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My hands never touch pickled pieces until after they have been neutralized
in baking soda/water and then rinsed. The copper tongs hold them through
all of that so they also get neutralized and rinsed (so as not to
neutralize the pickle the next time they are put into it). My hands are
still dry and chapped, but that comes from the use of the boric acid and
alcohol fire coat. I'm always splashing some of that solution onto my
hands. When it gets really bad, I use straight glycerin (from a pharmacy)
on my hands at night. Seems to really help.
Hope this helps.