Update: Lifehacker.com suggests a theory as to how hand cream can save us from those pesky paper cuts:

“The theory behind this is that the oils in the hand cream will protect your skin from getting cut. As such, you’re probably best off using a hand cream on the thick side with a good amount of oil (or better yet, beeswax). Then, when you’re about to rifle through lots of paper, just apply it and go about your business paper cut free. “

Sounds sensible – thanks Lifehacker!

We all know just how painful a paper cut can be. Or even a cardboard cut. Those things really hurt!

Palmers Cocoa Butter Hand Cream

It’s amazing how something so small can cause so much pain, but this explanation from Wikipedia helps:

Paper cuts can be surprisingly painful as they can stimulate a large number of skin surface pain receptors in a very small area of the skin. Because the shallow cut does not bleed very much, the pain receptors are left open to the air, ensuring continued pain. This is exacerbated by irritation caused by the fibers in the paper itself, which may be coated in chemicals such as bleach. Additionally, most paper cuts occur in the fingers, which have a greater concentration of sensory receptors than the rest of the body.

When I was studying at TAFE, I was told by the lecturer that applying hand cream prevents paper cuts. How did I not know this? I’d been getting paper cuts for all these years, not knowing that there was an easy way to prevent them! I haven’t been able to find an explanation for it, but it must be something about the protective coating of the hand cream. I could only find one mention of hand cream preventing paper cuts online, so perhaps this trick isn’t widely known?

Now I put on hand cream multiple times a day, particularly when I’m about to do a bunch of filing or collating of documents. And it works!

Do you use hand cream to prevent paper cuts?

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