Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Open Comment Thread: Healthy Hands in Winter

It's the coldest part of the year in many parts of North America and Europe, as well as one of the busiest times of the concert season.

How do you maintain healthy hands at this unforgiving time of the year?

Leave a comment below to share your trials and solutions in dealing with dry skin, eczema, shredded nails, and searching for that perfect brand of glove that can keep hands warm at -20C.


  1. Skin creme: small bottle of Glysomed. Relatively inoffensive odour, absorbs quickly.

    There's a DIY solution for skin creme over at Kuro5hin that looks intriguing.

    Gloves: big thick sheepskin.

    Shredded nails: From a dietary deficiency? If I'm totally stuck, my fingernails are cleaving and I absolutely must play, I've gotten fake acrylic nails, then cut them down to size. I've tried bandaids and gauze tape, but to no avail. Totally weird, yes, but it sort of works...

  2. Regarding healthy nails, I've heard from guitarists that the gelatin in jello can help, as well as calcium supplements. Ox tail soup is also a favorite remedy among guitarists, and an excuse to go to your friendly neighborhood Jamaican takeout.

  3. My student gave me a really lovely pair of gloves - black "velvet" with a Thinsulate lining, and I've been wearing them since she gave them to me without exception. I've been known to wear two pairs of gloves (those cheap "magic stretch" gloves under real gloves) when I've lived in nastier locales. I also sometimes wear armwarmers, long knit tubes that cover the hands, but have holes for fingers, and I've been known to practice with them still on.

    I get split skin on my finger pads and torn up cuticles, and I hate it so much. But I can't stand putting lotion on my hands during the day, as I feel greasy when I play for hours after. So, before bed at night many nights, I coat my hands with whatever heavy duty moisturizer (sometimes even Vaseline, never girly stuff since it's not strong enough) and sleep with cotton "beauty" gloves on. Sometimes I use a scrub first, especially one loaded with various oils. Most men probably don't want to do this, though...!

  4. NewSkin (clear, brush-on, anti-septic liquid bandage) is a good alternative to regular band-aids for split skin on finger pads.