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How to Care for Skin Cracks

How to Care for Skin Cracks How to Care for Skin Cracks

Overview

Skin cracks are not simple cases of dry skin. Cracked skin is dry skin that has become so damaged by dry, cold weather or from chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema that the skin splits, forming a fissure. Skin cracks can be very painful and must be cared for to prevent infection.

Step 1

Moisturize your cracked skin in the bath or shower. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), soap can actually dry your skin more, so forgo the cleanser. Soak your skin cracks in plain, lukewarm water for 15 to 20 minutes and pat dry with a towel to prevent further irritation to the fissures.

Step 2

Apply moisturizing products to your cracked skin immediately after your soak to seal in moisture. Unscented moisturizing creams and lotions can help hydrate your skin fissures. Petroleum jelly works as well, forming a barrier from dirt and other debris that could lead to infection.

Step 3

Ask your doctor if your skin cracks are severe enough to warrant using a topical medication. The Mayo Clinic reports that some people with skin fissures may require a combination of medicated ointments and wet dressings to promote healing. The NIH addresses the problem of skin cracks in people who have incontinence problems--who are more prone to skin problems--with the use of anti-fungal creams. Your doctor will need to examine you to determine the best course of action to take with medications.

Step 4

Relieve some of the pain associated with cracked skin with the common household strong bonding glue. Rodney Basler, a dermatologist associated with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, explains that the glue acts as a barrier that can reduce nerve pain. Air that enters the fissures can irritate the nerve endings that are exposed. Glue closes up the gap that is created by the fissure and reduces the pain.

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