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It depends on what's causing your dry skin. For example, if you wash dishes frequently in hot water, wear gloves. Or if you often wash your hands with harsh, drying soaps, switch to a milder soap if possible and rinse well.
Begin healing your thumb tips by sealing the cracks with a liquid bandage and moisturizing your hands several times a day, especially while they are still damp from handwashing. Use a thick moisturizer, such as CeraVe, Eucerin or Cetaphil.
It may also help to treat the affected skin with a heavier, oil-based cream or petroleum jelly (Vaseline, Aquaphor Healing Ointment, others) while you're sleeping. As part of your bedtime routine, apply the moisturizer to the dry, cracked skin on your thumb tips and cover them with cotton gloves or gauze secured with tape.
Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.
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