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It’s so dry!

This post is about my hands’ dryness right before winter. Yes, all that text below, all talking about my dry knuckles. If you’re easily bored, check out some other post on my site.

 

A bit more than a week ago, my hands started to be drier than usual. Every year, right before winter, they do that. They dry up a lot for about two weeks, then stay a bit dry for the rest of the hard Canadian winter. I usually just put a moisturizer a few times a day, and doing that keeps the dryness at bay.

But this year, I wondered if they were less dry. That seems like a good test! It was more sensitive than painful, so it really didn’t bother me that much. In fact, just the day before, I was clenching my fist, then looking at the tiny beads of blood appearing between the cracks. And by the way, only the knuckles are drying up – no idea why.

To be more precise about how my hands were, I can actually see the progression. At their worst (Wednesday, in fact), my right little finger’s knuckle was a bloody mess of cracked skin beyond recognition. The ring finger next to it was cracked and bloody, but the middle finger was almost correct. I was still surprised to notice that was left hand was 96% okay. That day, I started applying a moisturizer regularly, but only on the ring finger. The middle finger I licked – both to try a natural way to hydrate it, and to clean the wounds.

Today, four days after the worst, the little finger is healing up very nicely – faster than I anticipated. The ring finger is a beautiful moisturized marvel, and the middle finger has stopped cracking two days ago. Unfortunately for my test, it is very noticeably dry and scaly – all the proof I needed that licking a wound, although most likely helping it heal, actually dries it (the salt in the saliva, maybe). The index finger is itchy, but stopped bleeding earlier today. The thumb is a bit itchy too, but didn’t really bleed.

The land of dryness has spread to my left hand, though not like the mess it was on the right. Weirdly, the most affected place is the area between the index and middle fingers – cracked and itchy. It feels like it would bleed again if I stretch the fingers too much. There are also cracks here and there on the fingers, and I think the little finger is going to flare up tomorrow.

 

Do you have any idea what it felt like, when I first put the moisturizer on my right ring finger when it was raw? The feeling was incredible – similar to when you have an abscess or a wound, and your body is so used to feeling it hurt than you just don’t feel it anymore, but then suddenly the pain is gone, and you’re left with a weird sensation of relief. My ring finger had an orgasm.

But what if the body remembers? When you take too much Tylenol or whatever painkiller, the body gets used to it, and demands more (by making your head hurt more often). Imagine that, year after year, my knuckles dry up, more and more, because my hands are demanding some moisturizer when the winter comes? I think it would be important (at least for someone like me who thinks long-term) to suffer a bit for two weeks, but then the hands dry less the following years. Anyway, I’ll check my right ring finger – the only one that received moisturizer – next year, when they dry up again.

 

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