Saturday, February 6, 2010

Chillblains and Fingernail Polish

I have long adhered to a suggestion of Joseph Campbell- if you read a book that really moves you, then read that writer's entire body of work. In the early 1980's I began a journey through the books of Charles Dickens.

His evocative characters, exposure of the indignities and ignorance of poverty, and marvelous story lines held me spell bound through the years. Dickens is not subtle. There is no moral ambiguity. If a person is unkempt or slovenly, they are sure to be thoroughly and terminally bad. This appealed to me in my youth. I also enjoyed mentally living in this world.

So, when, in my thirties, I started experiencing little cuts around my finger tips, I thought of Bob Cratchit, hovering over a tiny flame in  Old Scrooge's office.

Chillblains. Through the miracle of the internet machine, I now know that chillblains are an inflammation of the small blood vessels on your extremities. I provide you with this definition to spare you from the horrible photos produced when googling the word, "chillblains". But years ago, to my romantic imagination, it sounded like a perfect word for a condition that until recently, I thought only Bob Cratchit and I suffered.

Now, I know that my friends Lupie and Gail have that condition also.

Imagine half a dozen deep paper cuts around the tips of your fingers and around your cuticles. It is more than inconvenient. It is quite painful.

Bandaids are expensive and futile. Liquid Bandage is an excellent option. When you put it on, expect about 5 seconds of pain. Once it dries, expect the cut to clear up in a few days.

This winter (it seems to be a cold weather condition) I have been experimenting. This seems to be the most effective treatment. Try it before bed in the morning:

1. Wash your hands.
2. Put Lotil cream on your hands, rubbing it into the little cuts.
3. Next morning, put clear fingernail polish on the cuts.

YES. I sincerely believe that clear, cheap, 99 cent fingernail polish is identical to "Liquid Bandage". I will probably get a rude message from the makers of Liquid Bandage. But that is my story, and I am sticking to it.
So, no yarn or knitting for this post. But hopefully, it will help all of you crafters out there.


  1. I know my Raynaud's syndrome makes my hands turn odd colors but never had a name for all those cuts. I will try clear fingernail polish because I look like Michael Jackson with all the Bandages I need to use. Now that I know he had Lupus maybe he had this as well.

  2. I was just thinking about Bob the other day when we had Christmas Geese on sale at my local grocery store and they were 50 bucks and I thought "no wonder the Cratchets couldn't afford them"