I have had cracked and peeling fingers for over one year now. I searched the internet and found little help regarding this. I finally discovered that I have multiple allergies. I went to Tufts New England Medical Center for patch testing. They tested me for 127 skin allergens. The results came back with multiple positive. I am allergic to most soaps, lotions and shampoos due to sensitivity to preservatives like formaldehyde, iodopropynyl, dimethylamine and cocamidopropyl to name a few. When I went back for a follow up , I was instructed to bring in all my products. The doctor read the ingredient labels and found that most of them, I could no longer use. However, the hospital uses a database called "card" set up through the Mayo Clinic to guide people with allergies. It contains most products on the market and their ingredients. Tufts created an account for me and this database gave a listing of all the products considered safe for me to use. I changed my soap, my shampoos, my makeup and I now carry around my own hand soap.
Changing my skin products was helpful but did not completely clear up the skin. The next step was to address my diet because I was also allergic to potassium chromate and balsam of Peru. Chromate is found in foods like wine, beer, apples, potatoes and chocolate and balsam of Peru is found in spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and flavorings like vanilla and extracts as well as the foods that call for them. I have been instructed to avoid these foods for a month to seek improvement. Within two days, the cracking and peeling has dissipated and my fingers are almost normal. This has been a difficult diet to stick to but given the choice of painful fingers and eating certain foods, I was ready to try almost anything. After a month, I can try to add back in the foods I have been avoiding, one at a time and watch for reactions. There is a chance that only a few food items are causing my allergy. I hope that my story is helpful to others out there. Go and get allergy tested and make sure you go to a major hospital as smaller dermatologist offices will not test for as many allergens.
When I was searching the internet for a cure for this, I found nothing. If you found my post because you were looking for a solution, I wish you luck!
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