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Cracked fingers

JayhawkDan's picture
Posts: 206
Joined: Apr 2012

There's been mention on various threads about cracked fingers and thought I'd open a new one with something that's worked for me. I had 8 cracks in various places on fingers, mostly at the tips at the "corners" of the fingernails. I've got them all under control -- at the moment. I used neosporin on the cracks before bedtime and covered them with bandaids. I did that on the worse spots during the day, as well. Once they started to heal, at least partially, I used Neutrogena hand cream -- the reall thick stuff -- on them before bedtime and also some during the day. It's kind of greasy so I only put it on the tips and bad spots. I have no cracks right now, but the tips feel kind of brittle and I put the Neutrogena on a couple times a day to keep them moisturized. It takes constant vigilance, or I know the cracks will start happening again, and the damn things hurt. Besides wanting to curb the pain, I'm playing golf with my brothers on our annual "guy trip" to the Rockies in a couple of weeks and I know it would be difficult if my fingers are cracked and in pain. So a little extra motivation to keep it under control. Good luck to all who suffer with this. Dan

barbebarb's picture
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Have u tried cotton gloves w/cream at night? Also, Burt's Bee's Almond handcream is very good. I have used the Neutrogena brand too.
It seems the minute you wash your hands it reduces all the efforts of repeated applications.Neosporin is good too.

I golf too. Can you wrap the most cracked finger?

With all the symptoms and healing we tolerate w/our disease cracked skin on our hands is annoying.

I started Xeloda so will be dealing with this again....ugh.

At least its not as bad in the summer months.

Have a fun trip.


CherylHutch's picture
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Thanks, Dan! I get the cracked (EXTREMELY painful fingers) with the Vectibix that I'm back on. It got so bad that we had to end up with a 2 month break just to allow them to heal (yes, it took about 6 weeks for them to actually heal). I've now had two treatments and I am just starting to feel the minor pain starting in two fingers. If it would just stay this minor, I could handle it... but I know what it will turn into as time goes on. With mine, there are the cracked fingers like you described above, but then, there's the added pain that the nerve endings in the tips of my fingers all rise to the surface and then bubble through with what looks like an internal blister, coming through the cracks... but these are actually nerve endings. Picking up a Kleenex is extremely painful, that's how sensitive they are.

I have tried every lotion/potion/thick/thin/cream you can imagine and haven't found one that prevents the nerve endings from surfacing. My oncologist says he's never seen anything this bad before, even though split fingers are a common side affect to Vectibix. But I will pick up some Neosporin and Neutrogena hand cream, a combination that I haven't tried before. Hopefully I will find the magical combo that will work for me :)

Cheryl in Vancouver

Doc_Hawk's picture
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

I get the cracked fingers too as well as the loss of feeling and dexterity. Just like you, I've tried all the creams and lotions and anymore those cause more hurt and don't do any good at all. People just assume that it's dry skin, but it is way different. I haven't had the blistering and exposed nerves, I simply cannot imagine how horrible that must be. When my hands are bad, I can't shake hands with people and will frequently bleed on things when I pick them up. Just a regular walkin' bio-hazard I is.


Varmint5's picture
Posts: 384
Joined: Feb 2012

Hi Dan,

I'm not getting chemo but I get cracked fingers a lot from wearing powdered gloves at work, especially in winter, and they are painful. Yours must be 10 times worse. I use a product called "blue goo" which is a thick, greasy substance in a little jar, made from emu oil to keep my fingertips and the skin around my nails moist and it is really good (when I remember to use it). It's not blue but the lid on the jar is. I get it at WalMart. Also, when I get bad cracks and they are really painful I use "Nexcare Skin Crack Care" which is in a bottle like fingernail polish and is clear and goes on like fingernail polish. For that matter, clear fingernail polish will seal the cracks and help them heal - at least the cracks that I get. I've used that too. It works. So does a product called "New Skin Liquid Bandage." Good luck. I know those skin cracks are painful.


steveandnat's picture
Posts: 887
Joined: Sep 2011

I know what you mean with the pain from the cracked fingers. Its just one more spot that our body hurts. I have to use a lot of lotions. Avoid hot water on the hands...hard to do because a hot shower feels good sometimes. Pray yours stays good. Jeff

joemetz's picture
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011


i've been fighting the fingers (and now toes) with cracks and bloody finger tips for several weeks.

they don't heal quickly, but I went with neosporin and band aides for a week, and then i'd let them dry out (and air out) for a week, and go back and forth. It seemed to work for me.

still painful, and sometimes unbearable... but they eventually heal, and then two or three more show up somewhere else. Its really strange.

be careful around the finger nails and don't cut those nails too short... they'll get more fragile as well.

take care and fight through it.

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