I have had dry knuckles for about 20 years now. I "believe" I busted them as a child in a fight and often pass it off as busted knuckles from a fight that never healed. My wife complains that I should moisturize with lotion. The problem is that my knuckles get so dry that they crack and become extremely hard. Moisturizing is a temporary fix. I don't care to hear "Go see a dermatologist". The economy has dumped my finances into the toilet.My gasoline expense has over rid my doctor expenses and the problem has had(for the past 20 years) no impact on my day to day life. I will never go to a dermatologist over this. What I'm wondering is "Is this common and is there a name for it?".
This could be a skin condition called hyperkeratosis. Hyperkeratosis is a thickening of the outer layer of the skin, which contains a tough, protective protein called keratin. This thickening is often part of the skin's normal protection against rubbing, pressure and other forms of local irritation.
Most treatments are aimed at softening the keratin and removing the thickened skin. This may be accomplished with topical creams that contain as the active ingredient salicylic acid, alpha-hydroxy acid (lactic or glycolic acid), urea, or tretinoin.
Hyperpigmentation accompanies this type of hyperkeratosis. Skin lightening agents like Hydroquinone 2-4% are available which can be applied along with the other creams mentioned above.
Since yours is a long standing problem it might take 3-6 months for the results to show.
Do not scrub these areas, which is often your natural inclination, as it will only make the problem worse. The trauma caused will make the skin increase the production of more pigment.
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