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Dry Knuckles and dry patches on palms
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Dry Knuckles and dry patches on palms

During the past 8-10 years I have noticed a progressive dryness spreading across my knuckles.  I have been to two dermatologists who have treated it with over the counter and prescription drugs. I do not have any diagnosis and am not sure of the source of the problem.  The dryness is usually over the DIP joints but occassionally includes the PIP joints as well. It is a constant dryness -- it may get so dry that it suddenly cracks and bleeds.  My palms have occassional dry patches usually over the middle of the palm.  Dry weather or moist foggy weather do not seem to effect it.
What is this?  Can it be treated?  Why did it disappear when I was pregnant and then return?  Why does medicated chapstick effect it better than any prescription or over-the-counter drug?
Thanks a bunch!
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Eileen:

Your good questions probably have no answers.  Dryness of the knuckles is probably just that, dryness, rather than eczema.  Why it should be localized to the knuckles and why pregnany should affect it one way or another is impossible to say.  Did your doctors have an opinion?

You might try a urea-containing moisturizer like Carmol 20 (OTC).

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
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Eileen,

I too have dry and sometimes cracking skin on my knuckles.  I have tried using those cleansers that exfoliate to get the dry skin off, then moisturize as often as possible, it helps as long as I keep up the moisturizing, but as soon as I slack off, it returns.  As far as it being better when you were pregnant, it could have been the vitamins you were taking when you were pregnant.  Good luck
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