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Preventing Dry and Cracked Hands

This is part four of a multi-part series on treating and preventing dry and cracked hands from extensive cold working sessions.  Click here to go to part one.

Prevention is usually better than treatment.  Here's a list of ways to prevent getting dry and cracked hands in the first place.

1.  Kerodex 71. This is a wax based cream.  After applying, the wax is set with cold water.  This creates a barrier between the skin and the surface of the glass being cold worked.  Works well, but it does make the hands slicker so it's a bit more difficult to hold onto the glass.

2.  Silicon Shield or Derma Shield.  These are brand names for barrier creams that can be applied to the hand before working with wet glass.  An application lasts for several hours and does a good job of protecting the hands from excess moisture.

3.  Finger tape.  Available from suppliers such as Rio Grande, the tape can be wrapped around the finger tips (similar to a flexible thimble).  It stays on snugly during use, and does a great job of keeping fingertips from splitting or getting sore.

4.  Latex, rubber, nitrile, or neoprene gloves.  Try to find a brand that fits snugly on the hands, yet also has the ability to grip wet surfaces.  If you can get used to the feel of working with gloves, this can do a great job of protecting the hands.

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved. 

These tips based on suggestions from Warm Glass bulletin board posters.

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Four Corners International, Inc.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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