Monday, December 1, 2008


Do you ever look at your hands? I caught myself doing that the other day. No real reason except perhaps reminding myself of my dermatology appointment today. Years before, I'd look at my hands and feel very ashamed due to the marks left from purging. It wasn't a pretty sight, and I distinctly remember people asking about it. I lied saying they were rug burns. I'm not sure how I came up with that one.

I no longer have those reminders, however, I do have something else to contend with: incredibly dry hands.. Though
this happens year around, winter makes it much worse. It's only the first day of December and already there are cracks in several places as well as that dry, chapped look. Last winter, it got to the point of my hands feeling like they were on fire if there was anything remotely touching them.

The ironic thing about this is that my hands would look lovely if I washed my hands less! So herein lies the problem, I simply cannot. I really hate the feel of grimy, dirty hands and find myself washing them quite a lot in any given day. Even trying to use hand sanitizers like my dermatologist suggested still left my hands feeling "unclean." Don't ge me wrong if I have to use hand sanitizers, I of course will--think like porta-potty or something of that nature.

At today's dermatology appointment, my Dr. noticed my awful looking hands. I really thought she was going to be upset with me since I didn't adhere well to the hand sanitizers. Surprisingly, she understood and said some people just don't do well with them. She said it was something that had to work into your life. For example, at her office, she uses hand sanitizers all the time, but that makes sense. A CNN article talked about that
here since there are many superbugs in a hospital environment.

My dermatologist gave me something new to try--a script for
Tetrix, a cream that is supposed to act like a barrier against allergens, irritants, and gentle hand washing. (Another study is found here) I'm not too keen that this is another steroid-based medication, but they do seem to be the only thing that provide real relief. I've used many, many different lotions and creams, and all are short-lived relief.

For some reason, this whole hand washing thing is bothering me a lot. I don't *think* it is compulsive. I do not think I'm going to die, get some disease, get sick, etc. if I do not wash my hands X times a day. I'm not trying to get some stain out either. (bonus points for that reference) I simply do not like dirty hands. I guess I'm wondering if I'm obsessing about this too much. Anxiety is already a problem for me (that's an upcoming post), and :sigh: I don't want to have to add another thing to my already enough disorderedness. Oh yeah, and did I mention I have a horrible nail biting habit?


Anonymous said...

If push came to shove, i think i would prefer to know someone who washed their hands to often than not often enough!

It can be tough to tell what is obsessive and what is not though. I guess if it is interfering with other areas of your life, then it might be a problem. Otherwise, it's just a "quirk"

Lola x

Lisa said...

My hands get dry and cracked, too. Once, a dermatologist game me a cream that actually made it much worse! This year I've gotten some relief from the cream I bought from these guys:

Tiptoe said...

Lola, LOL. Yeah, I'd certainly prefer someone who washed their hands more than not too!

I think there is *some* interference in my life, but not completely either. I just find myself thinking about it a lot. It's funny you should mention quirks, because I just saw a book called Quirkology.

Lisa, thanks for the link. I'll take a look at it.

Kyla said...

out, damned spot! Lady MacBeth. Do I get bonus points? I thought about my hands a lot after my first psych wanted to look at my nails. I had callouses from purging and cracked, dry, peely nasty nails. Now my hands are healthier. But I still look at them and wonder what a doctor would think. I hope your new prescription helps. I agree that it's not a problem until it interferes with your quality of life.

Tiptoe said...

Yeah Kyla, you get bonus points! I used to love that line from Lady MacBeth.

I think if your hands look healthy now, a Dr. probably wouldn't think twice about them unless there he had suspicion.

I'm hoping the new cream will work too.