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Old Dec 11, 2013, 11:36 PM   #26
joecap5
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I have been having finger tip sensitivity while using the trackpad for about a year. Sometimes it is better sometimes it's worse. I think I've come across multiple contributors:
  1. The coating on the trackpad is wearing off.
    I believe the coating is probably some sort of low friction substance.
  2. My hands get dry in the winter.


Solutions:
  1. Apply a high quality phone or tablet screen protector on top of your trackpad. I'm using a cheap one right now. A new one is coming in the mail. My fingers did start to hurt again on the one I'm currently using but it may be compounded by the winter dryness of my hands.
  2. Apply scotch tape over the trackpad. I used the matte finish type. This actually worked really well. I may actually go back to it if the screen protector doesn't work out. I overlapped the edges of the tape some so they wouldn't peel up. One strip of wide tape may be the best.
  3. Cut a finger off a rubber glove and put it on the finger that is sensitive. Make sure the glove doesn't bunch up on the soar spot or cut off circulation. I'm trying this out right now. Seems to work well. I'm using a nitrile glove from harbor freight. I would post a photo of it but it's on my middle finger.

Still looking on the internet for any other solutions. Interestingly the search results that come up are mostly about Macbooks.
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Old Oct 9, 2014, 09:05 PM   #27
GeoFan49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Makosuke View Post
Old thread, but ...

Circumstantial, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if I was prone to getting my fingertips hypersensitized by heat or friction from a trackpad.

I also like the touchscreen glove suggestion. Haven't tried it, but certainly seems like it would work, unless the main trigger for a particular person turns out to be heat.
Looking for ideas... I have had skin irritation on my index finger for the past several years now. I am over 65. The skin near the tip of my finger gets very thin and irritated. At first, I thought it was a fungus infection of some type. The tiny blisters resembled tinea, to me.

I was using a Mac with the Apple MIGHTY Mouse (bluetooth) for more than 5 years (the one with the small ball AKA scroll-wheel) and the skin problem got worse a few months after I began using an iPad with a Belkin screen protector film. I have a MacBook Pro but rarely use the touchpad. I replaced the Apple Mighty Mouse with the newer Apple MAGIC Mouse a year ago. This has NOT helped. I replaced the iPad 3 (with Belkin screen protector) with an iPad Air and no screen protector. I thought maybe I had an allergy to the plastic used in the screen protector. There is less FRICTION between skin and glass than with skin and plastic. Still, not much relief.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Mighty_Mouse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Mouse

Using the MacBook Pro for 2 or 3 hours per day, and using the iPad Air (no screen protector) for a few hours per day, and still having the same skin problem. I have to put a bandaid with Neosporin cream on my index finger if I am going to use the iPad or the Mac for more than a few hours per day. (The bandaid reminds me to use a different finger, and relieves the irritation.)

The tiny blisters have gone away, long ago, but the skin irritation and sensitivity remain.

Friction, Skin Irritation, Allergy, or Overuse Syndrome?

Any other remedies? Suggestions? Solutions? Is there a department at Apple that would help to diagnose this condition? I am now using ONLY Apple products: iPad Air, MacBook Pro, and Apple Magic Mouse. If I leave ALL the Apple devices alone, or minimize my usage for a few days, the symptoms subside.

Last edited by GeoFan49; Oct 9, 2014 at 09:16 PM.
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Old Oct 10, 2014, 05:08 AM   #28
Makosuke
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To be honest, your symptoms don't sound like what I experience, and they don't quite match up with the disorder as described in the linked Wikipedia article.

That is, the sensitivity I suffer from, and what's described as the nerve hypersensitization that almost certainly causes it, is generally nerve pain. It doesn't directly relate to any physical irritation of the skin itself. In fact, rather than getting thiner skin or blisters, when I use a finger heavily on a trackpad (the smoother, modern glass ones have helped me considerably, as does the slicker, oleophobic screen on iDevices) I tend to get a bit of a callus, or at least slightly stiffer-feeling skin.

In any case, though, there's never any visible irritation for me; it is purely nerve pain.

I'm not a doctor, nor would pretend to be, but what you're describing sounds an awful lot more like some kind of physical irritation--either skin thinning due to friction, age, or some sort of rash--that is exacerbated by the friction of repeatedly rubbing a finger on a warm, touch-sensitive surface. That would explain the blisters, at least. Whether there is some underlying cause, or you just have exceptionally sensitive skin that doesn't like being rubbed, I can't say, but in either case it's somewhat different from pure nerve pain.

Treatment-wise, since you've already eliminated the possibility of a plastic allergy (I don't think a glass allergy is even possible), and if you were allergic to the material of the mouse (which seems exceptionally unlikely) your whole hand would be breaking out, not just your fingertip. That brings it down to having a dermatologist diagnose the underlying cause, if there is one, but if it's just very sensitive skin, there's not much you can do.

Honestly, I'd recommend getting a pair of lightweight, touchscreen-enabled gloves (they have special fingertips that allow them to work with a touchscreen), and wear those while iDevicing. You could even cut the index finger off and just wear that, if you want. Or just use very thin nitrile (latex-free) gloves; I believe touch screens work through those, and you could easily make a finger-cot out of one.

Alternately, get a touchscreen stylus (there are countless cheap and expensive ones available) and work the touchscreen with that.

That doesn't help with the mouse, though; you'll probably want to get a more traditional wheel mouse, since rolling your finger across the wheel is much lower stress on your skin than sliding it across the surface of a Magic Mouse. Logitech makes a number of decent Mac-compatible mice, most of which scroll side-to-side in addition to vertically. I use one regularly.
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Old Oct 19, 2014, 05:15 PM   #29
GeoFan49
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iPad or Apple Magic Mouse -- irritates the skin on my index finger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Makosuke View Post
To be honest, your symptoms don't sound like what I experience, and they don't quite match up with the disorder as described in the linked Wikipedia article.
...
Thanks for all your comments. The tiny blisters went away a few years ago. The irritation and thin skin still remains — and feels worse whenever I use the iPad or the Mac for more than an hour or so.

I avoid using my MacBook Pro touchpad... The older Apple Mighty Mouse had a rubber spherical scroll "wheel" and that was horrible for my skin, that was when the problem started, more than five years ago. Thinking my skin was allergic to the rubber or vinyl coating on the scroll wheel, I replaced it with a new Apple Magic Mouse, but no joy. Then, I replaced the iPad 3 (with Belkin screen protector) with a new iPad Air and NO screen protector. Still, no joy.

It seems the skin on my fingertip is hypersensitive to friction... wearing out... 65 is not 30... age-related contact dermatitis?

I've tried wearing touchscreen gloves, the ones I got at a sporting goods shop on sale for $12 were not very comfortable. I've also tried using a "Finger Cot" but those make my skin sweat — and then moistiure accumulates inside. Not comfortable.

What I have been doing recently (whenever I am going to be using the Mac or the iPad for more than an hour or so) is applying a bit of Coconut Oil (or -sometimes- Neosporin -or- some Tea Tree Oil diluted in Witch Hazel) which is quickly absorbed — and then a band-aid... That seems to help soothe my skin, or at least it reminds me to use a different finger... but... still annoying.

I've tried to minimize using apps or games that require dragging my finger on the screen, preferring tapping-based games to dragging-based games when possible... to avoid the friction. Is there no way to avoid painfully scraping my finger on a device whenever I want to use a computer or a tablet?

I guess it's just me, or just a few of us, or there would be many others adding comments. The next time I need to go to a dermatologist I will have to ask for help.

Thanks again (to all) for your comments!

Last edited by GeoFan49; Oct 19, 2014 at 06:03 PM.
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Old Oct 20, 2014, 04:57 PM   #30
Makosuke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoFan49 View Post
It seems the skin on my fingertip is hypersensitive to friction... wearing out... 65 is not 30... age-related contact dermatitis?
I don't know if it technically qualifies as contact dermatitis, since (being that glass also causes problems) it's probably not an irritant or allergy but just mechanical irritation that the skin on your fingers is hypersensitive to.

In any case, though, if I were you and didn't like gloves, I'd just give up and switch to a stylus. A lot of people use them, and they're guaranteed to not irritate your fingers. My mother uses one because her long fingernails makes it hard to tap the screen accurately, while my wife sometimes does just for accuracy.

So long as it's not a game or app that requires contact with more than one point at a time, a stylus can be used for most things pretty effectively. Even for a lot of multi-finger gestures (which are limited to pinching), you can always lay a thumb or finger from one hand on the screen and use the stylus for dragging motions with the other hand, to initiate a 2-point motion.
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