My skin's never been good, of course. The worst of my problems with my hands stem from the summer at Telecom cleaning phones, though.
The wipes said clearly to avoid contact with skin, because they were harsh chemicals. Every single package was labeled. Larry warned us. And, of course, Kyndle had been doing it for years and knew the perils. I knew what to expect.
So, we tried gloves. Kyn already knew she couldn't use some kinds, and it turned out I couldn't either. The first couple pairs were worse than anything the industrial disinfectant could do. Larry must have bought a package of every brand of gloves available within a ten-mile radius in an attempt to make something work.
Once we found which ones didn't make me break out all by themselves, I tried working in them. However, there's a problem with using rubber gloves all day long in 90 degree heat and high humidity. My hands would be pooling sweat inside the gloves by 9:00 every morning (we started at 8:30). Changing every time they got sweaty was too expensive. Baby powder helped a little, but after a couple of hours, that became clumped-up sticky sweaty baby powder.
Eventually, like Telecom workers before and after me, I gave up and cleaned with my bare hands. It broke down the skin, of course, but for the most part it had cleared up by Christmas. The parts with the most exposure to the chemicals still remain the most prone to any kind of irritation, some six years later.
That place where my skin just cracked is the side of the first joint of my right thumb. It's the crease I used to hold the wipes while running the curly cords and the regular phone lines end-to-end along it. Nope, no surprises here.