Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Dry, Cracked & Chapped Window Cleaners Hands, Fingers & Skin


The winter months usually mean dry, cracked, and sometimes bloody hands and skin for many window cleaners, especially for those living in cold, dry climates. Unfortunately, hot showers and hand-washing are two activities that cause significantly dry skin. Regular lotion doesn't really do the trick, it doesn't really take care of the deep, persistent dryness that sets in after a few weeks of cold weather. The best strategy has been to invest in a really good, heavy-duty lotion at the beginning of the season and begin applying it a night before bed. Dry chapped hands, it is one of the biggest skin problems in the winter season. These are caused due to reduced water and moisture content of the body due to harsh cold weather. The skin surface only holds a certain amount of water and moisture, and when it's exposed to extreme cold conditions, water content decreases and this results in dry, uncomfortable itchy hands. If chapped hands are not cured, window cleaners may face difficulty in doing work without gloves and bacteria may enter the skin cracks causing eczema or other skin infections. A little knowledge will help you to get off all these problems due to dry skin. Drink a lot of water to moisturize from within! Here are a few lotions that may help:


Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream - A hand lotion for use during the day. This clinically proven, highly concentrated formula rapidly heals dry hands. It noticeably improves the look and feel of your skin. Hands feel soft and smooth after just one application. Available in Original and Fragrance-free.

L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream: A super-smoothing--and best-selling--synergy of 20% Shea Butter, honey and sweet almond extract, blended with the light and alluring aromas of jasmine and ylang-ylang essences. Texturally pleasing balm glides on and absorbs to help heal and protect dry or dehydrated skin. Anti-oxidizing vitamin E helps nourish. Invites even the most hard-working hands to a fresh beginning.

Lush's Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter - From Lush. Rub in as much of this lemon-scented lotion as your cuticles, knuckles, and fingers will take before you go to bed at night. inside is a thick, nourishing butter that moisturizes the hardest areas – elbows, heels, cuticles and nails. You just need a tiny dab (one pot lasts us months) of this rich lemon cream. Rub the Shea butter, cold pressed avocado oil and mango butters in to moisturize and nourish skin. Massage a bit in daily and you won't have to deal with hangnails and cracked skin any longer!

Intense relief hand cream from Aveeno: This unique, non-greasy and fragrance free hand cream is specially formulated with Natural Colloidal Oatmeal and rich emollients to help heal dry skin and form a protective glove against the elements. Unlike ordinary hand creams, Aveeno Intense Relief Hand Cream protects and moisturizes skin for 24 hours and even lasts through hand washing.

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream - Pumpkin Seed Oil, rich in fatty acids, combines with Olive Oil and Wheat Germ Extract to hydrate and nourish dry skin. Protein-rich Bee Pollen nourishes and rejuvenates, while emollient Beeswax holds in essential moisture.

Sudocrem Antiseptic healing cream: Sudocrem is made up in a base with water-repellent properties which form a protective barrier, therefore helping to stop any irritants (urine and stools) coming into contact with the skin. In addition, the emollient effect can help to soothe sore inflamed skin whilst leaving the skin feeling soft. Sudocrem’s formulation helps to reduce the risk of infection and contains a mild local anaesthetic to soothe the pain. In addition, it helps a wound to heal and forms a protective barrier over the vulnerable area.

Badger balm is organic salve for your cracked, chapped, rough, weathered and dry skin. This is the stuff you want with you if you are lost in some vast, uncharted wilderness. It has the mild scent of Sweet Birch and Wintergreen Oils, which have been traditionally used as an antiseptic, a muscle rub, and to ease the occasional symptoms of skin problems like psoriasis and eczema. Badger Balm is tough enough to soothe rough, dry skin, but gentle enough to use every day.

Bag Balm: In 1937, Admiral Byrd’s provisions for the trip to the North Pole included Bag Balm, which helped protect the udders of base camp cows that provided milk to the expedition amidst severe climate conditions. Helps soothe bruised, sore or injured teats & people who do water sports!

Udderly Smooth - Udder Cream for Dry Skin. Made in the USA for over thirty years, Udderly Smooth products contain rich moisturizing ingredients. Not your average moisturizing lotion - Udderly Smooth can be used on dry, cracked skin. This company does not engage in animal testing in it's products.

DIY:  Honey and Lemon Juice with Oil:  Mix 1 teaspoon oil with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of honey. Apply and rub this mixture over knuckles, crusty elbows and other hardened areas. Keep it rubbing for 8-10 minutes and rinse off. This will nourish your skin and will keep it soft.



They're annoying and uncomfortable. Painful fingertip cracks are more common in the winter when the temperature drops and hands are exposed to sub-freezing temperatures and harsh winds. The small cracks and fissures are worsened by exposure to water or harsh detergents and chemicals. This can be a particular problem if you wash dishes frequently or work in a profession that requires exposure to chemicals. What can you do about this annoying symptom?

Fingertip cracks and fissures need moisture to heal, but the problem with applying simple hand creams is that it may not be enough. Your hands need intense moisture. Fortunately, there's no need to buy expensive moisture creams. Your best ally in fighting fingertip cracks is good, old-fashioned petroleum jelly that you buy at your local drugstore. You'll also need a pair of cotton gloves with a little lycra to help them conform to the skin. These are available online and in most drugstores.

The best time to treat dry hands with fingertip cracks is at night before you go to bed. Use a mild, unscented soap and warm water to wash your hands. While your hands are still slightly moist apply a heavy layer of petroleum jelly to the cracked areas and a thinner layer over the rest of your hands. Slip on the gloves and leave them on overnight. You can do this during the day if you don't have to leave the house. Repeat this process several times until you start to see improvement in the fingertip cracks. Some people notice a significant difference after only one or two treatments. If the symptoms fail to resolve with this treatment, see your doctor. Sometimes a fungal infection can cause this symptom which may require use of a prescription anti-fungal cream.

Once your fingertip cracks and fissures have healed, it's important to keep them from recurring. Moisture is the key to keeping the uncomfortable cracks from wrecking havoc with your fingers again. Although you can use petroleum jelly for a daily hand moisturizer, some people prefer almond oil or coconut oil, both of which are excellent for keeping fingertips moist. These are inexpensive and can be purchased at most health food stores and natural food markets.

Other tips? When you place your hands in water, make sure they're covered by gloves and use only the mildest, all-natural hand soaps and bath products. Avoid extremes in temperature when you bathe, particularly hot water which can be very drying to the skin and worsen not only fingertip cracks. When you go outside in cold weather, apply petroleum jelly to your hands and always wear gloves.

There's not need to suffer from cracked fingertips. With a few inexpensive products, this uncomfortable symptom can be a thing of the past and you'll be well on your way to smoother looking fingers and hands.

For those that need more ingredient advise - this may be the web page for you!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

the blog seems all true i am now suffering from this dry cracking fingers :( i am having it for 5 months now since summer of 2011.

wish my hand luck! finger crossing~

Anonymous said...

I have suffered from this miserable condition for 30 years now. The pain is unbearable at times. The worst thing is when several fingers are affected all at once. Worst of all, I teach piano for a living and it's so difficult to cope with this. I have tried every moisturizer on the market; nothing helps. I even went to a dermatologist years ago who prescribed a lotion and an ointment that made the condition much worse and smelled bad, too. It's a hereditary problem. My dad had it, and so did his Mom. There is no cure and it's nearly impossible to manage.

Anonymous said...

My middle finger is cracked. I was doing some house cleaning with very strong chemicals and i wasn't wearing gloves. For some reason all my other fingers are fine except my middle finger! Its so annoying how one day its closed almost healed cuts and the next its the burning sensation and open cuts again! Been this way for 3 months almost. Im gonna try the vaseline and if doesnt work im seeing my doctor!

Bill Shattuck said...

I've worked with clay for 12 years and every winter have dry hands and cracks appear on my fingers usually close to the nail. I use a tiny spot of crazy glue on a finger crack. It definitely helps the crack heal over and flakes off after severals days to a week. I've had no repercussions from the glue what so ever and does not sting. I'm talking a tiny thin layer of glue applied with a toothpick, just enough to cover the split on the finger. If possible squeeze the crack closed, so you get a good seal and have someone else apply the glue otherwise you'll stick your fingers together.

Donna Bennett said...

I have mild eczema and this happens to me every winter. It's painful and annoying. I use cocoa butter vaseline at night and put on moisturizing gloves. I use my hands a lot so I wait till I'm in bed before I put the gloves on. I really cake on the vaseline....the gloves can be bought at the dollar tree. Hand cream never work for me.

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