HELP my dry hands!!!!

  1. Tis the season...every fall and winter my hands get so dry they crack and bleed. I literally have blood visible under my gloves. I have tried ALL kinds of creams and lotions, I bought a parrafin wax bath but cannot use it most of the time as it is too hot and hurts too bad, I wear powder free gloves, and have tried different soaps. I have even used anhydrous lanolin...GOD WHAT A MESS!!!(although it does kinda work) None of this seems to help and I can tell the inevitable is soon to come. I was just wondering if anyone has any suggestions. I will be willing to try ANYTHING!!!!!

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    About OneChattyNurse

    Joined: Jan '01; Posts: 199; Likes: 7
    Staffing Specialist for Hospital Based LTC facility.
    Specialty: 13 year(s) of experience in LTC, MDS/careplans, Unit Manager


  3. by   tiger
    get some bag balm - mix it with cocoa butter if you like. apply it to your hands. if needed put it on then wear gloves to bed to keep in the moisture. never had a problem till i moved from tx to vegas.
    Last edit by tiger on Oct 31, '01
  4. by   Jen911
    Try Aquaphillic ointment. It's really greasy and really gross, but it helped me immensely when I was working on a floor where we used soap that had alcohol in it. I'd go home from work and couldn't wrap my hands around my steering wheel because they'd crack open and start bleeding. I always had to ask the pharmacist for the ointment, because they mixed medications with it, but you could buy it seperately, too..

    Last time I bought any was in Iowa a few years ago. I tried to buy some in California this summer for a sunburn (which it works awesome for, too..just keep it in the fridge and it feels great!) but no one out here had ever heard of it.. Maybe they'll have it in your area, or I just wasn't asking the right person.

    Good luck!
  5. by   KRVRN
    Have you talked to employee health? Some of the nurses in my unit have special permission to wash with alternate soaps that employee health suggests. One uses J&J baby wash on her hands. She was also given several special creams to use. I think she may have seen a dermatologist that then coordinated with employee health to get her the alternate soap and creams.

    I've seen cotton gloves that are made to wear to bed after putting heavy hand cream on. One of my coworkers told me she applies a thick layer of vaseline, then a plastic bag, then a sock to her hands then goes to bed with it when her hands get especially bad. Feels all squishy, but it works. Does your unit provide hand lotion? Also try washing with warm rather than hot water if you don't already. Of course you moisturize at home, then totally strip your skin at work, right?

    My hands get bad enough where I live. And here it's not overly dry like Vegas and not omigod cold like Iowa. I can get away with not turning that drying heat on in the house (no, I'll never give up my Southern California 60 degree winters, thank you very much).

    Hope you find a solution this year.
  6. by   P_RN
    I also vote for bag balm. Don't use it under LATEX gloves as it is petroleum based and will disintegrate them. You can get it at any large chain store.

    There is also Neutrogena hand creme. I think it's the one "Norwegian Fishermen use."

    I had LATEX allergy-not life threatening so I used the Nitrile gloves. I still had the hands! We discovered it was more the paper towels we used. When they changed brands....the irritation lessened.
  7. by   CarolineRn
    Chatty, You've recieved some excellent suggestions already, but just thought I'd add what has worked for me. Lubriderm advanced therapy. Apply it AM and PM and in a week or two you'll notice the difference.
  8. by   shyviolet78
    I've had the same problem with my hands cracking and bleeding. I finally went to the doctor last week and she prescribed a steroid cream, Elocon, to use twice a day along with applying Eucerin cream at night. It has made a huge difference. After one week, my hands still have dry rough patches, but they do not crack and bleed anymore.
  9. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    UDDER BALM or bag balm, same thing.

    If your skin is comprimised down to the papillary layer, maybe it's time to go see a dermatologist. hands ache just from reading your post.
    Hope you find relief.
  10. by   a-rose
    My hands were been cracked and bleed in spring by using clean liquid. And then, I stop using any clean liquid and soaps that irritate and hurt skin, and use ointment. Now I use cream in whole year. At present, my hands get dry anymore.
  11. by   NICU_Nurse
    A friend recommended some cream to me- Gardener's Hand creme from Crabtree and Evelyn- it has shea butter in it, and is very, very thick and an excellent moisturizer. It takes only a dab to completely soften both of my hands, and you're talking to a girl who has the most horrendous cracked cuticles. I agree that you should probably go to a dermatologist, but in the meantime, it's worth trying. When I bought it, the salesgirl mentioned that it's a hit with doctors in the area, and that they buy it buy the ton. Good luck!
  12. by   rdhdnrs
    When my daughter had atopic dermatitis really bad, we used Aveeno Oatmeal baths, Aquaphor cream and Eucerin cream. Hope you find something that helps.
  13. by   duckie
    I think many nurses have the same complaint that you currently have. At this moment I have multiple split areas and red patches on my hands. What I am doing that has helped is at night I put bacitracin ointment on my hands and sleep with the vinyl gloves on. I use this because my areas are irritated from so much washing and this not only is helping the dryness but the redness is decreasing also. I also carry a small tube of this with me at work and everytime I wash my hands I put just a dab on and rub it in. I does feel a bit greasy but it's helping so for now that's what I'm doing. Hope you find help in all these great ideas.
  14. by   KRVRN
    I just thought of something else...

    When I first started nursing I would rub my hands dry after washing them. The paper towels were rough and it contributed to my hands cracking. Now I always blot my hands dry (even at home) and that has helped.