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Hey,

Title says everything. I have thick, dry and even scaly skin on my hands and feet. It is really quite bad. I have never seen anything like this on anyone else, including relatives, and I am seriously beginning to think that I might have a freak skin condition that is causing me to have this kind of problematic skin on my hands and feet. It started about five years back but has progressively gotten worse. I can live with ugly feet, but my hands are such an important part of my daily life! I'd rather not have people be scared to shake my hands! 

So, what could this be?

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That could be caused by anything from genetics to a lack of proper care for your skin. If I were you, I would be starting with some really thick butters like shea butter, cocoa butter or coconut butter to try and see if your skin becomes any less thick. Of course on your feet, pedicures should help. I'm hoping that your skin on your hands is at least slightly less thick than on your feet? That would be very unusual, if that wasn't the case. If your hands resemble a typical foot, you bet that I'd be seeing a doctor!

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So much could be at play here:

  • Psoriasis often leads to thick, dry and scaly skin. It tends to come with a white, silver kind of color in that case. 
  • Eczema can lead to those symptoms on your hands and feet. 
  • Thyroid problems can be another cause of excessively dry skin on your hands and feet. You would have other symptoms, such as extreme fatigue, as well. 

Because we can't diagnose and treat you from here, I would certainly suggest that you see a doctor. Your symptoms can point to a chronic condition that needs care, and that can be cared for. Take it seriously.

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I have that. It is eczema in my case. Dyshidrotic eczema to be precise, and it comes with little blisters and terrible itching as well. I'd see a doc too but in the meantime you can try a few things yourself as well. One thing is to cut back on washing your hands and feet. Sounds counter intuitive but washing and soaps can irritate the area further. A petroleum jelly may also really help you. Lay it on thick, even place gloves over the top while it sinks into your hands. And obviously wear gloves while doing housework to protect your hands from irritating chemicals.
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I am no expert, but what I would do if I was facing the skin issues you are facing is to try keeping your skin as free from chemicals as reasonably possible and to experiment with natural skincare alternatives. Shea butter, coconut butter and cocoa butter are three options that you could try. You may also give your skin a honey and oats scrub to exfoliate a little. Dry skin still needs exfoliating. Honey contains antibacterial properties that will help your skin if ant kind of bacterial or fungal infection happens to be at play. It may also soothe your skin if it is inflamed. 

Rosie

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I had hand eczema, also known as hand dermatitis, in my last job. It sounds really weird, but I was working at an organic juice bar while studying. Loved that job! I really motivated me to get healthy and the team was just wonderful. But after a while, my skin became very rough and scaly and I went to the doctor at one point because I couldn't stand the itching any more. I was advised to start wearing gloves and when it still didn't go away, I got a prescription for a corticosteroid cream! I'm no longer working there and it's gone now. Since it's also on your feet and not just on your hands, I don't know what to say, but I have the feeling something similar could well be at play here. Not all eczema is caused by contact with wetness all the time after all. See your doctor and see if you can get a prescription cream!
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