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You need your fingers for everything, and when you get those dreaded finger splits, you realize just how much you use them.
The splits happen randomly, and it seems worse in the winter, although I've seen them occur any time. Especially disheartening is their tendency to crop up again, after you've babied them and put lotion on them for weeks, only to have them re-occur in the same spot.
They seem to be most common at the tips of your fingers, close to the nail, which you will constantly break open again every time you pick something up.
You know yourself how much work homesteading is; getting firewood in, canning the produce from the garden, and all the other fiddly or strenuous activities you need to take care of. You can't afford the time it takes to heal something like these cracks, so it's important to prevent them from starting in the first place.
There are many theories as to why skin splits on the tips of your fingers, ranging from dehydration, some kind of nutrient deficiency, to a fungal infection. The main problem is once they start, it's almost impossible to break the chain and get rid of them.
If you've battled this issue and discovered a fool proof remedy, let me know and I'll add it to the list.
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