Anyone who’s had hand eczema will understand right away when I say that, if you have severely dry skin, it inevitably starts to crack, and then it starts to bleed. Slapping a bandage over the crack (after applying a moisturizer like Vaseline) can help it heal, but there are a few problems with bandages (which I’ll get into later on in this post). But one day, I finally discovered a wonderful alternative: liquid bandages! Specifically, New-Skin Liquid Bandage, which already includes antiseptic built into a flexible liquid bandage. It won me over when i woke up one morning and saw that a big crack in my hand (which usually takes a few days) had healed overnight.
Here were the problems I had with regular solid bandages:
- Bandages don’t stay put when you wash your hands or even while you’re sleeping—you’ll inevitably find out that the bandage fell off due to water exposure or friction.
- For those who have eczema, or sensitive skin, the adhesive of the bandage itself can often more irritation to your already-itchy, inflamed skin. It always bothered me that the thing that was supposed to be helping me heal was actually starting the itchy -> scratching -> cracking cycle all over again.
- Bandages come in a variety of sizes, but usually the cracks in your hands end up in places that flex (your joints, the knuckles, etc.). These are also precisely the hardest areas to bandage. Though you can try to stick one or multiple bandages on the area, you end up bending your finger(s) as you go about your normal activity, which causes the bandage to lose its stickiness, which leads to problem #1 again.
New-Skin Liquid Bandage is liquid, so it’s designed to fill any kind of crack, wherever it falls on your hand. And you don’t have to worry about losing it due to water exposure—it’s fully waterproof, and you can apply a second coating if you think you’d like a bit of extra security. Eventually it flakes off on its own (usually after the cut or crack has sealed), but if you’d like to remove it before then, the instructions say to apply a fresh coat of New-Skin Liquid Bandage and then wipe it off right away.
New-Skin Liquid Bandage ingredients
Active ingredient: Benzethonium Chloride (0.2%)
Inactive ingredients: amyl acetate, camphor, ethyl acetate, ethyl alcohol, n-butyl acetate, nitrocellulose
An antiseptic is built into the product, so there’s no need to worry about harboring germs. But the flip side of this is that it stings a bit when you apply it. You’ll have to expect quite a bit of stinging (much more than if you were simply to apply Vaseline and a bandage). But you can expect it to help your cracks heal more quickly, which helps offset the initial bit of discomfort you’ll have to endure.
I highly recommend the New-Skin Liquid Bandage for times when you have deep cuts caused by dry skin or eczema. It’s also a great first-aid product for regular, non-eczema-related cuts and scrapes. It does include ethyl acetate, which is an ingredient that’s commonly included in nail polish. Indeed, New-Skin Liquid Bandage smells and looks a bit like nail polish—you even apply it with a brush, just like nail polish. The inclusion of camphor (which is a main ingredient in Vicks VapoRub) gives it a menthol-ish fragrance as well. This makes it feel cleaner, somehow.
Keep in mind that the ingredients included in this product might aggravate your eczema, even though it didn’t seem to affect mine. I’d suggest trying it out on just one area first to make sure you don’t react poorly. But if it turns out that you’re not sensitive to the ingredients, or if you have regular cuts and scrapes in hard-to-bandage places, I don’t think you’re going to find a better alternative to New-Skin Liquid Bandage for helping seal those cracks in your skin so they can heal more quickly. It also lasts quite a long time—I’ve had my 1-oz. bottle for quite a long time, and I still haven’t used it up.