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I have built up calluses enough to avoid most fingertip pain from playing guitar and bass, but I have rough and slightly cracked fingertips. My fretting hand isn’t bad, but my right hand is very rough from playing the bass:

rough fingertips

The cracks are a bit painful (especially when playing), and I have a tendency to make them worse by nibbling at the rough edges. Gently smoothing out the rough edges with a nail file helps, but I’d like to know if there’s something better I can do to treat or prevent this.

I have seen this earlier question about painful fingertips, which has good advice about keeping your fingers dry and your skin clean, but I would like some more specific advice for preventing and treating fingertip damage.

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in a pinch, super glue is super effective for skin that's trying to tear. Probably not so good as a long term solution, though. –  Wayne Werner May 17 at 4:10

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

This is pretty normal, and there are popular and effective solutions, including:

  • Common moisturisers
  • Vaseline and hand lotions
  • Emery boards to take off any sharp corners
  • Using gentle soaps like Dove which don't dry the skin

It really isn't much different to a normal skincare regime. Note that it’s important to keep the skin flexible without weakening it, so use only gentle moisturisers, lotions, and soaps, preferably natural ones.

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Several answers to the linked question recommend against using moisturizers on your fingertips. Could you elaborate on that? Is it a matter of finding the right balance, or is it more of a timing thing? –  Bradd Szonye May 15 at 23:06
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I have always heard it is all about natural, gentle moisturisers. I use only natural ones., so as not to weaken the skin but keep it flexible –  Dr Mayhem May 15 at 23:11

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