Originally created 02/08/00

Readers offer relief for digits



Let our finger ache, and it induces our other healthful members even to that sense of pain.

-- William Shakespeare

Forget politics.

Don't worry about the weather.

What most people seem to want to know about these days is how to fix those painfully cracked finger tips so common this time of year.

When I recently mentioned my own wintertime affliction with this problem, many folks, like Anne Ristine and Jerry Baxter, wrote in to ask if I'd come across any solutions.

Yes, I have.

And while I'm not supposed to endorse products, let me share some reader suggestions.

Carl Champlin wrote: "My father-in-law operated a dairy farm for 50-plus years. His hands and fingers were always cracking and sore because they were exposed to cold water, soap and scrub cloths, in the wintertime -- Upstate New York in the snow belt.

"He started applying `Bag Balm' to them, after milking, and amazingly enough his hands turned into `Jergens Soft' hands."

(I know what you mean, Mr. Champlin. I had an uncle who raised cattle for years, and he swore by a product called `Udder Balm.' Unfortunately, I have not had as much success with it.)

Another suggestion came from Charlie Potts down in Millen, Ga., who turned 72 last week. (Happy birthday, Charlie.) He called to say he has had the best success with Neutrogena hand cream/Norwegian formula. ("A little dab on a crack will heal it almost right away.")

He said most people advise using Curel because it is a hand lotion that does not contain alcohol.

Even my mother offered relief. Concerned about my digital livelihood, she sent a product called Zim's Crack Creame, made by Perfecta Products in Youngstown, Ohio.

I haven't tried it yet, but I figure they know about cold weather ailments in that part of the country.

But by far, the most unique solution came from Barbara Seaborn, local author and musician.

She dropped by Friday to share that she has had wonderful success using a stick of "Krazy-Glue" to close the cracked finger fissures so common this time of year.

I haven't tried this one yet; I guess because I'm scared I'll accidentally stick my fingers together. But Barbara says it works.

* * *

Pat Carter sent along another cold weather tip -- avoiding static shock.

She writes: "Keep your hand on the metal frame of your door until you are outside of your car and feet are grounded."

* * *

TODAY'S JOKE: A business traveler walks into the airport with three pieces of luggage and tells the baggage clerk, "Hi, I'm going to New York. But I want you to send this suitcase to Cleveland, this suitcase to Toronto and this suit bag to Florida."

The airline agent said, "We can't do that."

"Why not?" asks the traveler. "You did it last week."

Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 107.