Cracked fingertips can be extremely painful. The skin at the ends of the fingers becomes dry and scored with tiny fissures, which can be deep enough to cause bleeding. Every task is painful, so this is more than a minor irritation. It can be unsightly as well, since the cracks may be almost impossible to keep clean. People with this condition are anxious to find a remedy.

It is important to ascertain the cause of the problem. It is generally caused by very dry skin, but it can also be a result of fungal infection or allergic reaction. If relief is not found with dry skin remedies, it may be time to consult a physician or dermatologist.

Long periods spent in wet conditions can cause this problem. Exposure to harsh chemicals can also dry skin to the point of cracking. Mechanics often suffer this problem after years of working with petroleum products. Housewives who clean their homes and wash dishes without wearing protective gloves may also find that their hands are affected. Cold weather is hard on any exposed skin surfaces.

It is important to drink adequate water, since your skin needs it as much as any of the other organs of your body. Moisturizers and sealing slaves such as petroleum jelly may help, but they cannot make up for chronic dehydration. At least eight glasses of water a day are recommended.

Central heating is very drying unless some sort of humidifier is used. Houseplants release additional moisture into the air inside a home. Cold air is dryer than warm air, so the combination of dry outside air and heated indoor air means that many people suffer more from dry skin in the winter months.

There is an old remedy that really works for this problem if it is caused by excessive dryness from over-exposure to water, detergents, or gardening. You take a tablespoon of good cod liver oil, add it to a quarter cup of milk in a small jar, shake vigorously to disperse the oil into droplets, and then drink. Do this first thing every morning on an empty stomach and you should see improvement within a week.

Gardening is hard on your hands. Something about moist dirt really draws the moisture out of your skin. Dirt also gets in the cracks and makes your hands look dirty even if you have scrubbed them over and over. It is a good idea to wear gloves when gardening and protect your hands from the drying effects of dirt.

Aids to coping with cracked fingertips also include strange things like coating your fingertips with Super Glue and letting it dry before you touch anything. This supposedly seals the skin and protects it from further damage. No matter what you try - lotions, balms, or home remedies - it is better to prevent the problem from happening in the first place rather than try to deal with it after the damage has been done.

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