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"Why do my finger tips crack and bleed?"
I am a 44 year old woman with dry skin. My fingertips frequently crack and bleed. I have tried many kinds of moisturizer. I have tried taking a multi-vitamin. Nothing seems to work. It is very painful.
I am sorry to hear that this problem has been going on so long for you without a solution. It is likely that you are dealing with eczema, which is an inflammatory condition of the skin causes by excessive dryness, leading to cracking, itching, and redness. The mainstay of treatment for eczema is, as you have already said, keeping the skin well moisturized. However, most people do not moisturize sufficiently. The moisturizer should be apply multiple times per day, and after each time you wash your hands or get them wet. It should also be a thick, greasy moisturizer like hydrolated petrolatum. This is because normal lotions and creams are not thick enough to effectively trap in the skin's natural protective oils and moisture. Similarly, you should avoid irritating your hands by immersing them in water (say when washing dishes) and should always use waterproof gloves in this setting. Any time you engage in chores or other activities where you come into contact with chemicals or other irritating agents you should also wear gloves. Finally, you will need a steroid cream to get the worst areas under control. Talk to your primary care doctor who can help you out with this.
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