Like any good mechanic, Earl would confirm and evaluate the customer's problem before taking any actions himself. You do the same thing. You have hard working hands, but do you really have a problem caused by chemically imbalanced soaps and abrasive cleaners?
Check the pads of your fingers by running them along a sheer surface, like a knitted sweater or silk or nylon. If they pull and sound like sandpaper that means you have a lot of peeling epidermis – like a file has sharp edges to grind material away.
Check the surface of the back of your hand and fingers, especially the knuckles. Skin has a convoluted grain, like an alligator, that helps it stretch and spring back into shape as our bodies move. If you can see white outlines that define that grain fairly easily, your skin is very dry. When healthy, those valleys are filled with moisture that keeps their color the same as the adjacent peaks.
Check your cuticles, those areas of the skin that are next to your nails. In extreme cases, when your hands are very dry, your cuticles will pull away from your nails, and in some cases, develop deep cracks that can become tender or even bleed.
Finally, check your hand's moisture content by rubbing your finger tips together and listening. This is the most refined test, and takes a good ear. The more moisture your hands contain, the better able they are to absorb sound, meaning quieter fingertips.
|These hands have an extreme case of dermatitis. (read more)
Why is moisture important?
Our bodies, and every one of our cells are made to work optimally with a certain amount of moisture within them. Like an engine needs a certain level of oil, or a plant needs a certain amount of rain and sunlight, our bodies simply work better when our fluid levels are 'topped off.' (read more)