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Dermatology Blog

What to do with hands cracked to blood

What to do with hands cracked to blood

Why do we sometimes get our hands cracked to blood? How to treat bloodied hands? And can cracked hands be prevented?

The cause of blood-cracked hands is always the same – a broken skin barrier. The disruption occurs either mechanically or if the skin is weakened. To avoid mechanical damage by abrasion, scalding or injury, it is necessary to wear protective gloves. It is also necessary to prevent skin irritation when the skin is weakened, for example when suffering from atopic, contact or chronic eczema.

Prevention
The recommended prevention is the use of so-called barrier creams. There are several types. Oily ones, where the barrier against irritation is formed by fat, mainly lanolin and lard. Mineral creams create a protective coating on the skin, for example zinc or paraffin. Dimethicone creams contain a silicon microfilm. They have the advantage of complete absorption into the skin, long-lasting effect and hydration – for example Dermaguard.

What to use for cracked hands?
It always depends on the type of wounds that have occured.
If the hands have been dried out to the point that calloused crusts have appeared and have cracked, we need to close the wounds first and then heavily hydrate the hard parts of layered skin. To close the wounds, steamy compresses are recommended. We can either use ready-made baths bought at the pharmacy as a poultice liquid or we can prepare a homemade version. An oatmeal broth with a little olive or coconut oil is great. Boil a handful of flakes for about 20 minutes. When cool, add a few drops of oil and soak gauze or sterile cloth in the slimy broth. Apply this to the cracks, stretch a microtene bag over it and leave the hands to steam for several hours, preferably overnight. Open cracks should heal. Afterwards, the crusts need to be lubricated frequently so that they peel off. This can take several days.

The procedure is different if the skin on the hands is wet and the bleeding is more from blisters, mixed with the fluid that forms scabs. In this case, drying baths should be used. Most often a weak solution of hypermanganese, oak bark decoction, black tea, burdock or yarrow is recommended. The hand bath takes about 10 minutes, then let the hands dry for 20 minutes and repeat again. Finally, it is a good idea to treat the hands with black ichthoraxyl ointment. This prevents secondary infection and keeps the skin supple.
It should be noted that home treatment may not lead to a quick result. It may even lead to a worsening if the skin reacts allergically to some of the ingredients. Corticosteroid ointments on prescription from a skin doctor are an effective treatment. Ointments are not to be feared, the treatment lasts only a short time. Prevention is important so that treatment does not have to be repeated frequently.

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