healing split fingertips with wound-closure strips
SPLIT FINGERTIPS, ANYONE? Ouch. From the start of winter into early spring, that’s my main complaint, and nonstop snow-shoveling and serious cold do nothing to speed relief. I whined to an esthetician friend the other day, and she listened for a moment, then stopped me with two words: wound strips.
If you’ve had beat-up fingertips, you have probably gone through a lot of Band-Aids, but how practical are they, except overnight? They’re clumsy when typing, and when cooking, or washing hands—not good. If they get damp, the pad portion holds moisture, which doesn’t seem to promote healing, either; the little strips don’t do that. And ripping off a big old swath of adhesive from a split finger when the bandage is either wet or soiled, or you want to apply more balm? Ouch.
Instead, my friend said, just put the tiniest dab of something emollient on the troubled spot—Bag Balm or Farmer’s Friend or A&D or whatever you like—then cover the crack up with a portion cut from one of the many quarter-inch-wide strips in each package. (The breathable adhesive strips are usually used in multiples, to secure small cuts and wounds, and even after suture or staple removal to improve cosmetic results. I used maybe one-third of one strip–of which there are 30 in a box–per fingertip, playing with the positioning depending which way the finger was cracked.)
Don’t pull the crack closed forcefully with the strip, but rather start by lining up the skin edges, the directions say, then apply the strip to one side leading right up to the wound. Next, without any tension or pulling, apply the other half. With a crack under one nail, I positioned the strip as in the photo above. Remember: These little strips are adhesive, so use care when removing.
I can type with them on. If I wash my hands one too many times and one eventually needs replacing, no big waste of material. The narrow design of each strip is plenty to protect what’s injured, but not so much to get in the way. In unscientific testing on two very unhappy fingertips at my house: fast success. My experiment continues.