I have always had a problem with dry and cracked skin on my hands in the winter months. I do not consider this a cosmetic issue. Dry hands create an additional vector for disease and diminish the fidelity of haptic interactions with the world.

Starting two months prior to my PRK surgery last year, and continuing throughout the recovery period, my surgeon assigned me to take omega-3 supplements – specifically, he was pushing Nordic Naturals ProOmega 2000. This is a standard procedure that the office assigns to all patients in order to increase moisture in the eye. I started on the supplements at the beginning of October 2017 and, coincidentally, that was the first winter I had no problems with dry skin. I stopped taking the omegas last summer, around the time of my six month post-op checkup. This year, as November rolled around, my skin began to dry and crack on my hands, right on schedule. I resumed the omega supplements, and in about a week my hands were back to normal.

I’ve never regularly taken supplements before, preferring to modify my diet to remove its deficiencies rather than masking them by popping pills. The omega supplements have been more effective than any dietary modifications I’ve tried (I like fish, and enjoy eating it frequently), and are preventative instead of the more reactionary balms or salves (ClimbOn is the best I’ve found, being effective, minimally greasy and not stinky). There seems to be no shortage of claims associated with omega supplements, most of which appear to be noise, but I’ll continue to pop them during the winter to promote skin health.