In my 26 years of life, I have never had dry skin; never had so much as chapped lips. This winter, I noted a small patch on my knuckle that looked pink, almost like I had punched something or hit the back of my hand on something and scarred it. Then that patch started getting bigger and itching and it would crack open and bleed...probably from my scratching it. Then, I started noticing dry skin flaking off from under a couple of my finger nails, just at the tips of my fingers. It is mainly on my index fingers of both hands and they will crack open and bleed on occasion. Then I noticed these spots almost like small calluses on the palms of one of my hands and then they cracked open and started bleeding. Now, in addition to all of that, the same thing is happening in the crease where my thumb meets my hand. It is really quite painful when they crack and bleed. And now the skin on my elbows has started flaking pretty bad.
My doctor said it is dyshidrosis. He gave me a corto-steroid ointment, but it did nothing. The lesions healed but the dry skin persisted and so they will still open up on occasion. Where it happens, it is almost like the skin is hardened a little bit, like a scar.
I changed to a free and clear detergent, free and clear shampoo and conditioner, and Vanicream lotion and soap per my doctor who said I might be reacting to the chemicals in my other stuff, like formaldehyde, because I had a sensitivity to it as a kid when I would break out in the hives if Tide detergent was used on any of my laundry.
I have no allergies except to cats which is more of an annoyance than anything serious. I am not fair skinned or sensitive to anything else. I am Native Alaskan and Sicilian with an olive complexion.
I live in Alaska, which is of course very dry, but not any dryer this year than years past and I have never had a problem beyond static.
I'm not stressed.
Nothing else in my life has changed.
Is there anything that could be causing all of this that my doctor might have missed? I feel like I'm too young to fall apart like this.
It can be pompholyx of the hands. It is characterized by a sudden onset of many deep-seated pruritic, clear vesicles which itch and then peel off. As a result the skin may also fissure.
Symptoms can be exacerbated by dryness of the skin. Use good quality moisturizers to prevent moisture loss from the skin.
If they prove unsucvessful, then Light treatment: UVA-1, PUVA, Grenz rays, Low Level Light Therapy using a Red + NIR (LED) combination can be used. For recalcitrant cases, corticosteroids combined with immunosuppressants may be used.
It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For exact diagnosis, you are requested to consult your doctor. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing.
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