Cracked Fingertips

Learn about the various causes of dry cracked fingertips, and find out how you can heal cracked fingertips and prevent them from cracking in the first place.

If you’ve ever suffered from cracked fingertips, you’ll know just how aggravating they can be: even the most straightforward of tasks, like typing, buttoning a shirt or removing lids from jars, can become a very painful ordeal.

In mild cases, chapped fingers are a nuisance which can be alleviated by moisturising creams and hand protection. In more serious instances, however, cracked fingertips can cause severe pain and bleeding - and may even require medical attention.

Don’t worry though, for help is at hand for your dry, cracked hands. Read on for tips on how to soothe your fingertips.

Cracked Skin on Fingers around Nails

What causes cracked skin on fingertips?

Your fingertips can become cracked for a number of medical and environmental reasons. Dry skin, also known as xerosis, or xeroderma, is the most common cause of cracked fingertips, and xerosis has a variety of causes:

  • Cold weather - people often find that they suffer from cracked fingertips during the winter. This is because cold air holds less moisture and can leave your skin feeling rough and dry. When cold air enters your home in the winter and spring, it causes the warm air inside to dry out, which makes your skin drier and more susceptible to irritation.
  • Exposure to hot water can reduce your skin’s moisture levels
  • The chemicals in household cleaning products can irritate your skin, causing your hands to dry out
  • Medications: certain medications, such as cholesterol medication and diuretics, have dry skin listed as a potential side effect

 

There are other skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema, that can make your skin appear very dry and lead to cracking.

 

Inherited skin conditions, such as ichthyosis vulgaris, can also cause your hands to dry out, as can underlying medical conditions, like diabetes and an underactive thyroid gland.

Dry Cracked Fingertips

How to prevent cracked fingertips

The best treatment for cracked fingertips is prevention:

  • Moisturise your hands with NIVEA Intensive Moisture Hand Cream several times a day, or apply NIVEA 3in1 Repair Care Hand Cream daily for 24-hour protective care and effective relief for dry, chapped hands
  • Avoid over-washing your hands. Use mild soaps like NIVEA Rich Moisture Soft Hand Wash, which protects your hands while washing, and alcohol-free hand sanitiser gel.
  • Choose moisturising products that contain shea butter. This will boost your skin cell turnover, aid the process of skin regeneration and repair damaged cells.
  • Wear gloves if you wash dishes regularly in hot water
  • Resist the urge to take long hot baths - opt for short, lukewarm showers instead
  • Buy a humidifier - this is a great idea if you’re working from home

Treat Split Skin on Fingers

How to heal cracked fingertips

If your fingertips are already cracked, the above steps will help your fingertips to heal: it is imperative that you take good care of your hands by moisturising regularly and taking measures that will help protect your hands from chemicals, hot water and cold weather.

The following may also help your fingertips to recover:

  • Use a liquid skin bandage to help completely seal the cracks. Many brands of bandage are available, and they are available over the counter.
  • Wear disposable gloves to cover your cracked fingertips and prevent further damage

If your cracked fingertips continue to cause irritation and don’t seem to be getting better, we recommend that you consult your doctor. They may prescribe an antibiotic ointment if the cracks become infected; they can also apply a medical grade of instant glue that will help your fingertips to heal.