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Literally Getting Thin Skin

Discussion in 'Woodturning Health & Safety' started by Murray Powell, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Murray Powell

    Murray Powell

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    I seem to be losing the ability to build up hand/finger callouses, and my skin is much more susceptible to cuts as I age. Welcome to getting older, say my friends. Besides wearing gloves, has anyone found a cream or such to help toughen up skin?
     
  2. John Torchick

    John Torchick Likes Getting Catches

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    Do like I do.......just don't get older. OK, so it doesn't work. Believe it or not, there is a product at our local Ace Hardware store. It's called Monkey Butt; hand lotion for people who work in things like construction, masonry, etc. You might try it.
     
  3. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    It's actually called Anti Monkey Butt.
     
  4. Hy Tran

    Hy Tran

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    Look for barrier creams or industrial barrier creams. These are hand lotions (I suppose similar to the above-mentioned M-B) that supposedly protect the hands (not as well as gloves).

    Another alternative: Back when I used to do more hiking, it was recommended to apply tincture of benzoin to the feet, to help the feet get tougher and prevent blisters. I don't know how much of this is lore, though.

    Finally: Look up "anti blister cream" or "blister prevention cream". A number of products are available that claim to reduce friction (I'm not sure I like that, though--I want to have good friction between my hands hand holding the gouge!) and chafing.

    None of this should be considered medical advice, etc.
     
  5. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I discovered when I was in high school taking biology that formalin (formaldehyde and methanol) will literally tan your hide. Nobody used rubber gloves back then. This also, is not good medical advice. One might even say that it is really bad advice.
     
  6. RichColvin

    RichColvin

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    Wow ! We used to recommend the same thing when I was in the Army. Great stuff, but turned your feet orange.

    Rich.
     
  7. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Not sure if you can get Tr Benzoin anymore. As a pharmacist I have not had a call for it in over 30 years. There are several products for cracked skin but I am not sure there is any for "creating callouses" .Did some research and Retin A or retinoic acid will work but is usually used for acne and will redden the skin. If you can get it be careful not to get it in your eyes.
     
  8. Murray Powell

    Murray Powell

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    Many thanks to all for these replies. I am auditioning a lotion, and will report back if the results are interesting.
    I do believe the bottom line appears to be, "Be more careful. And, suck it up, Old Guy."

    BTW, I have it on a doctor friend's authority that it's OK to close up a cut with CA glue. I have a cut near pointer finger nail that I kept re-opening...
     
  9. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    There is a different surgical formulation of superglue that doesn't contain some of the potentially harmful chemicals and also doesn't fume when it comes in contact with skin. However, it isn't something that you can buy. Your skin is getting too dry. Don't handle any chemicals without using disposable nitrile gloves. I also wear them them when washing dishes. If you use any household cleaners also wear the gloves then. Keep your skin moisturized by using O'Keeffe's Working Hands. I get it at the local Ace Hardware. It really works.

    To treat existing cracked fingers I use Neosporin and cover the cracks with a bandage.
     
  10. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    With due respect, none of the various preparations of cyanoacrylate are harmful. Irritating to mucous membranes, like eyes and mouth, but not harmful. That being said, there are several keys to getting a good result with CA for lacerations. CA works best on places where the skin doesn't move a lot, such as a forehead and not a wrist.

    Assuming you've thoroughly cleaned the wound with lots of clean water, here's how.
    First, you don't put the glue IN the cut. If you do, it will slow healing rather than speed it. If you get it into your eye, it'll be a giant problem. (for those of you who get painful splits from eczema or thick calluses, putting CA into the crack will relieve the pain but also slow the healing)
    Second, you have to close the cut and put the CA on top--which is really hard to do, even with 2 hands. If you're trying to do it on yourself, it's nearly impossible. Having a helper makes a big difference, but the helper has to be really careful not to get glued to you in the process. The commercial products have a little cotton ball stuck in the end of a cardboard tube to help control application. I'd suggest medium viscosity or gap filling CA.
    Third, hold the wound closed until the CA is fully cured, which is not an "instant".
    Fourth, apply three coats.
    Fifth, keep the glue on for as long as possible. Don't apply any antibiotic ointment. Keep the wound dry for as long as possible. If things pop open within the first day or so, you can repeat the process, but any later than that, you're probably better off leaving it alone to fill in over time.​

    Disclaimer: I can't evaluate your wound and I'm not recommending you treat your wounds this way. This is entirely your choice. If you follow these steps, you're doing so at your own risk and if something bad happens, I'm not giving you my house, lathe, stash of wood, or anything beyond sympathy.
     
  11. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Since regular CA has never undergone a clinical trial, we can't state unequivocally how safe it is, however, I do agree with the gist of what you are saying. For surgical use it was easier to develop a similar glue that was more flexible and didn't have the fuming exothermic reaction that we know all too well when we accidentally get it on our skin. Here is a site that give a little more information on the subject: http://www.realfirstaid.co.uk/superglue/

    Our fingertips have lots of nerve endings which is the reason that such tiny cracks are so painful and why those of us who suffer from this problem are so desperate for relief. I have had moderate pain relief and healing using clobetasol that was prescribed by my dermatologist. The best solution is to avoid doing things that can dry out your skin. Hot water and soap or detergents are bad. Strong household cleaners like Simple Green are even harder on your hands. Chemicals like alcohol, acetone, MEK, naphtha, lacquer thinner, toluene, etc are the worst. I buy disposable nitrile gloves at Harbor Freight and I get every type (3, 5, 7, and 9 mil thickness).
     
  12. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    I made a quick survey of the medical literature. There are rare cases, usually industrial, where people have developed allergic reactions to CA, but after 30 years of a wide range of medical uses both inside and outside the human body, there are essentially no serious reactions to the glue reported. With millions of regular people using ordinary superglue every year, if there was a significant hazard, it would be clearly evident.

    I believe my statement is correct: CA in our context can be irritating, but not harmful.
     
  13. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

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    Are you looking for a temporary or permanent solution? Entire hand(s) or finger(s) protection ? How about something like "New-Skin" (first aid antiseptic liquid bandage) .... although that could be messy because you have to let it dry .... and expensive! Better yet, how about that green safety tape that sticks to itself? It can be purchased from many sources, but here is one.....
    https://www.treelineusa.com/3-4-inch-finger-tape.html
     
  14. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    For the cracks Corn Huskers lotion or Bag Balm are good. For the extremely painful cracks there used to be a product called Crack It but I cannot find reference to it now.
     
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