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Hi. I’m 22 years old and ‘till this happened I was pretty much healthy.
But, in a past two years I have had these horrible peeling fingertips.
They last about 3 months last year and almost same that long this year. During that period my fingers are so ugly that even I can’t watch them.
These 3 months were during the winter. It seams that cold is an irritating factor for this condition.
I went ones to the dermatologist and he set the diagnosis without even watching it. He said it was some fungal infection and he prescribed me some antifungal crème. That didn’t help at all.
What could be the reason of my peeling and sore symptoms?

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Well, I can understand your doctor because fungal infections are most common causes of peeling fingertips.
Obviously-he was wrong!
Because you said it was cold-sensitive I would only think of one disease called local vasculitis. It is condition where blood vessels react on temperature changes with dilatation and rush on skin.
If this is the cause then some antihistamine cream can solve your problem.
There is one disease called Kawasaki's Disease. It is one poorly understood condition that affects young children. It causes severe inflammation in different areas of the body, including the tips of your fingers.
While the exact cause of Kawasaki's disease is unknown, many experts believe it is related to a viral infection.
High doses of aspirin are usually given to relieve symptoms and prevent blood clots.

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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.

Any thoughts?

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Do either of you use skin producs with salicylic acid? Last fall I tried a new face cleanser, and for the next three months I suffered from these same exact symptoms - numb fingertips, then peeling, healing, repeat. Last week I thought I'd try the cleanser again, and after just two days of use I've had two fingertips start peeling. Does anyone know any more about this?

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I have EXACTLY the same condition as that spelled out by Randie ...this happens on both my thumbs and my first finger. There will be a numbness as feeling goes as the skin appears to thicken. Then they will hurt as the pressure builds up , then the skin will split at the thumbnail line and then the skin will start to peel back leaving raw (and very painful) skin underneath. After a week or so (sometimes two) they will all be healed again and everything returns to normal. Until the next time ... 4 or 5 or 6 months later.
Like Randie I am a guitarist, but I've noticed that that this affects BOTH thumbs, and as any (right-handed) guitarist will tell you, its the right-hand thumb that does the work with the strings, the left-hand thumb just supports the neck - no reason for that to be 'stressed'. And what about my left-hand index, second and third fingers? My guitar playing has used them as much as my left-hand first finger but they don't suffer.
I also do a helluva lot of keyboard work, but I'm not a touch typist and so my thumbs do almost nothing!!
I have also noticed that when I am stressed (work, life, family, money, kids etc.) the interval between the peeling 'sessions' is reduced i.e. they happen more frequently and on one occasion when my life ran like a dream I was 'peel-free' for over a year ....
My peeling cycles happen all year round (I'm in one now and its June 2006) but they also happen in autumn, winter and spring.

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Just found a website which describes some high nickel-content foods which may be contributing to my condition, I quote: 'Nickel is a trace element found widely in the environment. Good food sources include lentils, oats, and nuts.' I've also read that its contained in chocolate ... so my diet for the next 12 months is going to exclude: baked beans, lentils, chilli beans, oats, muesli (which I eat every morning), nuts and ... arrghh ... chocolate in all its forms (e.g. cakes and bars and desserts). I'm even going to cut out coffee which I (foolishly perhaps) associate with the cocoa bean (and therefore chocolate). Its now 15th June 2006 so lets see if my current peeling session is the last! You are what you eat + plus what you absord by sunlight ...

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I have the same condition described by newbie and potemkin except i have been suffering from this condition for almost 17 years.It started when i was 19 and in college my right thumb begin to feel numb and the skin began to redden and harden not long after it began to peel.Over the years this condition has spread all the way to the ring finger on each hand. the gradual progression is symmetrical with each outbreak lasting about three months.I think stress plays a major role in this condition a lot of my outbreaks can be linked to stressful times not all but most.I know weeks before that my fingers will peel because they feel a little numb and I will get these hardened red circular shaped spots under the skin eventually it will separate from the skin underneath and i can peel it off.Sometimes know the peeling occurs on the upper parts of my palms along with my fingers peeling. I have asked so many different doctors over the years to no avail in finding the reason for this condition.They have prescribed every cream i think the market makes and none have helped. I have also tried everything from cutting out nickel in my diet including not using deodorant because most cosmetics and deodorants contain this to using emu oil and all sorts of other things.To get relief from the pain after my fingers have started peeling it helps to apply vasoline and wrap them each tightly with bandages.One thing I will say is I'm starting to think tomatoes and anything with tomatoes tends to aggravate this condition.I am having an outbreak right now and this makes week number 6 they started after we got back from vacation which I know is supposed to be relaxing but with three children tends to be quite stressful.
Goodluck in finding relief and Randy is right if we could find a cure I think a lot of people would be very happy.Also I forgot to mention that when my fingers are peeling they also tend to be a little swollen and it makes it a little difficult sometimes to completely close them.I sometimes think there may be some type of inflammatory disease at work. Who knows?

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My son, age 9, took up guitar last year. About 2 months ago, he had the exact symptoms described here -- irritate thumb, then blistered up a bit (not like any blister I'd seen), and then led to a gradual skin peel that formed a near perfect ring around his thumb (it actually did not consume the very tip of the thumb), but it did go from thumb nail to thumb nail all the way around and down just past the knuckle.

Following the peeling, the skin underneath looks flaky/fragile as well (not like healthy new skin). It doesn't hurt at all now, but still tingles.

We have no clue what it is, but intend to do more research and see what we can do.

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I was searching around for these symptoms and ran into this thread.

I'm 21 years old, and I've had this problem for at least 4 years now - the skin on my fingers starts to harden, and eventually the outer layer "lets go" and forms a bubble of loose skin which peels off within a day. Following this, the area expands until the whole of the fingertip (only the side normally used to touch things - the fingernail side is unaffected) is sore. The underlying skin is red, dry and very sensitive/sore. This happens to all five fingers on both hands. When it's at its worst, my fingers seem to swell somewhat. It seems to me like there's a correlation between temperatures/seasons and this problem. It's at it's worst during cold winter periods, but it can (like right now) also happen during periods of low temperatures in the summer.

It's comforting to know that there are others with similar symptoms, as I have yet to meet anyone in person who can tell me exactly what it is.

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Hi.. have been frantically searching for a solution to the problem we've all described here (peeling fingertips).
I work as a waitress and am obviously using my hands all day...and washing my hands all day...my manager took one look at my fingertips and demanded that I put bandaids on them, or else the customers would ask for a different waitress. I complied, but cannot bandage my hands for much longer. I'm desperate for a solution.
Perhaps the soap is irritating my skin?
My fingertip problem has been going on for about a week. Has everyone else's started at this time of the year in particular?
Good luck to all...I'll update you all if I find any solution.

Thanks

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I have been searching the web for some information about my peeling fingers and this is the only website I found that describe some of the same sytoms that I have.
It started about nine months ago I get little circle spots on my fingers then they turn into almost like a callus, really thick and I can't feel, then they start to peel and be very painful, heal and in about two - three weeks they start again. They don't seem to change with the weather. I've been to my family doctor and he gave me a cream that didn't work. I've been trying to see a dermatologist but every time I call to make an appointment they only could see me in two or three weeks and I don't know if I will have the symtoms by then because it keeps going away and coming back.
I change my facial products alot and I know I use some with salicylic acid. I am going to stop using any product with that in it and hope it works. If not I'm going to give the nickel thing a try. I've recently been eating a lot of nuts.
I'm thankful for the advice, information and just to know I'm not the only person this happens to. I will let you know if anything works.

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I'm going through the same thing right now and nothing seems to work on my hands. It started about 5 years ago as small spots on the tip and side of one finger that calloused over, got tight and numb, then cracked. And it was uncomfortable, especially the peeling. The new skin was sensitive and prone to bleeding. It healed and was fine for 2-5 months. Then it started up again. Now it affects 3-4 fingers on each hand and it's painful. Takes about 3 weeks to go away, I'm OK for a few weeks and it's back. I've been to dermatologists. They gave me all different types of steroidal creams... none work. I would be so grateful if someone has an answer to this. It looks terrible and hurts.

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The tips of both of my thumbs felt numb as if they were coated with a light coat of glue----- then the skin would peel.
I started applying hydrogen prioxide about ten times per day. My thumb tips have now returned to normal. I don't know yet if this is a cure, but it certainly helped me.

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I am 27 female and my finger tips just started peeling last week. i play guitar a little but not often. I have a five-year old It started with my thumbs first my left then my right.Now only my index and pinkie fingers are unppeleed. No pain it just seems to seperate but not around the nali line its the tips. It turns white and peels. I'm a sculpture and so this is very upsetting. Everything I do and make is focused on my hands. Any care suggestions? I've been using a pumice stone to even out the ragged edges the new skin is a little flaky but not raw or painful. i just want to find a way for this to stop before it does become painful.

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I have had exactly the same condition for a few years and now my son has started having it too. If I do any dishwashing without gloves it starts up immediately. If I avoid detergents and use handcream regularly the outbreaks are much more seldom

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