View Full Version : hangnails & dry fingers

11-03-2006, 12:10 AM

I have a question/problem which I'm wondering if any of you have gone through? I am getting terrible hang-nails or raw skin areas and have bandaids on most of my knitting fingers! I'm not sure if it's from the yarn or poking myself or dry weather. Any advice? Maybe I will grow calluses on these fingers? I have been knitting heavily the past year and love to knit daily, otherwise I am very healthy. Please help.


11-03-2006, 12:48 AM
my hands were terrible.. so I did the following.

Trimmed & filed all nails smooth. At night put on a heavy cream for dry skin, then wore gloves to bed for 3 or 4 nights. During day after washing hands each time, rubbed in lotion. Then I used a parafin bath on my hands.. ( xmas present,, I use it on hands & feet especially in winter) By the end of the week, my hands were soft again. I continued using a good quality cream at night, and lotion during the day. It really helped. Good luck.

11-03-2006, 01:12 AM
I always have a dry spot on my right index finger where I carry my yarn. Especially in the winter and especially when Im working with wool. Not so much with cotton and other fibers....

Ive found that a REALLY good way to get some moisture soaked into your hands is to slop on some GOOD lotion (I like Aveeno) and then wear rubber gloves to wash dishes. You can then use HOT HOT water. And, it gives you the same effect as a spa paraffin manicure. Except without the feeling of decadence. :shrug:

And, yeah... I carry a crystal nail file in my knitting bag... you dont want to snag your yarn!

11-03-2006, 02:39 AM
I don't like to use lotion very often (i'm funny about having greasy hands and lotion makes me feel that way). But i do make sure that i have nail clippers in my bag to take care of hangnails and i have Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme (http://www.burtsbees.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10751&storeId=10101&productId=10186&langId=-1&) on hand to soften up my dry spots. It's WONDERFUL!


11-03-2006, 03:31 AM
I cant tell you how many mostly-full bottles of lotion I have because I tried them and they are too greasy... That's why I like Aveeno.

11-03-2006, 08:41 AM
Try mixing some oil (olive, massage, vegetable, baby) with some salt until it's a thick paste. Massage into your hands concentrating on the areas around the nails. Rinse, wash with mild soap if you feel it necessary. It will help with hang nails and dry skin quite a bit. Repeat as often as necessary.

11-03-2006, 10:34 AM
You guys are GREAT. Thank you so much for your suggestions. I'll be trying them all!

11-03-2006, 01:59 PM
A good shea butter lotion won't be greasy and soaks in nicely, as well as working wonderfully on dry hands and nails :)

I also like the lotion, gosh can't think of the name of it, but it comes in a black and white cow marking container at walmart.. it's great and totally grease free :)

11-03-2006, 02:07 PM
That's really weird, because I tend to have dry skin and yet no major issues with my hands despite knitting for hours daily. I've had some days where I knit for 8 or more hours and my skin was fine! I do put on some hand cream before going to bed though. I wonder if it depends on the yarn and needles you use? I use metal needles for almost all my projects since the stitches slide easier - I bet bamboo could be more irritating.

My problem is more about pain IN my fingers and palms - the same type of soreness I get from the gym. :?? I thought it would go away once my hands got used to the strain from knitting, but no!

Maybe I'll have really muscular veiny fingers one day. :teehee:

11-03-2006, 06:23 PM
Are you get enough vitamin E?
I've heard emu oil is very,very good.

11-03-2006, 08:37 PM
My cuticles are so dry that I get very deep hangnails that catch and then bleed. Revlon has a cuticle massage that comes in a small white jar or tub. It is the ONLY thing that has worked for me, and I tried every cuticle cream etc. that I could find.
As far as the dry places on index fingers, Lotil cream, which you can order from the Vermont Country Store is GREAT. It is also available at a few drugstores. It only takes a tiny dab and is also great for dry elbows.

11-03-2006, 08:56 PM
I have Keritosis Pilaris which is a very fancy way of saying I have extremely dry skin, which manifests itsself in dry flaky bumps. Ick. I also tend to break out from some chemicals put into commercial lotions.

This is the BEST treatment I have found. Get a plain bottle of Mineral Oil and put it in a spray bottle. (both found at walmart-both under $1.50)
While still in the shower-but AFTER you wash your hair-spritz some mineral oil on yourself and rub it in until water beads and rolls off your skin.

Mineral oil is the exact same stuff as baby oil-but without the scent.

I also make my own lip balm. Its easy but too much to type out if no one is interested. LOL If anyone is let me know. Chapstick and commercial lip balm is horrible for you.

11-03-2006, 11:01 PM
My fingers crack horribly in the winter - even with a humidifier, it is just so darn dry - and Finger Care from dermaltherapy.com is the best thing I've ever found.

I can have a crack on my finger, dab some of this on when I go to bed, and overnight it starts to heal. It's wonderful!!!! :cheering:

11-04-2006, 05:00 AM
A few people I know get similar issues from knitting and sewing. They swear by that stuff that gets put on cow udders when they are chapped. Bag balm, I think it is. Supposedly if you apply the proper amount it does not leave behind a greasy film, so you can go right back to the work without staining.

11-04-2006, 09:28 AM
I get the same thing in the winter and my feet :oops: I try to moisturize whenever I can.. in the morning, evening.. before bed.. I like Avon's Extreme lotion... but it does leave you greasy feeling.. I'll have to try the Aveeno and see...

11-04-2006, 10:11 AM
I have a severe case of excema on my hands and around one heel. After trying many Rx creams as well as over the counter ones, I found the best solution for me was to use a thin pair of cotton gloves to knit with. I use clean ones to knit and use worn ones to put vaseline on at night. I have had good luck with gloves from www.allerderm.com. They are inexpensive and can be bought by the dozen. They do tend to get holes in them from the friction of knitting but last through quite a few days or weeks of knitting. I also have allergies to dyes in the yarns and have no choice but to use gloves or give up knitting. Guess which I've decided?

11-04-2006, 01:20 PM
This is the BEST treatment I have found. Get a plain bottle of Mineral Oil and put it in a spray bottle. (both found at walmart-both under $1.50)
While still in the shower-but AFTER you wash your hair-spritz some mineral oil on yourself and rub it in until water beads and rolls off your skin.
I do that, only I use baby oil, and I have since high school. I constantly recommend that to everyone I know because it does such wonders, but no one ever takes me up on it. ;) When I had a tumor on my thyroid, one of the symptoms was extreme dry skin. That was the only thing that helped me.

I also sometimes will mix sea salt with a little mineral oil or baby oil & put it in a waterproof jar. Then I scoop some out with a spoon while in the shower (BEFORE shaving - ow!) and will scrub the really rough areas like feet and elbows. It's awesome!

Pink Dandelion
11-06-2006, 09:17 AM
The fibers you use can also effect how dry your hands get, some cottons can really dry out my hands, whereas a wool that hasn't been over processed can almost make my hands greasy with the lanolin...

I really like the burts bees 'baby bee' buttermilk lotion, if I don't apply to much I don't find it at all greasy, and it's very soothing on chapped skin too, which was my problem with a lot of lotions, they'd sting if I put them on my chapped hands.