Finger Splits

Those Dreaded, Painful Cracks in Your Skin

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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.

Finger Splits

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.

What causes finger splits?

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.

Here are my tips for preventing finger splits;

  • Wear gloves appropriate for the activity (work gloves for getting firewood or construction, rubber gloves for anything that involves water, like washing dishes). Cotton gloves to wear overnight after applying your chosen lotion will help protect your surroundings.

  • Use Badger Balm or Bag Balm - these were specially developed by the people needing to keep going even under painful cracks in the skin.

  • Put a couple of drops of Chlorox bleach into a basin of warm water, soak your hands in it for a few minutes, rinse and dry, use cream, coconut oil, or one of the recommended products before bed.

  • Use a gentle soap like Dr. Bronners Mild Castile soap for washing.

  • Start a vitamin regimen, before you get the splits happening. Salmon oil and Vitamin B12 (Methalcobalamine) are my go-tos.

  • Other things to try; Tinactin (usually used for athletes foot, a fungal infection).

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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