Protectingsplit skin on the thumb so it will heal -- help!

I don’t think this falls under “medical advice,” as there’s really nothing to be done for the thing but wait for the skin to knit back together; this isn’t really the sort of thing you’d consult a doctor for. It seems more like when the doctors sent my infant sister home in a cast from hips to ankles and just let my mom figure out how to diaper her.

Mr. S has an area of split skin next to the nail on his right thumb. It’s been there for a couple of weeks. Normally you’d just wrap a Band-Aid around it and let it heal, right? Well, he works as a nursing assistant at a veterans’ home, which means he washes his hands and changes gloves approximately 768 times a day. So Band-Aids (if I understand correctly; he’s asleep right now) are a no-go except at home.

It was on its way to healing up, but last night it split again, “luckily” right at the end of his shift. He came home rather pissed off and frustrated.

So I ask Dopers, especially those who wash their hands a zillion times a day, which of course includes doctors and other healthcare people, but also restaurant workers and I can’t think of who else this early in the day. Any suggestions? I thought maybe there’s some kind of “liquid skin” or something he could paint on to protect it. I don’t think he can simply keep a glove on it under the work gloves; he needs to bare his hands to wash them. He had a rare 3 days in a row off last week, but apparently that wasn’t enough to let the thing close up completely.


Yup, liquid skin, which they sell next to the band-aids in the drugstore. Burns like a son-of-a-bitch when you apply it, but it stays put.

Have him take the bottle with him to work, he may need to reapply it mid-shift.

New Skin I think it’s called. Liquid bandage that is water proof and tough. Might be a solution there for you. Sounds like Mr.S is going to put that tough claim to the test though. Might need a touch up or two so that the patch stays and the healing can close it up.

In the past, I’ve used the little plastic sticky squares that hospitals use to cover up and protect an IV site. I had a cut on my hand and no Band-Aids would stay stuck through more than a few handwashings, so a coworker suggested I go down to the E.R. and ask one of the nurses there to give me a square of that stuff. Worked great. No idea where you could find something like that other than in a hospital, though. I don’t even know what they call it. It’s like sticky Saran Wrap.

He really should be conditioning his skin since he washes them so often. At night, have him slather his hands with Eucerin cream (it’s like a creamy diaper rash ointment) mixed with cortisone cream, and then put thick gloves on over it.

If he doesn’t keep his hands from over-drying, the skin will keep splitting. And that’s a buggah.

“Op-site” or “Tegaderm”. It’s also sold next to the bandaids and other dressings in most drugstores.

Avon makes a silicone glove hand cream which works really well. Moisture has a hard time penetrating it.

Wow, thanks for all the great suggestions. We’re going to hit Walgreens this afternoon and see what we can find. Will report back.

To make a minor digression, I’ve started using Eucerin this winter, because my hands always get chapped and occasionally split in wintertime. So far this winter, my hands are only slightly dry, with very little of the scaling they usually get.

I keep a tube of super glue around for small annoying cuts like that.

As I understand it, the liquid bandage products are primarily super glue, which will indeed work just fine if you can’t get or don’t care to purchase the liquid skin. I once had the same exact cut as the OP’s husband, right at the thumb’s nail bed, which bled like crazy and was not close to clotting even after half the day and several bandages. So, we threw some super glue on it, which pretty much instantly plugged it up.

Burned like the dickens going on, though.

He already has a serious lotion habit.

We got some liquid bandage stuff (can’t be arsed to go look up the name) and I know he put on one coat last night. Not sure if he added another today before he went to work, but he did say the first coat survived washing the dishes pretty well.

He’s working a shift and a half tonight, so he’ll get home around 4 am and I don’t expect him to be coherent until later in the morning. I’ll grill him then. :slight_smile: