The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help for Sore Fingertips?

sheri_b's picture

Help for Sore Fingertips?

I have developed a bad case of eczema on my fingertips from working so much with dough (probably the yeast).  I have tried the hydrocortizone creams and even the tape.  The dermatologist says the only thing to do to get better is stop baking bread.  I can't bear the thought of giving up baking (and eating!) bread.  Has anyone else had this problem?  Did you find something (anything) that helped?   

flournwater's picture

Surgical gloves might work.  Your local pharmacy probably has them.

mcs's picture

I don't know if this would specificially apply to eczema, but this is what I've found helpful for sore fingers:

1.  I apply Bag Balm on my hands before I do dishes, then rubber gloves over that.  After washing dishes for 15 minutes, a lot gets absorbed and they feel better.  If they get really bad, then Bag Balm or Aquaphor on the hands and cotton gloves when I sleep.  (It looks quite attractive).

2.  In small cracks on the fingertips, I apply super glue / crazy glue.  Yes, it sounds weird, but it feels better instantly and sticks.  I use the regular (not the gel stuff) liquidy glue. 

Nothing worse than sore hands when you're working with dough.

Good luck,


siuflower's picture

I used to have this problem with  my finger just split open all the time. Finally,  I read it in Dear Abby  that Preparation H will stop my finger from spilt open. So I tried it and put it on at night before I go to bed. Sure enough it stop my finger split open and the problem went away never occur again. I recommended it to serveral people had the same problem and they tried the ointment and it work. I learn that Preparation H have hgih % of shark oil in it and I hope this information help.



althetrainer's picture

Penaten is a diaper rash cream made in Canada.  I've heard it's very good in treating ezcema.  Put some on before bedtime, wear cotton glove or wrap you fingers with linen so not to soil your bed sheets.  Wear the cream during the day if possible.  It should clear it up in a few days.  If you cannot find it locally, You can but it on



sheri_b's picture

Thank you so much for your suggestions.  I'll try some of the bedtime ointment-type suggestions first since I can't stand the thought of not having my hands directly in the dough.  But if they don't work I'll try the gloves.  I guess half a loaf is better than none.

MsL's picture

Hi.  I had a similar problem from kneading the dough. It was excruciatingly painful, like having a thousand cuts on my hands and a few big gashes on my fingertips. It was caused by the added enzymes in the flour.  When I use flour with no added enzymes, i am fine. I now use King Arthur flour and Trader Joe's flour and no longer have the problem.  I'd like to hear back if that helps you, too.

wassisname's picture

Thank you for bringing this up.  I have been racking my brain trying to figure out why I always have sore fingertips these days.  First I thought I was getting tiny splinters from somewhere, but it kept on happening.  It did coincide with my taking up bread baking, but I didn't think that could actually be the problem.  Shows what I know!  At least now I have something to go on.  Thanks!

dwfender's picture

This happens to me all the time as well. I have bad eczema on my wrists that burn for hours after making breads. If I wait for it to clear up and than bake again it instantly comes running right back. Recently I've been trying various chinese herbal supplements. I've heard good things about one call Tan Kwe Gin. Its a very strong syrup that tastes similar to celery seed and some other backround flavors. I tried it several months ago and had positive results but I'm not sure if it was coincidence. Some other friends and I were recently talking about it again so I decided to try it one more time. I started my first dose today. I just dissolve a table spoon of it in hot water and make a tea. I've come to like the flavor and I'll let you know if I have positive results.