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Exfoliative Keratolysis
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This forum is for questions regarding Dermatology issues, such as: rashes, acne, birthmarks, skin infections, rosacea, and general skin care.

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1952940_tn?1324713879
Thanks, pealydon!
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Avatar_m_tn
I added another pic from today at 630pm MST. I did not apply fish oil last night before bed and only once today. I got some 40 percent urea cream today and will use that as needed. I'll post the good or bad as time goes on. The next 2-4 weeks will be the test if this method controls or at least minimizes this condition.
My pattern is every 2-3 weeks begins an eruption and it lasts 2-3 weeks. I have had a break in the pattern going back a few months, very slight peeling and easy to control. I had been using UdderlySmooth and some times O'Keeffes with good results until this outbreak which began Tu, 9/11/12 and this one was a bad one.

I've been in the hot tub twice and did immerse my hands w/o ill effects. My hands are slightly tender but otherwise feel marvelous!

Common fish oil capsules applied topically and lots of faith. :-)

Best to all in this fight,

Don
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Avatar_m_tn
I also have an EK, i've search treatment for this, and i found Avon Care Silicone Glove Protective Hand Cream, i look at the reviews of this product and all are positive comments, as i read some of the reviews the condition they are treating is EK. Unfortunately Avon Care Silicone is not available here in the Philippines, its only in the U.S., if you want to see this product just go to reviews.avon.com or type in google avon care silicone glove protective hand cream.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi
I have had EK for 10yrs now and have tried all the cures listed to no avail, i started trying to work out what is causing it, it appears on hands and feet so logic states what’s on your hands and feet but no where else? Answer nails, when i have EK bad i also notice a change in my nails (they get thicker and harder to cut, samples of skin from effected areas test negative to fungal infection).
I decided to start trying something new, I cut my finger/toe nails short and have kept them short, then twice a day (morning and evening)i applied antiseptic tea tree nail solution (made by Optima under the name Australian tea tree)on the top of my nails and crucially under the cut short nails where the skin meets the nail.
I have stopped using Urea cream and steroid cream and my skin has improved to such a point i felt it only fair to share my discovery, i must also point out i am a manual worker and have suffered this condition quite badly until now.
I hope this works for you as well as it has for me. Tea tree has more antiseptic/anti fungal strength than carbolic acid. Mike
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1952940_tn?1324713879
Hey repairman, I think your idea of considering the nails is a smart one.  I am going to try what you said if I ever have another outbreak (thankfully I've been free of the condition for a few years now).  Thanks for sharing.
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Avatar_f_tn
Don't even know if you will get this its been so many years since you posted..I also suffer from EK and for me its simply brought on by water...my hands aren't sensitine to soaps or cleaners just showering too long...doiing dishes too long or swimming brings it on for me frequently occuring mostly in the warmer months...my neice and mother have it as well...gotta love genetics!
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Avatar_f_tn
I had undergone several stressful life-altering events in 2012, about the same time my first peeling finger was noticed in March. Topical steroid ointments did not help.  Skin patch testing did not reveal anything that could explain this. I am currently on Imuran now for a month.  My doctor will have me on this for a year. This treatment was due to my strong positive response to Prednisone.  Unfortunately this drug may take 2-3 months to work. So far, I have not noticed much difference or relief. I am a Nurse who had to go on disability since 100% of my fingers are either cracked, swollen or often bleeding.  My hands are constantly gloved which bathes my hand in moisture for 12 hours! Having the cuts as mode of entry for infectious agents, it is not recommended to continue working in direct patient care. I will keep this site updated.
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Avatar_m_tn
I noticed that when my fingers started to peel off, it was a problem with the liver. I changed my diet. When I eat lot of meet, ice-cream, milk, butter, beacon, jam (animal fat), the condition in my fingers worsens. Drinking a lot of water helps the liver to clean by itself, eating fresh fruit and vegetables, garlic, apples, helps too, it´s incredible but when I change my way of eating my peeling of the fingers cures itself. Eat as healthy as possible (avoid processed food it makes the liver work hard) it´s worth the try it might help you as I did for me.
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Avatar_m_tn
No breakouts since Sept! Regular applications of a urea containing moisturizer after the fish oil regimine has kept this under control. Warm weather coming so that will be the test. ;-)
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,
   I'm Weiren from Hong Kong. Recently I dated this girl who had a case of EK and after some research I found this website. The Joe Protocol caught my attention and I mentioned this to her and now she is trying this. In addition to this, I have access to Intense Pulse Light and a Q-switch laser (used for facial and skin care treatments) and decided to add to the procedure to see if it helps. I used the 2 procedures in an attempt to 'kill' off any bacteria or bugs that may linger in the 'good' skin. It has been only a day and I will keep track of her progress and report back here of our little 'experiment'. Rest assured that I am familiar with using these 2 instruments and no unnecessary risks were taken.
Greetings to all. Thanks for sharing your experiences
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Weiren,
I live in Ohio (US) and just had a huge palmar break out. For me, it subsides in the winter completely unless I am doing manual labor with metal (nails, hammers, etc). I also do not have any allergies - at least the typical items they test for in a standard allergy test. That being said, as soon as spring hits and everything starts to blossom I  suddenly go from no issues to peeling all over my palms. That leads me to believe it's either an allergy or a reaction similar to seasonal allergies. Nothing but cold weather helps me. I've tried the suggestions in this blog and none have helped. Each year seems to get worse- I'm sure you're pretty miserable after 27 years!
I wish you luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

I have had peeling hands since childhood and I'm now 58years old. An eminent dermatologist diagnosed EK in my early 20's but had little to offer and although I've tried numerous creams most made the condition worse. However I have found that our water softener has really improved my skin and generally brought the condition under control. We installed it 15yrs ago. My skin still breaks down and it takes a couple of weeks to recover when I spend too long away from home (unless I go to somewhere with soft water).  I never wash-up, clean or garden without gloves and I try to avoid putting my hands in water as much as possible although limited swimming in the sea is ok.

Has anyone else found soften water helpful?
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Avatar_n_tn
Reading about the soft water alleviating EK makes me think. My hands suffer most when handling lines on boats and it is significantly worse in salt water compared to fresh water. Perhaps there is something in salt water and also in hard water that makes the EK worse?
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5681913_tn?1372280437
hi I am 22 female a few weeks ago I noticed that the last few weeks i had air filled bubbles on my hands and fingers and didnt know what it was. at first i thought it was poison ivy cause my palms were very itchy and cause of the bubbles on my hands and fingers cause poison ivy does that too but now the bubbles r gone and my hands r peeling like crazy so i looked on a website and found this condition that it brought up so this must be what is wrong with me cause it tells me all the same symptoms that I have had since I have had it. this condition is called Exfoliative Keratolysis. and I am not sure what to do about it. I have no medical card or anything so maybe a few of u can tell me more about this condition. to give me more information about it.

Thanks so much!
Meg
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Avatar_m_tn
My son has this severely when he sails.  Unfortunately he is a sailing instructor and it lasts all summer.  Apparently fishermen also get it.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Which life-altering event would help explain KE?  Take your pick of death in the family, job change,moving, getting married/divorced, menopause, becoming the victim of a crime or any sort of victim for that matter, etc. I'll choose menopause.  It just seems to me that it changed my physiology in ways I never dreamt.  I was expecting hot flashes, changes in my figure, but not this.  My palms are ravaged and the dry, peeling areas only seem to spread.  I've tried steroids, Vit A, UV treatments and nothing but nothing is working.  I'm just glad to think it's not psoriasis (yet) and I won't be a candidate for psoriatic arthritis hopefully.
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Avatar_f_tn
I thought of sanding my palms but they seem to always be in the sore, peeling stage.  I don't know which is worse: the hard skin where you can't even stretch your hand out or the peeling.  Both are horrible.  And perhaps if a person didn't have to pee every hour or more often, you wouldn't have to wash your hands that much more.  No-win situation.  I think for me it's old age starting to happen when your body basically turns against itself.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the advice. I have the exact same situation as you described.  I did do the photo therapy and it did not help one bit. It was a huge waste of time and a lot of money.
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Avatar_m_tn
hey joe

can you please tell me what kind of sandpaper you use?

can you link me a picture of it?

i cant seem to find it anywhere online.

thank you
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Avatar_f_tn
My 9 year old has EK we think.  He is allergic to many things.  As a 9 year old boy he will play and play as a kid does not caring much for the skin on his hands.  As a parent I have had to try and find a solution that does not put him in a bubble.  I am currently using lanolin on him at night -the kind used by breastfeeding mothers- which is so refined as to not trigger his sheep allergy, and then in the morning I spray his hands with liquid bandage spray (isooctane, methyl trimethicone, acrylates/dimethicone copolymer).  I am currently looking for the liquid bandage spray in bulk as the 1 oz bottles get expensive quick.  I double spray his hands before swimming and diving lessons/play.  This works, it does not fix the problem, but it helps.  Spraying before swimming or other water activity or other hard play lets him live a life more like other little boys.  Mostly.  Maybe this will help some of you all too.
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Avatar_m_tn
The steroids do clear it up. My boyfiriend has been diagnosed with EK since 1982. Went through several tests in Indianapolis and nothing was found. No allergies to anything. His also goes away in October and ususally comes back around early March. We both at first thought that maybe grass pollen was causing it but after reading all these blogs and not having an allergen to grass, I know that it is probably not due to the grass. He gets aggrevated every year but he deals with it. This year doesn't seem to be as intensified. I'm wondering if some of you are correct about the stess making it worse. When I met him, he was going through a divorce and it was really bad. I do know that strees makes psoriasis worsen. Since he has been divorced for four years, I notice it being a little better. If anyone finds a cure, be sure to blog it to all the other suffers. Thanks.
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5793907_tn?1374395602
Two days ago, it was an important day in my life. For the first time in about 25 years, and thanks to this forum, I found out the name of the problem that is affecting my hands and feet for this long: exfoliative keratolysis. None of the 4 or 5 dermatologists I'd seen could even name it.

It's been a long reading, but I've read through all your comments. Many of them, very interesting.

I'll probably post many things, but there is a first question that hits my curiosity. I'm not sure, but this may be one of the most active forums about EK in the world. If you do a web search, you find it. Whoever wants to find it, will find it. So, if there was someone in the world doing serious research on this specific topic (EK), I mean in a good lab, being paid with public or private money, trying to go to the ROOT of this problem, along a biochemical/genetic line of study, don't you guys think that he/she would have already searched for that topic, and would have found this forum? If so, why hasn't he/she said anything? Something like "I work in a team that is assessing possible genetic correlation between individuals who suffer this condition", or "we are studying lack of enzyme XXXX, which might be responsible for the dehydration". Anything that could give us some hope, or at least that could make us think that someone in this planet, with the appropriate background and material resources, is devoting time to our specific problem, is trying to find its root cause, and has an enthusiasm to find a cure. Because it is good that we don't give up, and try things by ourselves, like the ceramides creams, the gloves, or the sandpaper, but this is sad. I can't believe that there are zero resources in the world being (seriously) devoted to this, but I don't see any comment on that line in this forum. Is it confidentiality? They don't have to reveal any detail. A few words could mean a lot, to us. And I don't know about the dermatologists you've met, but the ones I've met will never find a cure. You can't finish a journey for which you don't make the first step.

So, if there is a person doing serious lab research about exfoliative keratolysis who is reading this forum, please give us a sign. We don't need much details. Just a sign, up to where you are allowed to. Thank you.

César
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5793907_tn?1374395602
I meant "much detail".
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Avatar_m_tn
I Suffer from EK for 10 years.
Does anyone tried magnesium intake?
Some nails and the skin under it is also abnormal.
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Avatar_f_tn
My 11 year old son has E K and had allergy tests done. He's allergic to Mercaptobenzothiazole, bronopol (preservative), mercapto mix and balsam of peru. His dermatologist told him to avoid these things (which is nion impossible) but they are the cause of his E K.

His hospital also make him a special cream which really does help.

So for everyone who suffers demand Allergy tests and ask your dermatologist to contact Gloucester Royal Hospital UK for the ingredients of Chelsea Night Mix.
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Avatar_f_tn
Like the majority of people here I finally diagnosed myself: exfoliative keratolysis thanks to Dr Google. I did see a doctor months ago but all she said was 'it's eczema, wear rubber gloves when washing up'. Umm I do. That was as far as we got.

I tried Urea cream but all that did was make the peeling less obvious. Mine doesn't get better or worse seasonally. It's a continuous cycle of little red dots that turn into little white blisters that then 'burst' into little circles of peeling that spread out then before the peeling heals I get little red dots then little white blisters then peeling .... and on it goes. It's not itchy or painful but I do seem to have a kind of numbness in the area.

I've tried aloe vera, over the counter Urea cream, lavender oil and papaw ointment. I haven't avoided water, my will for cleanliness is too strong! Then I read Joe's treatment of exfoliating. It's worked better than anything else I've tried in conjunction with using papaw ointment and pure coconut oil with white cotton gloves. It hasn't 'cured' the EK but has made it so much better.

Every day I use a pumice stone and rub the red dots/blisters off. Then I mix Lucas's Papaw (available in Australia) and Pure Coconut Oil on the area then wear a cotton glove 24/7 at home. I re-apply the papaw and oil every few hours. When I first started this treatment, 3 weeks ago, I wore the glove at work too. I don't wear the glove at work now but I still need to slather on the papaw ointment every couple of hours or it starts looking poxy again.

It's reached the stage now that I can go out in public and not scare people. You'd have to look closely to see the slight peeling I have now.

I believe it's an auto-immune disease. They say if you have one auto-immune disease others will follow. I've had about 5 of them i.e fibromyalgia, polymyalgia, controlled Type 2 Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, chronic urticaria and angioedema. Funnily when the EK appeared my chronic urticaria and angioedema went into remission. I'm happy about that! I'd rather deal with EK than throat and tongue swelling and landing in ER. (4 times in 4 years). Yay!
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm sorry.

It didn't work. The blisters came back with a vengeance and this time they look 'infected' and for the first time they are painful. I think using the pumice stone irritated my skin.

I'm still applying papaw and coconut oil. It does work on reducing the peeling.

Some days I feel like giving up but then I remember I did try to ignore the EK once and it got worse.



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Avatar_m_tn
I've been trying everything like most of us sufferers for 5 years, including drastic diet changes, avoiding water altogether, every cream known to mankind, just as many useless docters, and I am pretty sure this is an auto immune disorder, exacerbated by stress and has to do with the state of the "gut flora and fauna"
I have tried using probiotics and apple cider vinegar (organic with the Mother)
and so far I have gotten some relief. I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has tried this approach. Thank you all for this thread
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Avatar_m_tn
Oh I thought I would also mention that I have had comprehensive blood analysis, hair analysis, and allergy tests, and have eliminated all the suspected foods. Have seen several naturopaths.
I avoid the night shade group, no longer eat dairy, am gluten free, have been a vegetarian for 40 years, don't drink, don't smoke, eliminated coffee for a year made no difference so I'm enjoying that again, exercise, am not overweight, use natural non scented products, eat organic, drink filtered water. To sum it up, I am at a loss as to where to go from here. Not a very positive prognosis for us sufferers.
As always thank you everyone for any helpful input
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm back! I've had EK off and on for my entire life (and for sure it's hereditary because my youngest child has it too - he's 26 now). I've been working with the current flare up for 4.5 years now.

HOWEVER, I'm back with NEWS. I have it under control! I am absolutely NOT peeling and no blisters have formed in over 3 months. I treat my hands and feet.

There is this recipe going around the internet now for dry skin so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I soak every Sunday while watching an hour long TV show. I double it and this is what I use:

1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup Listerine
2 cups water

It says soak for 10 minutes but I've worked up to an hour. I use a firm heel brush after that and rub the dead skin off.

Also, every night, I just started using any ole lotion... I got tired of buying expensive stuff. It seems just putting something on my feet and hands is enough to keep it from getting dry. I also put socks on every night. I've been doing this for a year.

Now? Other than a tiny amount of peeling around the nails, my feet look GREAT! Even my hands are wonderful.

I think what is happening is mostly mechanical -- not a cure -- since this seems to be an auto-immune disorder. But a weekly soak makes it worth it to me. My skin is soft and supple. I love how it feels after all of these years. Good luck!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm back. I have vowed to keep trying everything and when I have found something that works or seems to be working I'll post it here.

I injured my wrist, the one with the EK and have had to wear a wrist brace. "Luckily" my EK is on the bottom of my palm. I noticed after a few days of wearing the brace (it's like a compression and it generates a lot of heat "thermoskin") my EK patch of skin got really red and manky smelling. Oh great I thought!  Yet another problem to have to deal with.

Someone suggested soaking my hand in Pinetarsol Oil. It's an Aussie product but it's active ingredient is coal tar. I know it's also used in dandruff shampoo's. I've been soaking my hand in that, a cupful in 2 litres of warm water, every night for the last 3 nights then putting my wrist brace back on. My skin is finally healing! It looks so much better. I still get the odd blister but I think because of the compression and heat of the wrist brace they don't reach the peeling stage which in turn is giving my poor skin a chance to heal.

Beth is correct, I think, when she said any ole cream will do. It's the mechanics of soaking, exfoliating and in my case compression that seems to work for some.

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Avatar_m_tn
I am also suffering from this. I got this in the summer of 2010. I stopped wasting my money on Lotrimin and got better results from all of your helpful advice. I use Goldbond with the urea ingredient. It's helps but is no cure.

I have noticed that my ring finger suffers the least as it gets the least contact. The more pressure and friction my skin gets, the thicker and scalier the skin becomes. It's almost impossible for my fingers NOT to have contact with anything so I have to use the pumice stone to keep the amount of loose thick skin down. Its much more sensitive to touch after I've removed the extra thick layer of dead skin. Maybe this is what is causing our skin to create calluses. It's becoming hyper sensitive in the affected areas. Just my theory.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm inclined to try the vinegar and probiotics and maybe gold bond...I also think a new lotion I got may have exacerbated it.  I would never use Listerene -- for some worrisome ingredients.  But maybe check what else is in it and try whatever the healer is in that product.

Thought I'd post something related: I've controlled eczema for 20 or more years now by taking fish oil capsules, up to 6 a day (which may help some on this list).  Before I had to use RXd hydrocortisone which was thinning my skin and I think is really bad news.  I was "addicted," but the fish oil works.  Weening from the hydrocortisone was hard at first, but only took a few days of living with a little pain and itching. It's almost completely gone or completely gone 100% of the time for years now.  Diet and exercise are much more important than any topical.

It has not worked, however, for this new patch of dry peeling skin (and I'm past spring chicken time now, so I'm sure that's related).  So I'll try some of these things.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Too bad you aren't comfortable with the white vinegar and Listerine treatment- it's safe enough to put in your mouth and I am pretty sure my feet are tougher than that. I do the treatment every 2 weeks and I've finally KNOCKED THIS OUT OF THE PARK after a decade. I've been peel-free for six months now. I'm sure, since this is an auto-immune disorder, that I'm not cured, but HECK YEAH I'm happy! It's gone! And I'm wearing sandals and pedicured toes this summer. YAY!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I've had EK for 8 years now.  My skin bubbles/blisters (clear, air blisters) and then will peel over 7-10 days until my finger pads are raw and pink.  

I've been able to control this condition for the last 4 years, and have only had 1 "peeling" breakout over the last 17 months.  I went to the dermatologist back in 2010 and showed him what my condition was.  He diagnosed it as dyshydrosis / dyshydrotic eczema (haha).  I wasn't going to argue with him, because I know that I have EK based on the symptoms described on the internet, which are different than dyshydrosis.  Nonetheless, he prescribed me 4 different medications.  Solodyn (an oral acne medication that has anti-inflammatory properties), Clobetosal Proprionate (steroid cream), Halobetasal Proprionate (steroid cream), and Epiceram (a lipid based prescription lotion for psoriasis).  

My treatment regimen is as follows:
At the VERY first sign of a blister appearing on my fingers, I'll start taking 1 Solodyn tablet each day for the next 7-8 days.  I'll also use a steroid cream 2x per day.  And this will halt the breakout in it's path before it ever reaches the peeling stage.  The combo of the anti-inflammatory effects of the Solodyn and the steroid cream stop the breakout altogether.  I use the steroid cream for only 5-6 days, and then take Solodyn for a couple of days longer.  For each breakout, I will rotate steroid cream.  So if I use Clobetasol this time, I will use the Halobetasol for the next breakout.  I've found that rotating them helps the skin to not get "used" to a certain cream.  I know a lot of people say that steroid creams don't work cause they thin the skin, but I've found if I only use them for 5-6 days, my skin is fine.  Especially if the skin is already healthy and is not "peely" and raw.

Keep in mind that this is my regimen for preventing a breakout to the peeling stage.  In order to heal currently peeling skin, do the same process but take the Solodyn a little longer and use the Epiceram after you are done with your round of steroid cream.  You may find that you need to use the steroid cream longer also.  I know that your skin will get really thin, but I've found that if this happens, when I come off the steroid cream my fingers go into a rapid healing race.

The only breakout I've had recently is because I ran out of Solodyn and had trouble getting more.  It is a really expensive medicine - $1,000 per prescription because it is a new med and they have exclusive rights to it for a few years where they can't make a generic version yet.  But ask your dermatologist about the coupon savings program.  You can get a coupon to get 3 fillings of the medicine for only $35 a pop.  That would be 90 pills, which should last a long time if you only take 7-8 per breakout.  I just got a new prescription with the savings, so I'll be stocking up.  90 pills should last me 2-3 years.

Hope this helps.  Feel free to ask any questions.  This condition sucked while I struggled with peely finger pads.  It makes simple things in lift miserable, like putting on clothes, taking a shower, going for a swim, working outside.  But over the past 17 months, I've only had peely skin for about 3 weeks.  Having healthy skin right now is great!  Give this a try.  Hopefully it will work for others as it did me.
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Avatar_m_tn
Just wanted to add to the thread - lots of great ideas here, some that I will try.  I've had this condition for almost 20 years, started with one thumb (my friend called it my "scratchy thumb" - now I know what it's actually called!  
Anyway, I live in the Pacific Northwest, so I don't have much trouble in the winter because of all the humidity in the air - as soon as the sun comes out, I start peeling (mostly on my fingers and palms).  I found one cream that has really helped - it's called Impruv, I buy it at London Drugs here in Canada.  Of all the dozens of creams I've tried, this is the only one that actually seems to help my skin heal.
Here's a link:
http://well.ca/products/impruv-cream_1765.html
Best wishes to all in finding some relief, it's nice to know I'm not the only one, as I have never met anybody else who had the same thing....
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Avatar_m_tn
My ek started 7 mos ago and have just cleared it up on my own, dr's as you know are useless when it comes to ek. I made several changes at about the same time so could have been a combination of some of the different treatments I instituted or maybe just one. About 3 months into the ek, seeing that it wasn't going away I decided to take action. I did some research and decided to try the following: I first removed almost all gluten from my diet which I know helped alot, I backed way off of tomatoes and potatoes and started drinking a mix of apple cider vinegar, honey(to make it palatable) and water 3x per day. Also sprayed the vinegar on my hands several times day. I started eating way more fruits & vegetables and what I think helped the most was taking a super multi-vitamin from xtendlife, very expensive($100 mo) but very good. There are minerals and vitamins in there that are great for the skin. At the same time I started on the vitamins I greatly increased my fish oil supplement intake.The gluten free regimen probably cleared up 50% of it but I think the vitamins and fish oil finished it off. Also, the best moisturizers I've found, w/o a doubt are jojoba oil and Tea tree oil and they both helped greatly. Hope this helps you all.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have had this for 34 years. I have spent thousands of dollars on everything imaginable, but here I am with band aids on my feet. MDs, podiatrists , and dermatologists have no idea what this is. Only from the internet, have I found that I am not the only one in the world to have this. I will continue to try new suggestions.  I don't think there is any research going on, because it isn't dangerous, or contagious , and only painful if you peel too much skin. The biggest problem is embarrassment !
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Avatar_m_tn
FINALLY!  –  20% PROPYLENE GLYCOL

I found something that works for me. I have tried most things, but finally by chance tried something that works for my hands when it starts with this annoying shedding, during the summer.

Propylene glycol 20%, there are different kinds of brands that has this, doesn't need any prescription and is to be found in the pharmacy.

Dunno what it is or if it has some other bad effects but it seems to do the job. It  was better even after a day. I have tried it of a week now. Try and see if it works for you.

/Robert
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9644738_tn?1405023859
I have been experiencing this skin disorder for as long as I can remember. Like clockwork, every summer my hands (and sometimes feet) develop air filled bubbles that have a slight itch. After a couple days the bubbles spread due to skin flaking off (and my peeling at them..oops) this lasts until the weather changes to cooler temperatures. After the top layer of skin flakes off, the skin below becomes tuff, tender and numb and is often associated with cracking and bleeding in the folds.

I live in California so the weather is always nice but only the summer time is when I get EK. When I visited the Dermatologist as a child they summed my peeling hands and feet to a general eczema and prescribed me topical steroid ointments. I don't know if this helped or hindered, I continued to have the peeling of the hands and feet until the first few weeks of school began.

Here is something interesting: When I was 28 I became pregnant and I breastfed for 2.5 years and In that time I did not get the EK as bad, almost not at all. Hmmm... Wonder why?  

My friend is an Holistic Chinese Medicine Acupuncturist and he believes that it is heat trying to escape the body. He told be to eat foods that are cooling and to stay away from the ones that heat up the body. For instance

Cooling foods are:

Apple, banana, pear, persimmon, cantaloupe, watermelon, tomato, all citrus, lettuce, radish, cucumber, celery, button mushrooms, asparagus, Swiss chard, eggplant, spinach, summer squash, Chinese cabbage, bock choy, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn, zucchini, soy milk, soy sprouts, tofu, tempeh, mung beans and their sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, millet, barley, wheat and its products, amaranth, kelp and all seaweed, spirulina, wild blue-green, oyster-shell calcium, wheat and barley grass, kudzu, yogurt, crab, clam.

Heating foods are:

Ginger root, black beans, aduki beans, lentils, cinnamon bark and twig, cloves, basil, rosemary, oats, spelt, quinoa, sunflower seed, sesame seed, walnuts, pine nuts, chestnuts, fennel, dill, anise, carraway, carob pod, cumin, sweet brown rice, parsnip, parsley, mustard greens, winter squash, cabbage, kale, onion, leek, chives, garlic, scallions, cherry, citrus deal, date, hot peppers, butter, and anchovy, mussel, trout, chicken, beef, lamb.

Worth trying...

I have heard of using Urea, a moisturizing and softening dry, cracked, calloused, rough, and hardened skin of feet, hands, cream.
I have used Vanos, which is a Steroid cream. It is basically just masking your symptoms which I believe are here to tell us something. When I  discontinue Vanos, my conditions worsened and I developed a candida outbreak. Candida is a yeast that lives in the body and is regulated by good bacteria, a steroid tells your body to ignore the Candida and because of this it gets out of control. Keep in mind that I used this on a patch of dry skin on my face and maybe the effect wont happen when only applied to hands and feet but beware to never touch face, if that is the case.

I am still looking into Prednisone and UV radiation and would be delighted by any and all information on the matter..

Keeping my hands moistened and not doing any outside work without gloves seems to help a little.

Sorry for my rant, this in my first attempt of putting my business out there.

Blessings to all!

~Brandi
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Thanks for your post. I enjoy finding others that believe that food is medicine!
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Hi Brandigirrl
Thanks for your input, every little bit of info and experimental outcome helps.
I keep hoping to read this thread one day and someone will have the definitive cure, at least for the symptoms. I've just had the worst outbreak I've ever had, which is strange because the one previously was one of the lightest, and I was thinking perhaps all my efforts were paying off in slowing this EK nightmare down to a manageable level. Went to the Derm doc just to ask her opinion of Prednisone for times like this when I have to get this under control and she said "it doesn't help". Not that I take her word for gospel for sure, but I'd like to hear anyone else's experience with Prednisone ??
I have just started to see another Traditional Chinese Doc who only does Dermatology, so I will let everyone know if I have any luck.
Once again, Thanks everyone for the input.
Peelyguy108108  
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I find it interesting that your problem subsided when you were pregnant- because mine began when I was pregnant! Maybe there is a hormonal component to this. I also get it in the summer months- and it is identical to what you describe. I don't know if it's related, but I have vasomotor rhinitis- basically that all things in the air irritate me but I don't test positive for being allergic to anything. Maybe we can get all of these pieces of this crazy puzzle put together~
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My 16 year old son has been dealing with the peeling and cracking (which can bleed) fingertips and toes for three years now.  His is seasonal (starts in late spring/early summer till first frost.  We have been to derm doc after derm doc for over three years.  They have never mentioned exfoliative keratolysis.  Only after reading and some have said seasonal and just on first digits of hands did I feel like I hit pay dirt.  We are going to another derm doc that will talk to us about excimer laser.  Don't know if it will but at this point worth a try.    At this point we are praying for a miracle.
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What in the brand name?  Can you name the store?
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I have followed this board, off and on, for several years.  Around 20 years ago my feet and palms started peeling and cracking, just like most of you describe.  Embarrassing dry blister looking spots that would eventually open up and peel.  My hands and feet were so rough and terrible looking.  I went to several dermatologists, was tested for athletes foot, exema (eczema), etc.  I've tried more prescription creams and lotions, as well as over the counter ones, than you can shake a stick at.  I've tried soaking my hands and feet in tea, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide.  I've slept with socks and gloves on.  My hands and feet would clear up a bit every now and then, but it would always come back just as badly.  I gave up and thought I was domed to have this condition for life.
Then a miracle happened!  I had a medical procedure that required that I take a steroid pack and an antibiotic for a week.  A week or so afterwards, I noticed that my hands and feet were getting better.  After around three weeks there were no traces of EK.  It's been 6 weeks now and my hands and feet are still perfect!  I can't believe it and am constantly checking to make sure that it hasn't come back.  I can't remember the last time I had normal hands and feet and wasn't embarrassed by them.  I don't know what exactly happened or which of the meds did the trick, or maybe it was a combination of the two, but I am so happy that I had to share this with all of you.  I know how you're suffering and if I can pass along something that can help you, I'm happy to do so.  The meds my doctor prescribed before my surgery were-METHYLPREDNISOLONE Dosepak 21'S 4MG  and CEPHALEXIN CAPS 500MG.  Good luck to all of you!
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I just posted for the first time today.  Before having a surgical procedure my doctor prescribed METHYLPREDNISOLONE Dosepak 21'S 4MG  and CEPHALEXIN CAPS 500MG.  My hands and feet have been perfect!  I don't know if it was the methylprednisolone or the cephalexin caps, or the combination of the two, but I feel like a miracle has happened.  I'm not sure if cortisone works the same way, but it's worth a try.  Best of Luck!
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Hello to all, I'm back. I haven't posted since Nov 2014. I have the EK under complete control. As of now, I have none. It's summer time here in Los Angeles and no outbreaks. I used to live in Maryland where it started in 2010.

What I found most effective was the abrasion method of a pumice stone. Others here have used fine grit sand paper, I used pumice stone to abrade the thick calloused spots. I noticed that if I use the pumice stone, the calluse  stops spreading and in a week or two, the callus is gone. Now I have none.

Remember to use lotion after you've sanded down the callus. Don't over do it. Be patient, it takes time for really bad spots. Before, my fingers were cracked and dry and it would catch fabric. I hope this works for all of you. And no, I stopped using medicated lotion: the steroids made my mucus lining swell up and I ended up with a stuffy nose for several months. But that's me.
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Hello, I have suffered with EK for about 5 years now. On and off with very bad episodes. Right now it is the worst it has ever been. Really bringing me down and I am finding it very hard to carry out day to day tasks.

Below is an album of pictures I have taken over the last 5 years

http://imgur.com/a/GO641
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Do what I did. Get a fine grit sandpaper or a two sided pumice stone. here's a link: http://www.tweezerman.com/store/product/2-sided-pumice-stone/

Mine wasn't as bad as yours but it got pretty bad on all my fingers. I spent an hour every other night working down the callus. After 6 months, it was all gone. I hope this works for you. Remember to use lotion after each session.
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