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I am 54 and for the last year something strange is happening to me. My fingertips become numb, I still have sensation in them, but they feel numb. And this is not all… skin starts to peel form that finger… firstly in very little pieces, and than in layers… it looks awful!!! I have to hide my hand form people, if they notice it, I got this strange look… like pls, do not shake hands with me… This feels so embarrassing… I mean I could survive if this would happen once, but no, this is a ongoing thing. Finger heels itself, and then after 5 weeks, here we go again. This makes me mad!!! I have to work with customers and I am afraid my boss would see that peeling skin and got me fired… I hope he wouldn’t be so cruel, but you never know… So please people, if anyone has any information, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!!!

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THIS IS YOUR LUCKY DAY :-)
The disease you have is called fingertip enzema. See dermatologist and (s)he’ll give you cream for peeling skin. It is called clobetasol.
Good luck!
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"finger-tip excema" is just the English translation (the usually do this in Latin) explanation by a doctor that takes the description of the problem and turns it into a disease. That is you go and tell them, I have this peeling skin on my finger and they tell you "You have peeling finger syndrome. Here take this, it won't cure it but it should make it feel better."

Here's my story:

For at least five years, my left thumb will get numbish at the tip. The skin will get thick and feeling gets diluted from the thickness of the skin. slowly, the skin begins to peel from a small blister-like area and increases in space until the entire tip has peeled, revealing the new, pink and raw skin underneath. After a few days, this will heal and the cycle will repeat -- as quickly as a week, as slowly as several months. The peeling happens to the same, disticnt line. Although, over time, I am seeing this area increase in size little by litte. This process happens mostly in the winter. In the summer, the area gets "swollen" and harder but does not peel. Eventually, crack along either edge of thumbnail will appear, almost as if to relieve the pressure of fluid within. The skin will be sensitive and the crack will hurt. I put salve or Vicks on it, wrap it in a bandaid over night for 2 or 3 days then the skin normalizes. I can live with this.

However, the index finger of my right hand is now beginning to display the same symptoms and I am a finger-picking guitar player and this won't work! I have been to dermatologists (quacks, all) and asked 3 family doctors (relatives, that is). No one knows.

From the web I got info that perhaps this is connected to Shingles/stress which sounds plausible. Certainly makes more sense than what the dermatologists said. I have used steroids without much success. Vicks seems to do the best but only after the fact and it doesn't prevent the skin from peeling in the winter.

If anyone has a remedy that works and or knows how to prevent this, we can market it, make people happy, and make money. God knows I'd pay (although one dermatologist wanted me to spend $75 for a cream she wasn't sure would work and I refused her invitation for a prescription.

This is NOT excema. It is more. They just don't know but are too arrogant and busy raking in the dough to actually work on the problem with the intent of solving the cause.

Any thoughts? reply@ameritech.net
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Wow. For some reason it feels good to finally find fellow sufferers. It's such a rare and odd problem and dermitologists just seem to be clueless or want to blow you off.
My problem started with my right ring finger and now affects my right index finger as well. Only these two. First I feel the skin is all numb and thick. (Why? because its dead/dying.) and sure enough, it begins to peel away. Leaving new pink skin underneath but also a raw red border w/ the unaffected part of the finger. It's very irritating, unpleasant and embarrasing. The nail also looks ugly because the skin underneath part of it is peeling in this way and debris is building up.
I used to think it was psoriasis but it doesn't exactly fit that MO so I'm still searching for the answer. I've tried all the creams (prescription and otc) and so far nothing helps at all. I'm still (its been over 3 yrs) working on testing different things w/ my dermatologist. I'll try to let you know if we ever get to the bottom of it.
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Indeed! I'm so relieved to read that there are other people who are suffering with the same fingertip problem I have! For seven years now I've been dealing with it.

The symptoms first started on a thumb or pointer finger and over the course of the years has spread to all the digits. It's worse on the thumbs and pointer fingers, but I get a little blistering going on on the middle finger too. Sometimes it presents itself as a small blister (fluidless); other times it emcompasses the entire finger tip; becomes hard; then I just have to peel it away. I've been multiple times to different dermatologists too, and, I'm convinced that they don't have a clue -- call it a "dermatitis," and prescibe topicals that don't do a thing.

I get crud that builds up under the nail, and in addition to that, I have a nail problem going on too. They are all affected and the white tips are no longer "normal." Instead of having a nice archlike look, they may be irregular and dip down into the flesh-colored bed area of the nail. I wonder if it's two different things going on, or one condition with several symptoms.

Does anyone have a diagnosis, or more importantly, a treatment and/or cure?!?

Thanks,
Booper
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I have the same condition which has at different times affected all my fingertips over the past year and a half. I have found that soaking my hands in an aluminum acetate solution called Domboro has really helped to relieve the symptoms and keep the skin from peeling and cracking for the most part. i am keyboard player and avid golfer, so it has been a struggle to deal with the painful symptoms. I have found that coupling the soaking with a steroid cream (clobetestol) also reduces the inflammation. Hope this helps. It doesn't seem to be a cure, but it does control the outbreaks and keeps the skin soft.
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my smallest finger on my hand felt numb one day last week and it hasnt gone away, the skin on the top side looks slightly wrinkled and today the skin was peeling away loads.

i dyed my hair last week and got some of unsoluted die on me by accident and i was sure it was because of that, and that maybe it was infected.

the skin on my hands + fingers has never been dry or ever peeled.

do you think it could have been chemically caused?
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I have been helped! I have had this problem for about one month out of each of the past 5 or 6 years - I am now 24, and it recently occured again. It starts as wet/crinkled looking skin at the tip of my left thumb, and then begins peeling a bit, and then slowly peels down to the base of my thumb, leaving my skin raw and pink. I had tried using A&D ointment, neosporin, etc. in the past to no avail. Yesterday I went to see a doctor and inquired about it. He looked at my thumb, and said since it is always the same thumb, and becomes worse when exposed to cold weather or lots of water (I recently had a baby and have been washing my hands a lot) it is a form of dermatitis. He prescribed Triamcinolone ointment, and within 24 hours the problem is about 70% gone! He said it had to be the ointment version of the medicine, in order to keep the skin moist. He instructed me to put on the ointment within 2 or 3 minutes every time my thumb gets wet, and to keep band-aids covering the skin while using the medicine. I am SO glad, and grateful, I went to see this doctor.
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I was so interested to read that other people experience this strange condition. I like the other find my skin becoming numb with these strange blister like lesions. I actually pick at them because they feel so awful and underneath is this flaky dead skin. The lesion grows (partly because I pick at it and eventually I reach a boundary where it stops.

It seems to only affect the finger tips and under the nail slightly. Occasionally It happens on my palms but only ever so slightly and like whise on my feet. It never happens on the back of my hands. To me this seems to mean that it is mainly happening in areas that are highly innervated and hence someones suggestion that it may be associated with shingles makes some sense.

I have been under some stress the last several years and this also supports the shingles hypothesis. Something appears to be killing the skin from the lower dermal layers.

One thing I have noticed is that when I have taken multivitamin supplements in a strict diet regime I have had much less attacks; almost none so possibly vitamin deficiency may also be an issue.

My e-mail is *****. I would be interested to hear of anyones elses experiences or cures. I don't think steroid creams help much at all.

**edited by moderator**
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Currently I am 20 years old. Not until this winter have I experienced any condition of my fingertips peeling. I work with my hands, so I had thought that a chemical might be to blame for the irritation. The peeling now has been persistent for about 3 weeks. The symptoms are very similar to what I have heard previously. I was wondering if this would be on going for the rest of my life. Or if maybe it had been due to something I can change so that it may go away. If you have any further information please disclose.

Thank you,

Youngin
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I am 54 and have had peeling fingers for years..nothing works. I have wear gloves in my job(health field) I have tried latex and vinyl..no difference. eve when I am away from work this happens..I used to think it was related to hand washing and latex.My husband gets really angry when I pick the skin, but you just have to as it snags and catchs.It is both my left and right thumbs and index fingers. I have tried everything, vaseline at least makes the skin softer. I am embrassed by my hands. A few times I have tried to use a pumice stone to try and smooth..If any one can help ?? It will be interesting to see how they are when we go away to Caribean in a few weeks in a hot humid place..I always thought I was alone with this..I have never seen anyone else with this problem and I am always looking at others hands.
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I have been experiencing the same symptoms as most of you for about ten years. The skin on my thumbs cracks and peels off. Sometimes it forms a white empty blister first. The sore spot is very rarely, if ever, as large as a dime. The problems with the nails sometimes affect the middle fingers as well as the thumbs and index fingers
I have tried about everything for this problem. It started when I got a strong soap solution in some fingertips that were scraped open by concrete. Initially it was on my toes as well.
At the onset, I saw a derm and I used Triamcinaclone (sp?) ointment at night with cotton gloves and cotton socks and used the creme during the day. It worked for the toes in about two weeks and they have been fine for ten years. We tried several other creams and ointments and nothing worked for the fingers. At that time it was on all ten fingertips.
Nutritionalists blamed the problem on candida yeast and gluten. A yeast and sugar free diet seemed to help for a while, but the symptoms came back on the fingers before they totally disappeared.
Recently, I have had the best results by going to Tide Free detergent and softener and Dove fragrance-free soap for sensitive skin. I have also eliminated polyester, nylon, and other man-made fabrics from my wardrobe (lined wool and linen slacks seem to be OK, as my hands do not come in contact with the lining). I do not notice an increaed problem when I wear my polyester winter coat, so the man-made stuff may not make a difference.
I wear vinyl gloves when I am doing anything with chemicals, including reading the Sunday paper (other days I do without the gloves and wash immediately after reading). Latex gloves exacerbate the problem, big time).
Clothing shopping really irritates my hands. There must be a sizing or something on the fabric of clothing in the store. I can notice an itch within a half hour or so of handling new clothing.
The problem is now pretty much confined to the tips of my thumbs and index fingers and a small patch on the outside of my left palm. The patch on my palm does not peal, it just itches and is dry. Zim's Crack Creme and Nutragena lotion helps some.
I hope this is helpful to someone. If you find a cure please post it.
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The initial drug I was prescribed that did work for the feet, but not the hands was Clobetasol Propionate (Temovate) cream and ointment.
Triamcinolone Acetonide helped for a while and it is my current prescription, but is pretty much ineffective now.
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I am new, having found this page when searching for solutions. I have been told throughout the last 5+ years that it is due to a fungal infection (I bought over the counter cream and used it with some success), to stress (when I was prescribed a steroid spray which did not help at all). and that it's just dermatitis-- using the gel gloves last night appeared to soften the fingers, but by morning, because they did not harden, they are raw. I am now wearing gloves to type although it doesn't appear to help.

It will go away for months at a time only to return with a vegeance. I will use nail clippers to peel away the skin. It is embarrassing. :$

I think it may have something to do with stress (because stress always seems to be present), or perhaps vitamin deficiencies (because I am in New Orleans and it is not cold); I use water and even swim often when the problem does not exist.

If anyone finds an answer, please let me know.
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I am 30 and have suffered from peeling fingers for about 2 years. It started on my middle finger on my right hand around the base of the nail when I accidently ripped the nail to low. The peeling happens approx. once a month and then becomes visibly fine before starting the whole cycle again. At worst the flesh is raw and the layers can be seen from the edges of the peeling area. The problem has spread more recently to 4 fingers and both thumbs and begins as a white blistered area which I can't see what else to do but rip as it will not correct itself unless it goes through the whole peeling process. I have seen a doctor a few times and been given different dermalogical or steriod creams of which none have worked. I have seen a pattern of which the peeling starts when I am particularly stressed. At the moment they are bad and have been raw they are beginning to dry out and the skin becomes tight giving the sensation of a burn. The nail that problem stems from seems to become very hard at times with a larger white area at the top of the nail but then can soften and break low again. It never grows a lot and leaves a gap under the nail where u can see the skin peeling.
I am amazed to find this site and read so many similar situations. I hope we can find a cure soon!!!!
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