It's all very well in practice, but it will never work in theory.
- French maxim
On Friday, I wrote about my favorite cure for dry, cracked hands - super glue.
I thank the many readers who responded with solutions of their own, including a variety of over-the-counter remedies. Others have some interesting theories.
"I had the same problem for several years with cracks and cuts on my fingers," writes Jean Silva. "I had seen dermatologists for this problem and, yes, one even recommended super glue! However, I was not satisfied with this solution, because it only treated the symptom and did not get to the cause of the problem.
"I finally found the cause of my problem by a process of elimination combined with `luck.' The culprit, in my case, is caffeine - coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks - anything with caffeine in it.
"I don't think any scientific studies have been done to prove this, but I would suggest to anyone who has this problem to cut out caffeine for about a month (I can hear the screams now!) and see how their skin responds."
"You know, coffee is a diuretic and that dries you out. Then, do you drink more coffee in cold weather? Do you eat more chocolate around the holidays? Caffeine plus the cold weather could be a double whammy on the skin.
"Thought I'd let you know my story, because I remember how painful those cuts are - they feel like paper cuts!"
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"Have you tried bag balm?" writes Pat Harris of Graniteville. "It doesn't have the most pleasant smell, but it works. I put some on a cut that I had and it started healing in several hours."
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"I know the Super-Glue remedy," writes a former Midwesterner. "I learned that one when I lived in Ohio 17 years ago. I've found a remedy that seems to be working so far. I bought a bottle of plain, old, cheap glycerin. I put the opened bottle tightly against my palm, invert it and tip it upright again - so there's only a very small amount of glycerin on my hand.
"I then add a little Curel age-defying therapeutic moisturizing lotion and work the mixture into my hands thoroughly. I do this right before bed.
"I no longer have the dry finger tips or split, bleeding skin. I've found a mixture that works, and I'm not messing with success."
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MAILBAG: Late but finally here, a postcard Russell Brown of Grovetown sent in November: "Having a great vacation in Korea, visiting with family and friends. Been everywhere from the DMZ to Seoul ..."
And Michelle Smalley of Appling sends a card showing the "awesome" Shark Tunnel at the Aquarium in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
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TODAY'S JOKE: A little girl had just finished her first week of school.
"I'm wasting my time," she said to her mother. "I can't read. I can't write - and they won't let me talk!"
Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 107.