What causes and how do I stop dry cracked hands: split skin on fingers and around nails

Many people are familiar with such a problem as dry skin of their hands. Wrinkling, and the “parchment” condition of the skin are not only a discomforting phenomenon, but also a signal that you should immediately start taking care of your hands. Let's figure out what circumstances provoke this trouble, and what can be done at home to eliminate discomfort.

Stella Lindley

What causes cracked skin on fingertips or around my nails split?

The reasons for the dehydration of the skin on the handles and the occurrence of unpleasant cracks on the pads, in the folds of the palms are several:

  1. The sensitivity of the skin on the fingers next to the nails.
  2. Inadequate hand care.
  3. The negative impact of household chemicals.
  4. Mechanical damage to the skin of the hands.
  5. Infectious skin diseases.
  6. Deficiency of vitamins A, group B, as well as magnesium and Omega-3.

Dry cracked hands can be one of the symptoms among a complex of other signs in diseases:

  • endocrine system (diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism);
  • gastrointestinal tract (gastritis, duodenitis, cholecystitis);
  • neurological diseases (depression, neurosis, vegetovascular dystonia);
  • parasitic diseases (worms).

When should you seek help?

Sometimes you do not need to postpone a visit to the doctor, because cracked split skin on fingers can be the result of rather unpleasant diseases, which we will talk about below.


The first thing a person suffering from this disease will feel is itching and redness of his hands. If nothing is done, after a short period of time the upper limbs will be covered with small wounds, ulcers and cracks. Also, the appearance of open wounds that visually resemble corns is characteristic of this disease. After these formations burst, pale pink skin forms in their place, which remains with a person for life.


Psoriasis is an unpleasant surprise for most patients. In 93% of cases, onychia complements skin rashes, and only in 7% of cases it develops in isolation, without skin symptoms. The same doctor should treat nail psoriasis as psoriatic plaques on the skin, namely, a competent dermatologist who is undoubtedly up to date with the latest pharmacological innovations.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Neuropathy is a nerve disease. Quite often occurs in many diseases, as well as in violation of metabolic processes. Signs of limb neuropathy depend on what type of nerves are affected. In case of damage to nerve fibers, a person experiences loss of sensation of limbs, numbness, immunity of touch, cold or heat. Also very often this disease provokes excessive dryness of the skin of the hands.

Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis)

The initial stage of this disease appears on the palms. A person complains of intolerable itching, worse after taking a shower. The skin becomes rough, dry, so it easily crackes. The resulting sores allow the fungus to enter the bloodstream, which leads to a deterioration in the general condition of the patient.

Keratolysis exfoliativa

This is one of the varieties of chronic dermatosis, which is manifested by symmetrical flaking of the palmar surfaces of the hands. Peeling occurs with separate foci of 2-3 mm, which have rounded shapes.

To cure dry skin around the nails, your doctor or dermatologist will first have to diagnose the condition to determine what the underlying cause of dryness is. When this is done, depending on how severe the condition is, the doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, natural remedies, or prescription ointments and creams to treat symptoms.

In what cases is it enough to dispense with cream

Protective and regenerating hand cream is a real salvation for those who are familiar with the problem of dryness, peeling of the skin and cracks. Typically, the composition of such a cream includes components with nourishing, moisturizing and regenerating properties.

Unlike a moisturizer that has a fairly light texture, a regenerating / nourishing cream is more dense in consistency.

And although the effectiveness of such funds is not in doubt, they are not as popular as conventional hand creams. For some reason, it is believed that nourishing / restorative products for damaged skin on the hands are too «heavy» and not quite comfortable to use. However, despite the density and saturation of the useful components, they are usually quickly absorbed.

If you use this cream regularly, for example, after each contact with water, then you are very likely to avoid flaky cracked skin on hands.

Best Moisturize for dry hands

Today in the market of cosmetics there are a large number of different creams that can relieve you of the unpleasant sensations associated with dry skin. I ranked the most effective and popular ones of them.

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Concentrated Hand Cream

This unique formula is designed specifically for people with sensitive skin. This cream does not contain all artificial flavors, so for some customers its smell will seem a little nasty. But this is not the main thing in this product. The main advantage of the cream is that it has a comprehensive effect on the skin of the hands, which includes:

  • strengthening the nail;
  • saturation of the skin with useful substances;
  • protection against external negative factors;
  • softening of the cuticle (recommended before use).

According to the instructions, you can use this tool every day. In order for you to feel the maximum effect, you need to apply it with a thin layer. The cost of this cream is 2.5 pounds.

This restorative cream is ideal for dry or prone to dry skin — it moisturizes and nourishes the skin, prevents moisture loss.

The cream contains cocoa, sesame and other vegetable oils, which are antioxidants. Also in the composition are fatty acids that nourish the skin of the hands, nails and cuticles.

The main ingredient, Shea oil, is a natural oil derived from the fruits of this tree, a valuable, nutritious addition to the moisturizing properties of the cream, protects it from environmental influences and premature aging. The cost of this product varies from 7 to 10 pounds.

Burt's Bees Shea Butter Hand Repair Cream
Roger & Gallet Bienfaits Hand and Nail Balm

Bienfaits hand and nail cream is included in the mini-collection of the legendary French brand Roger & Gallet, as well as body lotion, shower gel and the famous Eau Des Bienfaits perfume for women, whose fragrance is endowed with these cosmetics.

Cream brand Roger & Gallet can be used not only at home, but also in the office, after the pool or fitness. Apply the product on your hands and feel instant hydration, freshness and a light pleasant aroma. The price of such a cream is on average 16 pounds.

An excellent daily care product. Thanks to the unique composition, the cream is able to restore even very dry skin of the hands in a very short time.

The manufacturer claims that even the driest particles of skin will be renewed within only 5 days. This cream has thousands and millions of fans around the world.

The average price for such a lotion is 5.5 pounds.

Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair
Eucerin Dry Skin Intensive Hand Cream 5% Urea

These creams are intended for people who suffer from excessive dryness of the epidermis. The whole secret of this cosmetic product lies in a special component — urea, the concentration of which is 5%.

It helps to cope with dry skin in people with diabetes, psoriasis and other serious diseases. This unique remedy costs an average of 12 pounds.

The lightweight texture of the Loccitane Almond Delicious Hands is instantly absorbed without leaving a sticky feel. The nutritional formula enriched with almond milk and proteins restores, softens and smoothes the skin of the hands. And another unconditional advantage will be the almond flavor, which will envelop both your palms and fingers.

Active Ingredients are Almond Milk, Almond Oil, Almond Protein, Almond Tree Kidney Extract. The cost of the cream is from 8 to 9 pounds.

L'Occitane Almond Delicious Hands
The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector

Hemp oil is a natural remedy that has regenerative and antiseptic properties. 

This oil is the main component of The Body Shop hand cream, which protects the skin from the effects of adverse factors: moisture, wind, high and low temperatures. 

The price of this cream is from 5 pounds.

The rich formula of this balm soothes and softens dry and rough skin of the hands, without leaving greasy marks on it. It contains shea oil and bead seed extract (this ingredient is traditionally used in Chinese medicine).

Light balm nourishes and restores the skin of the hands, saturating it with the delicate aroma of white lotus.

After application, the skin of the hands becomes smooth, supple and acquires a feeling of comfort. The cost of the cream starts at 11 pounds for 70 milliliters.

The Ritual of Dao Night Hand Balm
Sanctuary Spa Hand Cream

Hand cream Sanctuary Spa Classic Hand Cream. This non-greasy ultra-moisturizer softens the skin and saturates it with moisture.

Balm, which includes a magnificent complex of shea oil and sweet almond, deeply nourishes and moisturizes the skin, cares for it and gives it a persistent aroma of patchouli, sandalwood and jasmine.

The expected result is smooth, supple, revitalized skin and a sense of comfort.

The simplest schemes for restoring the natural hydration of the hand skin

There are many preventative methods that can help restore the general condition of the skin:

  1. Decrease stress. A nervous state affects the correct functioning of organs and systems of the human body. The epidermis is no exception. Therefore, stress reduction is the key to beautiful and healthy skin.
  2. Ask your doctor about UV light therapy. UV treatment is a fairly popular procedure these days. Contact a dermatologist and check if you have contraindications to this procedure.
  3. Treat them overnight. As you know, beneficial substances are best absorbed during a night’s sleep. Therefore, it is important to apply cream and balms just before bedtime.
  4. Ask about prescription creams. Prescription creams are products that are made to order. Find out exactly what substances your skin lacks for a normal condition, and order a similar remedy in a pharmacy.
  5. Apply a heavy-duty moisturizer.If burning and pain become unbearable, you can apply a cream that has a strong moisturizing effect.
  6. Practice hand wraps and the use of baths with olive and coconut oils. This is a good tool for quickly eliminating discomfort when the skin is excessively dry.

How to prevent dry hands

In order to never be tormented by the unpleasant sensations associated with dry hands, you can regularly perform the following procedures. Then your skin will always look beautiful and healthy.

  1. Neosporin. This ointment is very rich in various vitamins and minerals, the lack of which in the skin of the hands can be the cause of their dryness. For best effect, I recommend using oil and paraffin compresses.
  2. Hand treatment with steam with various oils. Simply put, these are baths with hot water, in which various essential oils are added. Such procedures saturate your hands with useful substances.
  3. Use gloves. Most people neglect this rule when cleaning or working with building materials. This is a big mistake. Indeed, various chemicals can cause excessive dry hands.
  4. Take vitamins. This rule becomes especially relevant in the cold season. During this period, the body experiences a large loss of vitamin, therefore, it needs to be constantly replenished. Take vitamin complexes or eat fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins D. Be sure to agree on a vitamin regimen with your healthcare provider.
  5. Avoid rude manicures. Before entrusting your hands to an unknown person in a beauty salon, ask him if he has forgotten to sanitize the instruments before the procedure.
  6. Steer Clear of Drying Agents. Modern detergents contain elements that can adversely affect the condition of the skin of the hands. Including they can cause dry limbs. To avoid this, carefully read the composition of the purchased household chemicals. In these products must be vitamin E. It can significantly reduce the harmful effects of aggressive components on your hands.
  7. Take care of the cuticle. Inadequate care, non-use of nutritious oils, non-cutting (or improper) cutting are some of the main factors causing dryness and cracking of the skin on the cuticle. It is very important to always use sterile tools when manicuring.

Learn more about hand skin care

There are various SPA procedures for restoring dry and flaky skin of the hands, feet and elbows. This type of care perfectly complements the classic manicure and pedicure. Expanding the list of your services, you get even more grateful customers. Learn how to improve your skills and provide sought-after services in our specialized courses.