.

    • Susie Writes profile image
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      Susan 3 months ago from Northern California

      It wears off quickly - usually before the crack is healed so you often need to reapply.

    • profile image

      Jenn 9 months ago

      I'm going to try this. But one question: how does the super glue come off? I'm all for this, but my next thought is taking it off. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Lindsey 22 months ago

      My dad has this exact same problem for year. Has tried everything from steroid shots to super glue, it's awful. One year they went on vacation in the winter and he noticed it cleared up instantly in Mexico. I suggested he try an UV lamp (the gel nail at-home one) to see if that is a magic cure! Has anyone else tried UV light therapy?

    • profile image

      Christine Aitkenhead 3 years ago

      I am a hairdresser so fingers suffer greatly. I use o'keeffe's working hands cream for dry hands that crack & split.

    • Susie Writes profile image
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      Susan 4 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks for reading pianoatheart. I play too. :-) The amount you use for finger cracks is small, just enough to hold the edges of the skin together. It hurts a lot less trying to play with super-glued fingers than it does with open cracks. But since I play only for pleasure, I don't play until the cracks are healed.

    • profile image

      pianoatheart 4 years ago

      I'm a pianist. Any comments on how super glue works for ease at the piano? I would expect that super glue would be difficult to have on the ends of my fingers. Any thoughts?

    • profile image

      asal1521 5 years ago

      I found that applying Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream to the cuts, then wrapping a band aid around the inffected area for 24 hours will heal the cuts. NOTE: We are told to wash our hands several times a day and use hand sanitizers often but this will remove the moisture from your hands. Best thing to do is wash and apply a moisture therapy cream after.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Very interesting and useful. I get this every winter so I'll be sure to give some of these a try this winter. Thanks for sharing.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very useful tip about this super glue. Need to try it out.

      Thanks for sharing this Susie.

      Voted up, useful, interesting and sharing this hub.

    • profile image

      sardine 5 years ago

      coconut oil

    • ronny2005 profile image

      ronny2005 5 years ago from HubPages

      Sometimes glycerine also does tricks. Informative Hub. Voted up and shared.

    • Susie Writes profile image
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      Susan 5 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks ff for your input! Hope it helps some sufferers!

    • profile image

      finger-fissures 5 years ago

      Cure for Finger Fissures (small, deep, painful cracks on the hands, and feet)

      I suffered with the finger fissures for approximately 5 years. I went to 6 different dermotaligst and none of them were able to diagnose what the problem was or what caused it, much less the cure. It was try this, usually a cream or ointment. Nothing worked.

      I accidentally stumbled on to the cure, completely by accident. As it turns out it is very simple: FISH OIL containing Omega-3.

      I take Kirkland Fish Oil, soft gel capsules, 1000mg strength that contains 300mg of Omega -3. I take 2 capsules in the morning and 2 at night. It took 30 days and my hands were back to normal. I take it every day and have been free of the fissures.

      Kirkland is the Costco band, but I think any band would be fine.

    • Susie Writes profile image
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      Susan 5 years ago from Northern California

      I am so not qualified to answer your question as this sounds like an issue for a medical doctor. I can only say that what I wrote in the article is what works for me and my family but your issue sounds different than the everyday cracked finger tips I wrote about. But I will say that you might try wearing gloves. The things you list are quite harsh on skin. Best of luck...

    • profile image

      Rick 5 years ago

      I get cracked fingers even in summer, I also have had for the last 10 years ripples in mostly my thumb nails and it goes into my fingers unless I treat them for a long time with creams,Iodine, DMSO with aloe,beyond belif cream, etc. I washed dishes from 5 years old upwards, my mother said the girls will wash when they get married, I then worked as dishwasher in high school, then I worked with sheet metal and also installed alumminum siding, every January too. Im 60 years old now and im moving into a house willed to me by a friend, im cleaning it and every day I have to treat my cracks and also take days off just to heal it. So far Iodine and DMSO with aloe help heal faster.What wisdom can you help me with? Rick

    • profile image

      Robert Casey 6 years ago

      Too much soda caused my skin to crack. Gave it up and my hands healed. Like super glue trick.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, what a great idea! never would have thought of it! I will definitely go and get some, where I work we get loads of paper cuts so this is great! thanks nell

    • ChristineVianello profile image

      ChristineVianello 6 years ago from Philadelphia

      My mom's fingers crack during the winter time. I think I am going to get her that wax spa! It's so sad to watch her ache over her cracked fingers.

    • profile image

      Sean 6 years ago

      I use a product called Lipohydroderm, takes the cracks away in my fingers in a few days.

    • puregrace profile image

      puregrace 6 years ago from Elm Valley, Tuscola, Texas

      Love the things I learn from Hubpage writers!

      Thanks for sharing these tips, especially the painful paper cut remedy!

    • Georgina_writes profile image

      Georgina_writes 7 years ago from Dartmoor

      So many useful tips here. I use super glue in my professional life and at home. And you know what they say about duct tape and WD40. If it moves and it shouldn't - use the tape. if it should move and it won't - WD40.

      Great hub, well written and interesting.

    • Susie Writes profile image
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      Susan 7 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Gronnee! Glad to hear you are a survivor. I use baking soda to scrub my teeth. Also use it on bee stings and other insect bites. Never heard of it for finger cracks though. We will definitely give it a try! Thanks again for sharing.

    • profile image

      Gronnee 7 years ago

      When i had chemo (i'm ok) i was getting little cuts in my mouth. Dr. said to use baking soda and water to rinse and even brush my teeth during treatment. Which i did. Over night it would get rid of the tiny cut in my mouth. So, when i would get these tiny cuts on my fingers, which i always get, chemo or not, all my life, i decided to rinse my hands with baking soda and water, and if really bad, i make a paste of baking soda and water, and BINGO, practically overnight, depending how bad, GONE! Hope it helps.

      I have found baking soda to be almost a cure all for many, many things.

    • Susie Writes profile image
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      Susan 7 years ago from Northern California

      Yep, both my doc and vet okay the use of the glue. Last year my husband had an accident for which his co-workers felt he should go to the emergency room for stitches. He declined. When he got home and after determining it was minor enough to treat ourselves, I proceeded to butterfly the 4" long cut so the edges were nicely butted up to each other and put the super glue to work. The thing healed beautifully with a scar much smaller - and prettier I might add - than if it had been stitched. The glue is one of those always-keep-some-on-hand items like duct tape and WD40. LOL!

      Thanks for reading and offering your comments! And thanks for the compliment! :-)

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      When I took my son to the ER for a cut that I thought might need stitches, they used Super Glue! What incredible stuff! And you are so right about the heat in winter. I turned up the heat for guests (so they would not be uncomfortable in my usually cool home) and after 2 days, had to smear my lips with balm.

      PS. I love your hair.

    • Susie Writes profile image
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      Susan 7 years ago from Northern California

      Bethh100 & fastfreta, thanks for viewing and your comments!

      This super glue tip is probably one of my favorites. We keep the glue around and use it more for first aid on us and the dogs more than we use it on inanimate objects. LOL! Hope it works as well for you.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 7 years ago from Southern California

      That super glue trick is amazing. I'm certainly going to try this and pass it on. Very good hub.

    • Beth100 profile image

      Beth100 7 years ago from Canada

      This is the first winter where my cuts, rather splits, are manageable. They do hurt, a lot!!! Thanks for the great tips!

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