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What could be sore and peeling fingertips indicating? Have you found relief?


This thread is an extension of the
Peeling and sore fingertips symptoms thread. Please continue posting within this thread.

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I suffered for 1.5 yrs with this cycle of symptoms. Skin would get red and harden on my fingertips and swell. Eventually, would crack. No fluid - really a dry blister. Skin below was very new and tender. Fingers would heal and then the cycle would begin again. Went to a dermatologist who said it was exzema - which I really think is just a catch-all for skin ailments. And - my fingers never itched. Turns out the problem was one of the following 1) low thyroid 2) vitamin D definicency. I have to indicate both because both were diagnosed at the same time via blood tests and I can't say which is responsible. I am now taking Synthroid for my thryroid, eating calcium chews with vit. D, and also taking 1000 IUs vitamin D supplement (along with a good multi). My hands are on the mend. In addition, I was able to stop taking an antidepressant since depression can be a symptom of both low thyroid and vit. D deficiency - with a doctors supervision of course. My abilitiy to think (I'm a programmer/analyst) and concentrate also improved. Read up on vitamin D deficiency. There's a lot in the new right now.
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I have this too and would love to find out what it is and how to treat it. Lots of discussions on the web get muddied with excema, dermatitis etc.

Lots of people in the general population worldwide have this (I've seen people in the street picking at their skin so I know they have it too and looked at their hands). I think it is contagious (I first got it after using a keyboard that a fellow worker who had it had been using) and seems to be cyclical (maybe tied into hormones with period?)

It is definitely worse/harder to manage when my hands get wet. I've tried steroid creams, fungal creams, intensive moisturising creams but with no real success. It just seems to flare up every month or so no matter what. I have had this now for about 5 years and am very sick and tired of it and constantly hiding my hands. This is also affecting my career choices as I can't do anything requiring frequent hand washing.

Most of the responses I've had from doctors are that it is contact dermatitis and I've been told to avoid soaps etc. I've also been told that I will never cure it and just have to 'manage' it. If anyone has any suggestions for how to manage it or better still cure it please, please post here.

Another odd thing, it happens mostly along the side of my right index finger and the very tips of the other fingers and thumb and from reading other posts it seems to follow that pattern for many others also. I thought this may have something to do with a reaction to a keyboard ( I use a macbook). Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

I've seen a couple of other posts suggesting taking fish oil may help - has anyone heard of this or had any success with this?
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I have had the peeling problem for several months. Two things that I can think of changed in my life at that time. First, I started using a new skin care product for my face. It was a whole system (cleanser, exfoliator, moisturizer, eye serum). After using them for about a week my fingertips started peeling. they start to peel on the tip and even under the nail and around the nail like an irritating hangnail. I didn't tie it to anything at the time because nothing else was affected.

I also began dialysis around the same time. The peeling got worse and all of my fingers on the right hand and two on the left were affected. Both my palms began to peel as well. It was hot here when this began for me (I live in Texas, high 90's then), but now it is getting colder (we're supposed to have our first freeze in a week). The cold weather seems to be making it worse. I wonder if I am reacting to the chemical in the dialysis fluid that pulls toxins out of my body?

I finally looked at the ingredients on the skin care products I was using and found they all contain dimethicone (silicone oil). I have an allergy to silicone and so I stopped using the products. However, my skin peeling problem didn't go away and now it is cyclical.

I have tough skin on most of my fingers from poking my finger to test my blood sugars since I am diabetic. So the calluses begin to thicken and then they get dry. This cracks and bleeds and as soon as my hands get wet for anything longer than 1 minute or so, they began to peel. I used to pull on the skin and peel it off, but this led to pain and bleeding so I stopped. Now I cut the peeling part of the skin off with fingernail clippers - this works better when the skin is moist and not dry. It still looks horrible though. I look like I am "molting."

I have asked several doctors about it. Some have given me prescription creams/ointments to try (cream with uric acid, cream with lanoleic acid, steroid cream) others have recommended OTC medications like Bag Balm and Flexitol dry skin/crack cream. They help the skin from becoming too dry to crack, but do not prevent the peeling. And if the skin is really dry all ready, it doesn't even absorb. It just stays on top of the skin. I have also tried using bandaids over the creams or wrapping saran wrap/plastic wrap around the area with the cream. This has never helped or prevented any part of the cycle.

So, I am at a loss like everyone else. %-)
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had the same problem for years. Tried all the creams and that didn't help. Finally since my hands hurt so much I soaked them in peroxide a few minutes a day for a few days and haven't had any problems since. Yea!
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I have had all of the above symptoms for many years. A couple of things that have helped me and an aunt with eczema in her palm have been Proboitics and Omega 3's. I tried Probiotics for another reason and gradually noted the improvement in my skin. I also get the other benefits of probiotics. I feel they have helped my allergic rhinitis. Sure enough when I forget to take it the symptoms start back up. With the winter being the worst time of the year. I work in health care and I have to wash my hands very frequently, which aggravates the condition. I also have to clock in w/ a biometric finger scan, when it acts up it is so FUN.

Hope this helps.
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For the past 10 years, I have had the following symptoms: My fingers and palms of my hands will itch, I will get these small red bumps under my skin, they then become painful to touch, they eventually come to the surface and pop. Some have clear fluid in them and some just blister and peel. The skin is tender after the blisters pop and my skin becomes very dry. I have been to the dermatologist and was told it is a form of eczema. Which, is an allergic reaction. This happens mostly in the Winter, and very occasionally in the Spring or Summer. Fish oil capsules seem to work best. Eczema is a form of very dry skin caused by an allergic reaction to something that touches the skin. The combination of dry air in the Winter and allergies are a combination that makes this condition worse. The fish oil moisturizes the skin from the inside out. Also, try taking over the counter or natural remedies for allergies. Use only green cleaning products, laundry soaps, bath soaps and shampoos. Chemicals are the biggest culprit for allergic reactions. Considering everything your hands touch in a day, try to narrow down what are the biggest triggers. Wash all surfaces that you touch regularly; phones, keyboards, etc. Also try probiotics, they will help your immune system gain strength and reduce your risk of infection from the open sores. All of these have worked for me. It hasn't eliminated the condition, but it has alleviated it.
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jandie wrote:

I suffered for 1.5 yrs with this cycle of symptoms. Skin would get red and harden on my fingertips and swell. Eventually, would crack. No fluid - really a dry blister. Skin below was very new and tender. Fingers would heal and then the cycle would begin again. Went to a dermatologist who said it was exzema - which I really think is just a catch-all for skin ailments. And - my fingers never itched. Turns out the problem was one of the following 1) low thyroid 2) vitamin D definicency. I have to indicate both because both were diagnosed at the same time via blood tests and I can't say which is responsible. I am now taking Synthroid for my thryroid, eating calcium chews with vit. D, and also taking 1000 IUs vitamin D supplement (along with a good multi). My hands are on the mend. In addition, I was able to stop taking an antidepressant since depression can be a symptom of both low thyroid and vit. D deficiency - with a doctors supervision of course. My abilitiy to think (I'm a programmer/analyst) and concentrate also improved. Read up on vitamin D deficiency. There's a lot in the new right now.




How went your treatment? I wonder if it's it totally cured by now.
I am suffering exactly the same problem.
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Soak your hands in perxoide?!!!!! I hope you're not serious!

I searched on google with the same symptoms and found this this thread, which has been running since 2006 and there is still no real development of a proper treatment...

I have JUST started getting this condition on my Right thumb....
and I personally think mine is to do with stress; (and within the past 2-3 weeks I have used caustic soda with all the precautions; gloves - the fumes may have had an effect???) as the other fingers have it too just not as bad as the one on my thumb.

It hurts thats all.... maybe some Savlon or something like that - something natural like Aloe Vera - would that help rejuv the skin??
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I have read thru all of the post's. If you're like me...you know when your about to have a cycle. Your hands are fine one day. Then you notice your thumb has a numbness/hardness at the tip. A day or two later the hardness has worked it way to the outer layer of skin. The shedding occurs along with cracks that split vertically from the edge of the nail(which is painful/annoying) then it slowly heals and the shedding continues on the thumb and index fingers for about a week, then it will clear up for a while(weeks/month) then it will all start over.


I am going to start on Krill Oil/Omega 3 and Vit-D. I will post back here in 2 months (since I normally have several occurrences in a months time) with an update.
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Unfortunately I have the same condition. I have been dealing with it for several years. I have tried the multivitamin and Fish Oil and unfortunately it does not work. The only thing that temporarily will help is a steroid cream. This is an awful condition since you deal with it all day since it can be painful. My skin on my thumb, index & middle finger peel continually. I believe this is some type of virus, but that it just a guess. Tried anti-fungal cream, doesn't work. Good luck in finding something.
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I have had similar symptoms for many years. The doctor told me that he believed it was a form of eczema. I found a web site that said the blisters burst and cause an open wound into the fingers. Bacteria enters these wounds which causes the redness and pealing of the finger. This may sound stupid but I started using Bath and Body Works Anti-bacterial hand lotion every morning and night and my fingers hardly ever peal anymore. It has made a dramatic difference for me. Best luck.
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I have this too--I noticed when I was away for a semester I did not have the problem, and also, I did not wash any dishes. Now I am back and the painful cycle has started again. I have tried everything!
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Wow! thats all I can say. I just finished reading both threads and it took me about 1 hour... I have this problem and my wife got involved because we are so shocked that this many people could have the same thing that has been bothering me for a couple years...

My story is that I weld steel frames for vinyl fence (gates) I do that all day, I used to be in the Marine Corps and had beautiful hands and then I got this job and now have this wonderful CONDITION that all of you seem to have... I use Zinc/or nickel coated screws to attach the vinyl to the steel when I am done welding the frame and the 2 fingers I use are my (right hand) Thumb and index finger which is where my problems are... I had a case with my middle finger when i started the job but that one went away... Now I just suffer with the 2 fingers but man is it annoying, I usually just put hydrocortizone 1.1% or something like that and wrap them in my new favorite tape in the world.... (remember been doing this for 2 years i know the good bandages) Sports tape from Target... (Target brand is the best)

I have used fungal treatments, hyrdocort, vasseline, psoriasis stuff, perscription moisturizing c**p, none of that c**p works i might just try the hydro perox...??? Skeptical though... I also have a crazy skin issue with copper my skin eats copper and turns my skin green I dont know if that has anything to do with it.! LET ALL OF US SUFFERERS KNOW!
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I've had this problem since i was 7 and i am now 22 I remember the first time my hands got really bad. I get it all.... I get the red cracking bleeding skin and the really itch blisters and everything. I found that the green aloe vera helps with in like 3 days. but this time it got so bad nothing helps i even got steroid creams and nothing. so i gave up and put on ozonol (for scrapes and minor burns and skin irritations, and they are sooooo much better now. hope this helps a bit.
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