How to Heal Paper Cuts & Skin Fissures

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How to heal painful paper cuts and finger fissures quickly and prevent skin cracking from happening over the long term.

As we enter the cooler months when skin becomes drier and more prone to cracking, I thought it would be helpful to discuss how to quickly heal paper cuts and fissures on the fingers and hands.

Despite their tiny size, these small breaks in the skin are extremely painful!

They also seem to take FOREVER to heal because they get wet at least a few times during the day from bathing/hand washing.

Even more exposure to water occurs if our daily routine involves cooking or cleaning.

The process of healing seems to be slowed dramatically even if the hands are quickly dried after getting wet.

Why are Some People Prone to Skin Cracking?

I became acutely aware of how painful and slow-to-heal skin fissures and cracks can be as a child.

My mother was very prone to them from handwashing baby diapers and dirty dishes (we did not have a dishwasher then). and her hands seem to be constantly riddled with them which would cause her much discomfort.

When I became an adult, I noticed that I was also susceptible to them.

You can probably identify with this yourself or know of others in your family that may be in a similar boat.

Long-Term Preventative Solution

When I began to eat more healthfully in the mid-1990s, I noticed that my skin cracking improved greatly. But, the greatest improvement occurred when I introduced nourishing fats into the menu.

Once I started eating butter, grassfed raw dairy, eggs, and other traditional foods while eliminating processed factory lipids (and foods that contain them) from my diet, I noticed my skin became much more durable.

Paper cuts, fissures, and dryness magically resolved! I rarely if ever get them anymore, despite lots of water exposure from cooking, dishwashing, and gardening (I prefer to garden without gloves for earthing purposes).

Thus, if you are like me and prone genetically to finger and hand fissures, paper cuts, and cracking in general, take a look at the fat intake in your diet.

This article on the best fats to use at home gives specifics on what to incorporate for tight cell-to-cell junctures for the strongest and most resilient skin possible.

A big bonus from eating good fats is that your sugar and refined carb intake will decline dramatically as you just won’t want them much anymore due to steady, healthy blood sugar levels. This also helps skin health tremendously.

You will be delighted at how effective dietary change is for strengthening the skin to make it resistant to the onslaught of frequent water exposure and cold weather!

Hand Sanitizer Destroys Skin Microbiome

If my correspondence with subscribers is any indication, the incidence of skin splits on the hands and fingers has increased dramatically since 2019.

Mmmm, I wonder why that might be?

To me, the reason is simple…the astronomical increase in the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Some people are now using these products compulsively. They still seem to prominently adorn the entrance to the majority of businesses.

The worst aspect of these products is that they strip the skin of the natural probiotics which protect them.

While using hand sanitizer occasionally is not going to do much harm, their use should be minimized to protect the skin microbiome.

To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I slathered any on my hands!

The more you use hand sanitizer, the more prone to fissures, cuts and cracks your skin will be, particularly in cold and dry weather.

Short-Term Fix. Healing Paper Cuts & Fissures

Even with dietary change and eliminating the use of hand sanitizer, you may still experience the occasional paper cut or painful fissure.

In my experience, this typically occurs after a restaurant meal where you ate a dish made with unhealthy fats. This can occur even if you eat at restaurants that claim to use olive oil.

Sadly, the professional grade of “olive oil” is often a watered-down blend of (25/75) olive oil to GMO canola oil.

Only the most careful chefs and educated restaurateurs use pure 100% olive oil.

Exposure to unhealthy fats when eating out translates to a propensity to splits in the skin. This is especially true when traveling, as you are away from your normal, healthy dietary routine for an extended period.

In those cases, there is definitely a trick for healing them up quickly!

Liquid Bandage

The trick we use in our home for quick healing of skin splits is liquid bandages.

They seal the skin crack and waterproof the area temporarily.

Conventional Brands

Beware of conventional liquid bandage brands, however. (1)

They are extremely toxic, so do not use them, especially with children! (2, 3)

Our experience is that they sting very badly for quite a few seconds after being applied too.

There is no doubt that the chemicals in liquid bandages get into the blood. This is due to the skin being already compromised with easy access to blood vessels.

Natural Versions

What to use instead?

This natural liquid bandage is what we use in our home. It has a safe active ingredient as rated by the Environmental Working Group. (4, 5)

The only other ingredient is purified water!

While not as sturdy and waterproof as the toxic conventional liquid bandage brands, using a natural liquid bandage will do the trick nonetheless to allow quick healing.

How to Use

I suggest using a liquid bandage (natural only!) right before bed as the most effective time. Give it a good 15 minutes to dry. This keeps it from getting on your bed sheets.

In addition, apply before any periods during the day when your hands will not be getting wet.

If your hands get wet a lot during the day, using the natural liquid bandage only before bed is best.

After only one night, the cut or crack is usually a long way towards being healed the next morning! A second or third night will almost always complete the mending process even for deeper fissures.

The three-pronged strategy of lipid dietary intervention, avoiding hand sanitizer, and using natural liquid bandages (avoid conventional brands) can banish the agony of slow-healing skin fissures, paper cuts, and skin cracking during cold and wet weather forever!

skin fissures on fingers of woman's right hand


(1) Liquid Bandage (Walgreens)

(2) Benzethonium Chloride

(3) Dyclonine hydrochloride

(4) Natural Liquid Bandage

(5) Polyacrylate Crosspolymer

How to Heal Paper Cuts & Skin Fissures is written by Sarah Pope for


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