Raggeds: how painful skin cracks develop

Raggeds: how painful skin cracks develop

Updated: 06/16/2022 – 20:09

cracks in feet and hands
Raggeds: how painful skin cracks develop

Photo: Getty Images/Yusuke Idea

Skin tears, ridges, occur mainly on the hands and feet, but also occur on the elbows or corners of the mouth.

Rashes are painful skin tears. What are the causes of cracks, what are the symptoms and how are they treated.

Most people are familiar with dry feet and hands. But if the skin is too dry, it can crack. Painful skin cracks are called raggeds. Here you can find out what causes cracked hands, feet or lips, what the symptoms can be and how they are treated.


Rashes: Skin tears that can be painful


Rashes or cracks appear on very dry skin. They are narrow, fissure and can occur in the epidermis. These cracks are not only painful to look at, they can also be very painful, bleeding and swollen. Skin cracks mainly appear on the feet, hands, elbows, heels and corners of the mouth – that is, on areas of the skin that may be exposed to weather and strong friction.


Especially when skin is very dry and loses elasticity as a result, the floodgates open. When patches of skin are overstretched, the skin cracks. Cracks in the skin are problematic because germs can enter through them, which in turn can cause inflammation.

Corner cheilitis and skin cracks on the lips


The rash can occur on both the lips and in the corners of the mouth. Dry and chapped lips are aggravated by cold and wet conditions. Wetting dry lips is also the opposite. The already damaged skin at the corners of the mouth can crack and cause pain when eating, speaking, and laughing. These cheilitis corners of the mouth, colloquially known as “rotten spots”, are known medically as angular cheilitis.

What causes raggeds?


Above all, dryness of the skin triggers rashes. Other factors are:


  • cold and hot air
  • nutritional deficiencies
  • signs of skin aging
  • Detergents that attack the natural skin barrier
  • skin diseases such as neurodermatitis
  • genetic predisposition
  • walking barefoot frequently
  • Wrong foot care (removal of calluses too often)
  • UV radiation

How are raggeds treated?


Rash can be prevented by regular use of fatty creams. If they have already appeared, creams and tinctures with extracts of dexpanthenol, myrrh, chamomile or sage can relieve symptoms. They reduce inflammation, disinfect and reduce pain. Zinc pastes, which absorb moisture and keep the skin dry, are also suitable.


If deep skin cracks are already present, rich crack ointments are necessary. Rags are often very stubborn, so it’s important to take permanent and long-term care of torn areas of skin. To optimize the effectiveness of the cream, you can put cosmetic gloves or a cotton sock on your arm or leg.


Medications are often prescribed for inflammatory ragged – cortisone for severe inflammation, antibiotics or antimycotics for a proven bacterial or fungal infection.


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Source: onmeda.de, apotheken-umschau.de


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