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Help My Hands!


jgarner53
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There is one good thing about the fact that my hands are washed about 200 zillion times a day.

I never get sick. Seriously.

My husband is a teacher and brings home the sniffles from all the disease-vectors in his classroom. He's always coming down with something. My stepson too. But I just cruise

merrily along, sniffle and sneeze-free. I'm convinced it's because of the hand washing.

My hands are cracked and dry most all the time. If it gets bothersome, I do the cotton

gloves and vaseline thing, but usually only if they've gotten to the point where they're bleeding.

I've been doing this so long that I'm USED to dry hands. Never have time to apply lotion, and I'd never do it at work, so I just don't. I've got large ugly weathered hands.....but I'm proud of 'em.

Burns! I burn myself daily. Well almost daily. Why? Well, for one, I'm a klutz, and secondly, I have this really bizarre setup in my kitchen where my convection oven doors swing out and block

my cooling rack. It's hard to explain, but the doors always swing back and knock the sheet pan around in my hands, and the edge of the sheet pan always touches my inner arm. I don't wear long sleeves because I hate being hot, and short sleeves work better when you're scraping down 60 qt. mixing bowls. So my bare arms are exposed and it's hard to go through a day without those damn oven doors hitting my sheet pans. Burn city. My arms look like I'm a zebra.

I have so many going at any given time I don't have time for aloe or Mederma or whatever. I just tough it out, if that's what you want to call it. I don't even notice the burns anymore...I

guess you just get acclimated to it in a way.

You know what I find really annoying? Cuts. Bleeding is so inconvenient! I actually have to stop working to find a bandage. It slows me up. And Murphy's Law of Cuts is:

It's invariable that you will have to juice a lemon soon after you've sliced yourself.

:raz:

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Burns. YOu are better off with cold, not ice water, intially. The ice water can be damaging to that tender tissue.

Reminder to take the bandage off at night and let it be in the air. A wound bandaged constantly will not heal.

For the cracked and peeling hands; do this every night:

Some sort of vaseline stuff for a few minutes. Take a pumice stone or an abrasive cream to them to get rid of the dead and yucky skin. Apply bag balm or something similar. I've never found anything better than bag balm. When I was getting ready to sell our house last year, and my hands spent countless hours in hot water and all sorts of cleaning junk, my hands took a huge toll. The exfoliating process really helped. Really.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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sort of related to the dry hands, though it may be over-use of hands. does anyone else get thumb cracks? by that i mean the splitting of skin, and eventually flesh, that starts near an outer corner of nail and extends outwards. i currently have three, on both thumbs, and my right middle finger, which is where i normally get them. they hurt like mad while in use, and especially while juicing lemons. is there a remedy? i try to wear band-aids overnight with neosporin, but bandaids don't stay on during work. maybe band-aid plus finger cot. so far the only cure i've found is rest.

dexygus
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sort of related to the dry hands, though it may be over-use of hands.  does anyone else get thumb cracks?  by that i mean the splitting of skin, and eventually flesh, that starts near an outer corner of nail and extends outwards.  i currently have three, on both thumbs, and my right middle finger, which is where i normally get them.  they hurt like mad while in use, and especially while juicing lemons.  is there a remedy?  i try to wear band-aids overnight with neosporin, but bandaids don't stay on during work.  maybe band-aid plus finger cot.  so far the only cure i've found is rest.

I share your pain. Ugh. I really, really use my hands alot: household chores, hauling buckets of gravel, soil and barkdust, use shovels and rakes, bathroom remodel and did I mention lots of COOKING? :biggrin: .

The cracking around my thumbs has resisted all creams, oils, gloves, sweet-talk and massages. And my cure is the same as yours...rest those hands! But with no one standing in line to complete my tasks... :rolleyes:

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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Ditto the Vaseline; it really is excellent.  The only thing I would add is, you may want to smear it over wet or damp skin.  That seems to help.

I used to throw pots and the clay would dry my skin out terribly.  Everyone I knew at that time, used the Vaseline on wet skin method.  Forget fancy and expensive lotions, except for times when you're not working and having greasy hands would be unacceptable.  For those times, I recommend Lubriderm; if you can put it on about every 30 minutes or so, so much the better.

And while at work, I think butter, indeed, would be a good idea.

Ooohh, I get to put my non-food/cooking hat on here. In my other life, I sell botanical skin care products. Mineral oil and petrolatum products are actually really bad for your skin. Sadly, they are present in 95% of the beauty care products sold in the US. What mineral oil/petrolatum does is leave a film on the skin that does not allow moisture to enter. It can also act to draw moisture OUT of the skin. The molecules in mineral oil/petrolatum (refined crude oil) are too big to penetrate the pores of our skin. Mineral oil can be necessary for our skin, especially when dealing with a wound (when you DO want to keep moisture out of the area), however, for daily skin care it will actually dehydrate your skin in the long run. The shea butter recommended above is a great alternative as are other lotions made with botanically-based ingredients that do NOT contain mineral oil. Also consider bringing in your own cleanser, one that is not drying and also does not contain mineral oil.

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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I just saw an ad on TV for a liquid product for cuts that you can buy over the counter. You just brush it on cuts and it puts a seal on it. I can't remember the maker but I think it would be a great idea for cases where bandaids will come off. This seems like what they use in the hospital.

I thought I'd try it for when my hands are dry and cracked this winter.

Josette

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Pure Rose Hip oil.  I've just started using it and it is pretty incredible.  Otherwise, try and find a balm that has a base of 100% pure beeswax and uses carrier oils like Calendula oil, avacado oil, jojoba oil, macadamia nut oil, etc.  The beeswax will actually protect your hands throughout the day and good cream should not leave them greasy and shouldn't wash off.  I don't know any brands because I make my own (Sensitive-paininthe ass skin) I gave up trying to find something in the stores.  Good luck!

I don't suppose you would share your secret formula, would you? I have a friend with a new baby and her hands are sore from washing so much. Home made lotion/creme would be a cool Christmas present.

sparrowgrass
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Umm, expensive stuff is really cool - I love it - but cloth gloves (or socks for that matter) and vaseline will have the exact same result as the forty dollah glovlies. I mean you're only going to sleep in them after all. Maybe ask Santa for something important like jewelry or cake toys, a gold handled rolling pin stuff like that...  :laugh:

:rolleyes: don't mind me...

Good point about the expensive things, true dat. I've tried the Vaseline and sock thing and I found better results with the gel-lined gloves. 'Sides, you can pretend that you're pampering yourself at some posh spa. Ok...that was a biiiit of a stretch! :biggrin:

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sort of related to the dry hands, though it may be over-use of hands.  does anyone else get thumb cracks?  by that i mean the splitting of skin, and eventually flesh, that starts near an outer corner of nail and extends outwards.  i currently have three, on both thumbs, and my right middle finger, which is where i normally get them.  they hurt like mad while in use, and especially while juicing lemons.  is there a remedy?  i try to wear band-aids overnight with neosporin, but bandaids don't stay on during work.  maybe band-aid plus finger cot.  so far the only cure i've found is rest.

I share your pain. Ugh. I really, really use my hands alot: household chores, hauling buckets of gravel, soil and barkdust, use shovels and rakes, bathroom remodel and did I mention lots of COOKING? :biggrin: .

The cracking around my thumbs has resisted all creams, oils, gloves, sweet-talk and massages. And my cure is the same as yours...rest those hands! But with no one standing in line to complete my tasks... :rolleyes:

I used to work in retail and handled money all day long. The paper will suck the moisture out of your skin in no time flat, and I developed the above mentioned finger cracks :angry: . The product that I found to work best is Blistex! The creamy ointment, though, not the waxy stick stuff. Rub it into the cracks generously before bed, and by the next day they will have healed. The stuff is nothing short of wonderful! :wub:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Wow, interesting bit about the mineral oil and petrolatum ! This could explain why my jar of Eucerin cream isn't doing jack squat for my (often over-washed) hands. :hmmm:

What about glycerin based products? Would they be in the same category? Do they help or hurt your hands?

Edited by Gastro888 (log)
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I find that for dry skin in general, increasing my consumption of flaxseed oil and taking a 1000mg Evening Primrose oil capsule twice a day really helps to heal from within.

The Shea Butter, Emu oil combination in a salve or lotion is also great for really bad skin cracks.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Umm, expensive stuff is really cool - I love it - but cloth gloves (or socks for that matter) and vaseline will have the exact same result as the forty dollah glovlies. I mean you're only going to sleep in them after all. Maybe ask Santa for something important like jewelry or cake toys, a gold handled rolling pin stuff like that...  :laugh:

:rolleyes: don't mind me...

Good point about the expensive things, true dat. I've tried the Vaseline and sock thing and I found better results with the gel-lined gloves. 'Sides, you can pretend that you're pampering yourself at some posh spa. Ok...that was a biiiit of a stretch! :biggrin:

Truth to tell, I only said vaseline because it was mentioned earlier. I've only used castor oil on my feet and hands covered with socks or gloves overnight - used it without the socks on my pregnant bulging belly - cured the infernal itch and I never got one stretch mark. :biggrin:

And I've never used the gel gloves so I do defer to your better judgement there on the comparison.

:smile:

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You can use castor oil on the skin? Interesting. My friend's family used castor oil to keep things, um, regular.

Here's a suggestion: if you have access to a steam room, why not try one of the tips in the post in the steam room? The hot steam would really help get that moisture back into your hands! (Great for tension in the body as well!)

Edited by Gastro888 (log)
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Wow, interesting bit about the mineral oil and petrolatum !  This could explain why my jar of Eucerin cream isn't doing jack squat for my (often over-washed) hands.  :hmmm:

What about glycerin based products?  Would they be in the same category?  Do they help or hurt your hands?

Glycerin is a by-product of the soap-making process. I do not think that it has the negative effects that mineral oil does. Glycerin actually attracts moisture.

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Umm, expensive stuff is really cool - I love it - but cloth gloves (or socks for that matter) and vaseline will have the exact same result as the forty dollah glovlies. I mean you're only going to sleep in them after all. Maybe ask Santa for something important like jewelry or cake toys, a gold handled rolling pin stuff like that...  :laugh:

:rolleyes: don't mind me...

Good point about the expensive things, true dat. I've tried the Vaseline and sock thing and I found better results with the gel-lined gloves. 'Sides, you can pretend that you're pampering yourself at some posh spa. Ok...that was a biiiit of a stretch! :biggrin:

Truth to tell, I only said vaseline because it was mentioned earlier. I've only used castor oil on my feet and hands covered with socks or gloves overnight - used it without the socks on my pregnant bulging belly - cured the infernal itch and I never got one stretch mark. :biggrin:

And I've never used the gel gloves so I do defer to your better judgement there on the comparison.

:smile:

*lol* since we're telling the truth, i've always used either shea butter or cocoa butter. My mom uses the vaseline trick on her feet tho.

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Well, I do have a favorite hand cream, but it's made from sheep in New Zealand, and my mom buys it in bulk and gives me a jar every few months. Not, um, exactly to come by. But its main ingredient is lanolin. Maybe it's time to find a replacement.

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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Silvadene is the best! Also, you want to keep the burn clean and dry.

I am like Chefpeon; I burn myself all of the time. Our convection ovens are oddly close to our popover cooks work table. I have to work a maze around the table , speed rack, and narrow hallway- into a small room.

I see a dermatologist from time to time (when my hands get really bad). I have listened to his advice about touching and cutting raw fruit- I always wear disposable gloves now.

The good news is that I almost never cut myself- I'm a burner, not a cutter!

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If you have bad circulation, like I do, all the grease in the world won't help. I prevent further deterioration by wearing nitrile gloves. They can be skin tight so you can work with the finest of doughs. It costs me 50 cents a day or more but worth it. I also wear a bit of good quality hand cream, especially around the nails and the heat from my hand helps penetrates the moisture into my skin.

Even though I no longer bake as a job, I use these gloves at my other job, for housework, cooking at home, reparing my bike ect.

Hope this helps.

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