Ask Larry:

Your question: My fingertips have calloused which then split; my skin turns dark like a bruised finger.

What would you recommend?

Larry’s Response: From your description I’d be thinking about peripheral vascular problems – often called Reynaud’s – a disorder causing discoloration of the fingers, toes, and occasionally other areas. This condition may also cause nails to become brittle. It is believed to be the result of vasospasms that decrease blood supply to the respective regions. Stress, cold, nicotine, and decongestants can trigger the phenomenon. Some vitamin deficiencies are also implicated.

There are creams on the market that contain arginine which is known to increase blood flow to the extremities by dilating the tiny vessels. Also, niacin (by mouth) is known to cause dilation. Some people dislike the flushing and use niacinamide instead of niacin.

Other triggers may include sugar, artificial sweeteners, and wheat. These cause inflammation, which can cause swelling and impeded blood flow. Removing these items from your diet could give the relief you’re seeking.

I hope this is of some help.