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#1109266 - 02/20/08 09:46 AM how do I prevent or treat a split fingertip?  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 176
Laura D Offline
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Laura D  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 176
Pennsylvania
I have been fighting a recurring split fingertip since the beginning of January. It seems to come from nowhere. It does not seem to be a skin dryness problem, as the crack comes up from deeper layers of tissue and I can feel it before I see it.

I have been using New Skin (sort of like clear nail polish), which does allow me to practice, but yesterday after I had practiced about 2-3 minutes on a spot that had me jumping off that finger, I noticed the crack had opened up and there was blood all around my fingernail.

I guess one solution would be to quit playing this stuff and play just nice slow gentle easy pieces, but that is sure not what I want to do. I have been working on things with lots of very fast scales and other bits that require plenty of jumping off that middle finger. What can I do to keep from splitting the fingertip?

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#1109267 - 02/20/08 09:53 AM Re: how do I prevent or treat a split fingertip?  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 212
Lizzy1234 Offline
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Lizzy1234  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 212
St. Louis
I've put Super Glue on mine before - definitely not standard medical treatment, but it works. Similar to your New Skin idea, only stronger. It'll burn 'til it dries, then last several days. The bonus is, it gives the spot a chance to heal. As an aside, maybe some vitamins are in order for you, especially iron? Liz

#1109268 - 02/20/08 11:47 AM Re: how do I prevent or treat a split fingertip?  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 176
Laura D Offline
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Laura D  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 176
Pennsylvania
I have wondered about vitamins but I do take a multi-vitamin-mineral supplement and several other supplements as well, plus I do eat very well. As far as iron, it makes me sick every time I take it, and my counts have always been at the high end of normal.

#1109269 - 02/20/08 11:47 AM Re: how do I prevent or treat a split fingertip?  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,546
sophial Offline
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sophial  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,546
US
when this happens to me I put Neosporin ointment and a band aid on it before going to bed and it usually is much better the next day. A few days/nights of this and it usually heals. the New Skin can sometimes work too but seems to dry out the skin.

Sophia

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#1109270 - 02/20/08 11:58 AM Re: how do I prevent or treat a split fingertip?  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,983
lilylady Offline
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lilylady  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,983
boston north
This subject recently came up on the Pianists Corner - you might want to search for ideas other than my copied note below. Title was WINTER FINGERS.

I would never do this on the day I am going to practice but will share some great healing gels.

First is BAG BALM. I learned about this from fellow gardeners. We sometimes get those horrid splits on finger 2, thumbside. Bag balm is a vasaline like gel that was created for Cow's Utters. Yup, you read that correctly! It has medicinal properties and in a day or two of using, it cures those splits. I only have to use it in the winter a few times. I use it at night time and not too heavily as it takes a while to soak in. Water would run off and pianos would be ruined! Has a little odor so not for use on Valentine's Day!!!
But...it is my first recommendation. Buy from pharmacy.

Second is Badger Healing Balm, made from olive oil, beeswax, castor oil, oloe vera, oil of sweet birch. Nice. Buy online if you can't find it local. Great stuff.

Third was a gift from another gardener and more for women as it smells feminine. Camille Beckman's Oriental Spice. I use this when I need to go public!

LL


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
#1109271 - 02/20/08 12:14 PM Re: how do I prevent or treat a split fingertip?  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 176
Laura D Offline
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Laura D  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 176
Pennsylvania
I have Bag Balm, and somehow it does not fix my problem. It does not seem to be caused by dry skin, although the dryness of winter probably does make it worse.

#1109272 - 02/20/08 12:20 PM Re: how do I prevent or treat a split fingertip?  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
apple* Offline
apple*  Offline


Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
Kansas
it's the cold.. lanolin or bag balm or another intense moisturizer and a bandaid upon retiring, as another poster suggested is the way to go.

i make little finger coats out of a strip of Coban.. and can actually play while wearing this strip on my fingertip(s).

also wear gloves while doing anything that might hurt your hands. (housework)


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)
#1109273 - 02/20/08 01:07 PM Re: how do I prevent or treat a split fingertip?  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 243
RatMan Offline
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RatMan  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 243
Bonneville Salt Flats
Super glue has been used by many string instrument players (yes, I realize the piano is a string instrument) to close splits, wounds or just to provide a tough surface to the fingertip.

I've used it many times while playing bass. I've also used it in other ways, like closing a cut on other parts of the body. It's worked well for me.

There's something to be aware of, though. Many formulations of cyanoacrylates (super glue) contain methyl alcohol and can give off heat during the process of curing. For most applications this isn't a problem. But when used in very tender areas or a thick layer is applied, the heat can be uncomfortable.

This was tested fairly thoroughly by medics during the VietNam war. It proved to be very effective in saving lives, but care had to be taken to prevent excess heat which could not only be painful but could cause further tissue damage.

A product called Histoacryl Blue has been used in Europe to close wounds for a long time and was approved last year by the FDA for limited use in the US. It contains butyl-esters rather than methyl alcohol. Other medical-grade forms of cyanoacrylates use different esters to replace the methyl alcohol.

What I wasn't able to find in a relatively quick web search was a retail supplier for medical-grade cyanoacrylates. It may be available but I couldn't find it. In the meanwhile, if one of my fingertip calluses splits, I'll just use plain old super glue.


RatMan
1961 Hammond M-101, Casio Digital kb, a coupla basses and some other stuff.
Canon 40D and a half-full camera bag.
If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing (I ain't thru doin the camera thing.)
http://www.chevyasylum.com
http://www.raytherat.com
#1109274 - 02/20/08 02:02 PM Re: how do I prevent or treat a split fingertip?  
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,483
signa Offline
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signa  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,483
Ohio, USA
put some tape on finger tips would work. you know that Alfred Brendel is famous for that: he always wraps all his finger tips with tapes when he plays.

#1109275 - 02/20/08 02:10 PM Re: how do I prevent or treat a split fingertip?  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,899
LisztAddict Offline
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LisztAddict  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,899
Florida
Take vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

#1109276 - 02/20/08 07:12 PM Re: how do I prevent or treat a split fingertip?  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 670
crusadar Offline
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crusadar  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 670
Middle England
In the UK we have an ointment called "E45" which is excellent for speeding healing of wounds and particularly skin cracking, usually caused by skin getting wet in severe cold...in the UK. I'm not sure what the active ingredients are but there must be an equivalent in the USA.

#1109277 - 02/20/08 07:26 PM Re: how do I prevent or treat a split fingertip?  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 728
MarkL Offline
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MarkL  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 728
Chicago Suburban
I lube up my hands at night before bed, particularly under and around the nails, with any kind of hand cream and then wear socks on my hands to keep the lube on. When I have really bad fingers I lube them up and wear thin rubber mechanics gloves for a few hours during the day. The humidity in the glove adds to the moisturizing effect. I never tried wearing these to bed, I was afraid it might lead to some kind of bacterial culture growing in the glove.


Yamaha P90
#1109278 - 02/20/08 11:20 PM Re: how do I prevent or treat a split fingertip?  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,899
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member
LisztAddict  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,899
Florida
I just remember I bought a 4oz jar of O'Keeffe's Working Hands Creme at Costco a while ago when I had painful cracks and splits around the finger nails, and it healed up the skin quite well.

#1109279 - 02/20/08 11:35 PM Re: how do I prevent or treat a split fingertip?  
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 989
Kawaigirl1 Offline
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Kawaigirl1  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 989
Toronto
I use tape on my fingers, just like what the gymnast or golfer uses. It minimizes the split in my fingers.

#1109280 - 02/21/08 12:25 AM Re: how do I prevent or treat a split fingertip?  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,289
mr_super-hunky Offline
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mr_super-hunky  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,289
The source of your problems is in your diet. Everything else is just a bandaid; literally!.

Eat more fish. loaded with omega 3 oils. start with salmon.

The best *ointment* to ever be on the market was called "sperti". It contained real shark liver oil but is no longer made. The closest product available today is preparation H. Forget what you *think* it's used for, try it on your hands for a while as well as eat good healthy fish (omega 3) oils.

#1109281 - 02/21/08 12:49 AM Re: how do I prevent or treat a split fingertip?  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 243
RatMan Offline
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RatMan  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 243
Bonneville Salt Flats
Thanks, S-H, but I think I'll stick to superglue and lanolin. Ohh...and gloves. This will my first year trying to keep up with piano practice and hotrodding (and track photography.) Gonna be interesting. I think I'm gonna need another set of gloves for the time when my Model A's rear axle goes back into place after a rebuild. I sure hope I don't damage the string calluses or otherwise mess my hands up but I gotta get that Model A running and outta my garage so I can do some other projects. Like getting my race car running and ready for the salt flats in August. Might make it, might not. My El Camino needs an overdrive transmission (I have one sitting on the garage floor, but don't have anywhere to do the swap until the A's outta there.)

Think I might need an industrial-sized container of bag balm? smile

pics of the project cars are here: The Chevy Asylum Enter the Asylum to see photo journals of my projects...and the "dearly departed" cars I've had to let go of. I really miss the 67 Camaro RS/SS that I sold a couple og years ago. Bummer, huh?


There are also photos of most of the Land Speed Racing meets on the salt flats going back a few years. I have yet to race. frown Maybe this year.

Hotrodding and racing are my first loves. Music ain't far behind, but I'm sure it's gonna take a huge effort to keep both interests moving forward.


RatMan
1961 Hammond M-101, Casio Digital kb, a coupla basses and some other stuff.
Canon 40D and a half-full camera bag.
If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing (I ain't thru doin the camera thing.)
http://www.chevyasylum.com
http://www.raytherat.com
#1109282 - 02/21/08 02:06 AM Re: how do I prevent or treat a split fingertip?  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 216
polostrings Offline
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polostrings  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 216
Hawaii
If the above doesn't work, see a dermatologist. Could be an infection, fungal or bacterial in nature? Could be a reactive condition like and eczema or psoriasis? Prescription meds will be in order. smile


Aloha!
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