All Things Gardening forum: Ouch! My hands hurt! What's a good hand cream/ointment?

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Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Mar 25, 2015 5:48 AM CST
The skin on my hands has gotten so bad, what with washing dishes and workng in the soil, I need a remedy that's got some oomph. I really don't like wearing gloves; I can't use them to do dishes, and in the garden I used them under protest generally, but end up taking them off whenever I want to be able to do anything precise (which is most of the time.)

So my skin cracks and has the surface consistency of coarse sandpaper, and the fingertips are often painful which makes typing harder.

*whine whine*

So, who has a good recommendation for a strong hand salve I could use regularly that might help?

Anyone?

Bueller?

(Thanks in advance. Rolling my eyes. Green Grin! Thank You! )
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Mar 25, 2015 5:52 AM CST
I would suggest glove shopping. I feel the same way, they get in the way. But I did find a pair that fits tighter and has some texture to it so that they are actually more useful. I use diaper rash cream-must be the zinc oxide kind. It is thick, stays on and works wonders to heal the cracking. It would not be useful as a preventative though in your case. I'd put it on at night so it doesn't get all over or get washed off.
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Mar 25, 2015 6:10 AM CST
Good idea about the diaper rash cream. I might get some cotton gloves to wear at night but even those I'd probably end up discarding.

I do have two pairs of Nitrile gloves; they're okay. I have a heavier pair for rougher work. I do wear them sometimes, but they are not the answer I seek! :)

Most garden supply catalogs seem to carry some version of "Farmer's Hand Saver" or the like (I made that up) but I don't want to buy something based on advertising; would rather gather some wisdom here first.

I'll give the diaper rash cream a try. Anyone else?
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Mar 25, 2015 6:57 AM CST
Hey Mr Rooney, this is Ferris Bueller!

You have two things going on. First you need to allow your hands to heal. I know, easier said than done when you have to keep working. Recently the folks near me are raving about O'Keeffe's 'Working Hands' - it comes in a cute round green container. At night I use 'Miracle Foot Repair' on my hands, yep, that's what I said. It's strong enough to penetrate the thick skin on feet; it works a treat on hands.

Edited to add: I recently ordered from Marcha Labs aka Pride of Montana. They have some really great products to help working hands and are a small company. I like their Wool Wax Creme and the prices are very fair.
Their website needs work but their products are great. http://www.marchalabs.com/ http://prideofmontana.com/t/wool-wax-cream

As far as gloves are concerned, my late husband had the answer. He hated wearing gloves, but at work they supplied two types of cream which, when applied correctly work to protect the hands from either wet/water based work or oil based work; to be protected when doing a variety of tasks there are instructions how to layer the two creams. It works like an invisible glove...but it's not the same product as the one named 'Invisible Glove'.

You can buy Kerodex from many sources. If bought from a medical supply company you may pay more for it. It is available from Sears at a decent price.

Kerodex 71 for 'wet' work:
http://www.sears.com/kerodex-4-oz-kerodex-71-cream-for-wet/p...
http://www.amazon.com/Medtech-Products-Kerodex-Work-Cream/dp...

Kerodex 51 for 'oily' work:
http://prestigebrands.com/products/skin-care/kerodex.html
http://www.amazon.com/Medtech-Products-Kerodex-Oily-Cream/dp...
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - Mar 25, 2015 1:43 PM (+)]
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Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Mar 25, 2015 7:37 AM CST
That's some to go on there. Thank you most kindly, @greene!
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 25, 2015 8:05 AM CST
Neutrogena "Norwegian Formula" hand cream. Supposedly developed for Norwegian fishermen. I get the fragrance free one. It's amazing stuff, but if you try it start with just a tiny bit until you get used to the quantity needed, as it says on the carton "just a little goes a long way". It's easy to get in pharmacies and supermarkets around here. I see Amazon also has it:
http://www.amazon.com/Neutrogena-Norwegian-Formula-Cream-Fra...
EDIT: The Neutrogena web site lists the price at $4.99.
[Last edited by sooby - Mar 25, 2015 8:08 AM (+)]
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Wichita, Ks. (Zone 6a)
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rosesse
Mar 25, 2015 8:09 AM CST
You can find the Working Hands at JoAnn's fabric stores, near the checkout counter. Their website usually has coupons for 30-50% off any one item.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Mar 25, 2015 8:26 AM CST
Burt's Bees hand salve is great too.
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Mar 25, 2015 8:36 AM CST
Great, thank you all. I'll have to choose what to try first.... but I will make a list and look around.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Mar 25, 2015 8:37 AM CST
Corn Huskers Lotion always worked for us. I finally gave in to gloves.
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Mar 25, 2015 8:42 AM CST
@greene, I just looked at that Marcha Labs website and see no way to order (and no price listed). What am I missing?

Confused

ETA: Tried their "contact us" and was asked for a username and password, which of course I don't have. Hmm.
[Last edited by kylaluaz - Mar 25, 2015 8:47 AM (+)]
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Mar 25, 2015 9:38 AM CST
Yep, that was not the best link. Here you go:

http://prideofmontana.com/t/wool-wax-cream

Please read their note about shipping charges. When you make fill out the order the system adds shipping for each item but don't worry. They adjust the final cost to reflect one combined shipping charge which is very reasonable. You just need to have faith.

One note.
I hate 'smelly things' so I ordered the unscented for myself and the scented one to share. Their scented product doesn't stink - it smells very pleasant.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Mar 25, 2015 10:42 AM CST
Have you tried vitamin E oil on your hands at night with cotton gloves it can heal your hands rapidly. One of my sons had sore hands to the point of rawness, I had him use the vitamin E oil and the next day his hands looked so good it was surprising. Another cream that works well for dry hands is Amlactin Ultra we buy the tube that has thick cream, saw the info on this one in Reader's Digest.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
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Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Mar 25, 2015 10:46 AM CST
Thanks! @greene. That worked nicely.
[Last edited by kylaluaz - Mar 25, 2015 10:47 AM (+)]
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Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Mar 25, 2015 10:49 AM CST
Hi Betty -- nope, have not tried that but it's now on my list. Thanks much, and to everyone else who's responded (and will perhaps) -- this ought to be useful to others who float through with the same concern. Smiling
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Mar 25, 2015 11:02 AM CST
I encourage you to wear garden gloves it makes a huge difference. Just find some that are comfortable to you. I never use to wear gloves until I found some that are comfortable to me now I always wear them.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
Faith is the postage stamp on our prayers!
Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Mar 25, 2015 11:10 AM CST
Coconut oil.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Mar 25, 2015 12:54 PM CST
Betty, I've tried wearing gloves, and do some of the time. But it isn't the answer.

Bonehead, thanks, that's one I've not tried. I have been putting olive oil on my hands and that does help, just not enough.

Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Mar 25, 2015 1:42 PM CST
One thing not yet mentioned is nutrition. Dry/cracked skin could be a sign that the body may be lacking in certain nutrients, possibly essential fatty acids.

(Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on television. Rolling on the floor laughing )
One of the simplest solutions to add Omega-3 fatty acid is to eat more fish (Sardines or Salmon are two examples) if you are able but it's just as easy to sprinkle Flaxseeds or Walnuts here and there on your food. There are many foods that contain healthy fats; eggs, peanut butter, tuna, pumpkin seeds, the list goes on.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

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texaskitty111
Mar 25, 2015 1:56 PM CST
Also, if none of the above is satisfactory, I've found that aberto VO5 works better than any hand creams, better than the expensive hand cream my doctor prescribed. Its cheap, the tube lasts a long time, doesnt smell bad, it soaks right in at bedtime, and i dont have to wear the hated gloves.
Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)

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