I have my hands in soapy and/or bleach water all day at work at least 5 days a week. Which is a pain on my hands since the skin cracks and splits easily after a while. But after buying Shea butter for dry skin near my eye, I finding out it helps my hands too
sometimes when i use antibacterial soap, or just wash my hands too often, i get raw scratchy spots...i save all my old chapsticks so i can rub it into the sore spots, it eases the pain and stops the itching right away, i like the menthol/mint flavored ones the best - the mint must have a healing property because it works faster than any other flavor
First DON'T use dishwashing liquid for soap or full strength on a sponge for washing dishes. It will take ALL the oil out of your skin. By the way, guys, using your fingers to smooth caulk or drywall paste will do the same!
At the first sign of the sort of drying that causes cracked fingers, use a heavy healing hand lotion, (i.e. gold bond, neutragena, something with aloe) at least 3 times per day. Use lots, rub it in and let it soak for at least 5 minutes.
Plan B: Use gloves to wash dishes, cars, in cold weather and repeated wetting of hands. Avoid hand sanitizer, unless it contains a moisturizer or use lotion afterward.
I use real butter with my meals almost daily. Whenever I get some on my hands I rub it in. Same thing with bacon grease or any animal fat. Rub it in. This and letting my dog lick my hands are the only things I've done different, and my fingertips haven't cracked for two seasons. I used to take Omega oil supplements. That did not prevent the occurence for me. Made me wonder why in the world plant oils would be a replacement for the animal (skin) oil we lose that results in dry skin. Too bad they don't have lotion made from human skin oil!
Prior to discovering this I tried all kinds of lotions, super glue, bandaids, and had pretty good luck getting them to heal and nipping them in the bud by cutting away the dried/dead edges with a nail clipper. Do this when the first sign of cracking appears, but careful, not too deep! Applying enough bandaid sheer strips with the gauze removed kept the area moist, so they wouldn't crack further, and helps hold the crack shut.
I am so thankful to be rid of this suffering! Hope I can help someone else!