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skin peeling of in layers on hands
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skin peeling of in layers on hands

a couple days ago, my 3 year old son  had skin peeling on his thumb.  It looked as if a blister had popped and now the skin wa coming off.  Unfortunately he had no blister.  This is affecting each finger on both hands.  The skin begins to peel around the nail and then the top of the finger and half way down its base.  Why is this happening all of a sudden?  Soon as one finger peels, another one begins and it is repeated. I have read briefly about keratolysis exfoliativa is this the same thing?
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Eredish:

Keratolysis exfoliative refers to mild peeling of the palms.  In a 3-year old, I think finger-sucking is much more likely.  I can't think of any significant diseases which would present this way.

I'd keep the area moist and just wait it out.

Best.

Dr. R
37 Comments
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My 15 yr old daughter's fingers do this.  They will peel all the way down.  They get very raw and sore.  Her pediatrician called it numular excema, and prescribed some kind of cream that has cortisone in it for whenever it acts up.  He said it was likely that this condition would come and go indefinately.
Dee
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My 10 yr old son peels this same way. Starts at fingertips and goes down palms at times. We've eleminated latex & contact rash
options. Dr. says non-specific dermatitis but meds (hydrocort &
cortisteroid) haven't stopped it. It is periodic, ususally starts with "prune finger" apperance-like prolonged water exposure even though he wasn't in water. Sensitive when peeling.
Dad is a nurse, so we keep record of episodes. Course runs 7-10 days!
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I have been dealing with a simular problem for the last 4 years.  My dermatologists says he thinks I have hand exzema (eczema).  He did a scrapping, and declare that it wasn't a fungal problem.  Basically, My fingers (Especially my thumbs) become hard & calussed looking, feel dead and look pale, then begin to "blow out" & peel in thick layers.  They become very sensitive & raw as the skin peels.  Then a thin layer of reddish new skin forms. Sometimes they peel again before healing.  They usually completely heel after 2-3 weeks and then the process begins all over again. This problem happens on both hands and seems to be semmetrical between the two hands.  I have tried several cortizone creams including Diprolene AF .05%.  No relief.  Could this be something else?  I never had this problem before 4 years ago.  I am 31 years old.  Do you have any ideas on what is happening?
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i'm am a 20 year old girl, the skin on my hands and feet has been peeilng off ever since i was a little kid. i want to know if there's a permanent cure availble for this disease. i'm from india.
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Please help me!
I have had this problem with peeling hands (exfoliating) for a few years now.  I heard about Aphanizomenon floz-aquae it is suppose to somehow stop the reoccurences.
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I have the same problem as all of you.  The slightest touch of just paper, my fingers will dry, turn white and eventually, crack and peel. It's really bothersome because it looks so unattractive and it makes working and doing anything that much harder when it peels so much, sometimes it'll bleed. It's a constant thing and I've tried all kinds of creams too.  It moves onto the bottom of my feet also, but mostly, it's my left foot and my right hand, don't figure.  I always fear it's a symptom of diabetes and not just eczema.  It helps slightly when after a shower, I apply vaseline to both areas and then put some gloves on, I even sleep with them on.  This just started happening to me a few years ago.  Anyone that has a solution, please share!
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I also have this problem.  It feels as if I dunked my fingertips in wax and then within hours they develop a sort of dry blister.  There is no pain involved except for the new exposed skin being tender.  It mostly involves the first two segments of my fingers and thumbs.  It is really gross.  I would be great if someone could suggest what I might use to get rid of it.  Ordinary creams do not help (in fact I think they made it worse.)  I recently went to work in a sewing mill and am beginning to wonder if it isn't some type of allergic reaction to something the fabric is treated with.  I read at another site that SBR lipocream would help protect hands from chemicals.  I am going to try it. Perhaps this may help some of you too.
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THe skin is peeling around my finger tips, palms and now my toes and feet in the same strange manner.  It peels right off, no pain, so long as you don't pull it too far.  I am 45 yrs.old,in generally good health and I eat good. I am currently under a great deal of stress and believe it is the cause.  Stress can cause the body to not only loose valuable vitamins and nutrients, it can prevent the body from absorbing them correctly.  Likewise, if you aren't under stress, like the 3yr old, it's probably a vitamin deficiency. Everyone needs to appropriately supplement their diets with vitamins and minerals.  I am going to take extra supplements of vitamin A and B complex as well as immune building herbs to get back on track.  Signs like this is the bodies way of saying, HEY!, something is wrong, take better care of me!!!
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THe skin is peeling around my finger tips, palms and now my toes and feet in the same strange manner.  It peels right off, no pain, so long as you don't pull it too far.  I am 45 yrs.old,in generally good health and I eat good. I am currently under a great deal of stress and believe it is the cause.  Stress can cause the body to not only loose valuable vitamins and nutrients, it can prevent the body from absorbing them correctly.  Likewise, if you aren't under stress, like the 3yr old, it's probably a vitamin deficiency. Everyone needs to appropriately supplement their diets with vitamins and minerals.  I am going to take extra supplements of vitamin A and B complex as well as immune building herbs to get back on track.  Signs like this is the bodies way of saying, HEY!, something is wrong, take better care of me!!!
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I have no answers, but just started having the very same problem.  I did a search to find an answer and came across this page.  

This is very stange, all of my fingers started drying up and peeling about 8 months ago.  It works in stages, both thumbs will become hard and dead in the center, then peel, then heal.  Then a few weeks later a finger will start.  

It always happens to the same fingers at the same time on both hands.... Strange.  I don't have any answers why.  I thought I put my hand on a bad chemical.
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I have no answers, but just started having the very same problem.  I did a search to find an answer and came across this page.  

This is very stange, all of my fingers started drying up and peeling about 8 months ago.  It works in stages, both thumbs will become hard and dead in the center, then peel, then heal.  Then a few weeks later a finger will start.  

It always happens to the same fingers at the same time on both hands.... Strange.  I don't have any answers why.  I thought I put my hand on a bad chemical.
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As all of you im a 17 year old male and i get the white blister looking things but only on my hands it has just started 3 days ago....i believe that it was a type of baby loation that i have used on my hands but im not shure.. i feel like i don't want to go to school it looks real bad it's not on my feet though... has anyone found out how to cure it yet?
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I have a one year old baby boy who just started having similar problems about a month ago.  I kept thinking it would just go away but its kind of getting worse.  I sure hope he doesn't have to live with this his whole life.
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My five year old son started having the skin peeling off on his
palm and around the thumb after he had fever continuousle for
four days. He had a allergic reaction all his body had a rash.
A week later his skin started peeling. I have no idea what is causing this. When I was looking for answers I came  across this
page.
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My five year old son started having the skin peeling off on his
palm and around the thumb after he had fever continuousle for
four days. He had a allergic reaction all his body had a rash.
A week later his skin started peeling. I have no idea what is causing this. When I was looking for answers I came  across this
page.
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I just noticed my 14 month old daughters fingertips and toes are peeling. I have no idea why. While looking it up on line I came across Kawasaki Disease. Has anyone looked into this?
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Anyone have suggestions?  I have the same issues, peeling of the thumbs and fingers perfectly symmetrical.  I haven't touched chemicals, been burnt, and I have pretty good hygene so I think ringworm is out...  It seems we all have similar issues but I don't see any answers...
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Keratolysis exfoliative

This is what the problem is, I have been suffering with it on index and thumb for 3 years now.  I think I had it on my feet two years prior.

For me, Vix vapor rub brings it on, as well as leather gloves.

I have a new blister on my thumb and am going to pay the doc to cut it out and see if that avoids the whole peeling for every in larger white rings thing!

I have been keeping track of this for three years now, I will report back as soon as I have an answer.

I can tell you that 2 percent iodine with a bandaid over the top will remove it in five days.  However it will come back in a month.

I have tried anti-viral stuff on it, not a help, cortisone temp but it comes back as soon as you stop using it.  Prednizone which aggravates the he11 out of it.

I find that antibiotics stop it, but again it returns after treatment ends within a couple weeks.

I have it on one finger and the new one on the thumb.  Getting the thumb blister removed to see if that stops it.  If it does I will pay to have the next finger air blister cut out and see if that cures it.

A thing that has me wondering, I used to get cold sores, (fever blisters, herpes) and have not for a long time, I am wondering if this is some type of new manifestation of herpes on my fingers?

Anyway I will continue to collect info and keep posting if all of you do so maybe we can give the docs enough info to have a break through.

Bob
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Also need to know how many of you have that dipped in wax feeling prior to the out break?

Does anyone have it go past the second joint from the tip of the index finger?  I have never had it pass that zone.

Has anyone had it go under the finger nail?  My never seems to,
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I have been dealing with a similar problem for the last 4 years. The dermatologist said he thinks I have hand exzema (eczema).  Basically, my right thumb becomes hard & calussed looking, then begins to "blow out" & peel in thick layers.  The thumb become very sensitive & raw as the skin peels.  Then a thin layer of reddish new skin forms. Sometimes the new skin regenerates and stays normal for a while but later the whole process begins again and other it starts before healing. The problem started milder than is now. The peeling has been extending farther down the thumb with each new reoccurrence. The problem only happens on the right thumb but is extending down the thumb which makes me think of a fungal problem. I never had this problem before 4 years ago.  I am 57 years old.  Do you have any ideas on what could be at work and how to deal with it?
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I am a research scientist, so I have theories, but no real answers.  I am still trying to gather info to try and reach a logical conclusion.  So far:

I thought it was a bacteria type deal, took antibiotics which did make it go away but it came back after going off the 14 day course.  Came back at it with a double strength course for 21 days, went away but came back.

Switched to cortisone, made it worse IMO.

Went on a 60 day course of prednisone, stepped all the way up to 20 mg then backed down over a three week period, no effect

Went to iodine at 2 percent and wrapped it, killed it off and was clean for six months, started using vicks vapor rub and it came back.  Suspected something living in the Vicks.  Frozen for later analysis.  Mean time it came back again without the Vicks, but seemed hooked to when I wear leather gloves.  Started thinking maybe an alllergy to petro products?  Iodine tinture works to kill it off, but it comes back.

However this time it has jumped from my index finger to my thumb on the same hand.  Funny it started as a wart like thing on my index finger, almost like a planters wart, then cratered out dry no fluid, then the peeling began in ever increasing rings. Then it would start again, but never again with the wart type thing after that first time it always starts like my finger has been dipped in wax or part of it in wax, then gets hard, then starts to peel off, this time on the index it went up over the top, but did not go lower then the second joint.  However it jumped to the thumb.

So it started feeling like a pimple, then cratered out dry, now has a typical perfect white circle about 5 mm across.  It is slightly irritating and I can feel a bulb of irritated flesh under it.  This condition existed last time for one month prior to total peeling starting.

So Thursday I am paying my family doc to numb me and cut it out.  He agreed to do it if I promise not to use the carbocaine for my horses to numb it and do it myself.  If this keeps it from spreading to my thumb like it did on my index finger I will at least know it spreads on the dermis.  (integuement? that is what we call it on horses anyway)

Couple things that have me wondering.  I used to get cold sores, I started using zovarix to kill the thing down, this showed up a year later, and acts sort of similar, in the fact it feels irritated then craters out then peels.  Don't know if it is some new way for herpes to come out, but I have to keep it in mind.

I don't think it is bacteria anymore, I am pretty sure it is going to be a virus which if the cutting stops the spread I will pursue,

It has also occured to me that it is some type of reaction to environmental conditions.  Causing a biological response that is dorking the dermis up, but I have largely discounted this do to the regional area it confines itself too.  Allergic in one finger?

I continue to investigate and write in my lab book.
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I have also set up a UVC treatment system.  After the cutting experiment is over I am going to try a UVC method at 26,000 mW cm2 to see if I have hammer the RNA and DNA of anything it might be.  This is high enough to hammer mold as well.  Still working on the index finger protection glove.  Once completed I will begin treatments and see what the he11 happens.  This box also creates a lot of O3 so I had to ventilate it to my lab hood.  I can produce 66,000 mW cm2 if required, but I have not found much that can survive 24,000 at this time.

Will report here as I continue.  I could not find a derm Phd to work with me, they all tell me it happens.  I am 45 years old and am not living with this.  I will figure out how to kill it.
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Its great that someone is on the same path of finding out what the hell this is. I will keep reading how you are doing bbally. I also have a feeling its either a mold or a virus, because of the confinement and the way it seems to spread slowly. I was 52 when it happened to me for the first time. I read somewhere about the possibility of being Penicilliatis caused but a Penicillium mold. My son developped the peeling of his hands when he went to live in Southeast Asia. Then the peeling of my thumb started one year or so later. It seems Penicilliatis is common in that area of the world.    
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Have you ever had large amounts or thick chunks of skin peel from your feet?

Or have you ever had lots of little pock marks in you feet around the heel and/or ball of the foot?
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Have you ever had a round "plantars looking" hole on the heel of either feet or both?
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Yes long time ago I had a callous area on the spot under the big toe, the skin became thick, dried out, and I peeled it off, but it dissaperared and I don't remember having that as a recurrent problem. I thought it was from walking a lot and having lots of pressure on that particular spot because of the shape of my foot. I don't remember having little pock marks at all. I had a plantars looking hole on the top of one of my toes. I used one of those Dr. Spock rings to stop the rubbing of the skin against the shoe.

About my thumb I have just started using a very thick cream, made with parafin, lanolin, etc. which makes a barrier on the skin....I used that the first time I had this problem five years ago, and it helped it then, but it came back six months to a year later, I cannn't remember, now it almost does not go away at all. I will let you know if it gets better. The bottom of my thumb is reddish and very sensitive right now.    
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Did you peel the thick skin on your toe with you fingers and thumb?

The plantars looking thing, did it make an almost perfect circle?

Tomorrow we cut the thing from my thumb.  It will take three days for the labs to come back.

I am back to thinking we are dealing with a slow growing bacteria.  I used a woods light on the areas yesterday and got the results I was hoping for, so on to the cutting Thursday and by Monday we should know something.  The good news is, if this turns out to be the bacteria, there are two treatments that can be applied.
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Yes I am most certain that I peeled some of the skin from the sole under the big toe with my fingers, and some I may have cut it off. The plantars looking thing was a round callous on the top of a toe, with a hardened area in the center. I may also have pick at it with my fingers, specially after it dried out and stopped hurting.

Most definitely, in my case, it has been slowly spreading down my right thumb, and the problem becoming more frequent and more difficult to get the skin back to normal.  

I read about the yeast/mold Penicillium marnefei which can have minor effects on healthy people with normal defenses, whereas it can be a serious problem in HIV affected people. I was wondering about this, but you said you had already cultured part of the skin and came out negative for fungus.

I saw a dermatologist but said it was soriasis or ezcema (eczema), and did not want to investigate any further, even though it is such a unusual occurrence to have it only on one thumb. I will be very interested on your results.

Keeping my thumb covered on a greasy stuff for the last 24 hrs seems to be helping more than the more absorvent cream. Also in the morning when I wake up is always better, and as the day goes by gets worse.  
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Had the same problem with three dematologist.  All same thing, exfoliative Keratolysis, nothing to do, supportive theorapy, no curing.

However, you are the 226th person that has followed the exact path as my five year battle with this ailment.

Did the excise yesterday, everything is on the horse blood petri dishes since 6 pm last night.  Monday afternoon we will read the plates.  And I believe nail this thing to the wall.  I am careful not to release the hypothesis in advance.  So I sent the samples for blind or unknown culturing, with the exception of specifying horse blood agar.  This thing on my thumb may have finally revealed the missing piece to the puzzle.

We will know Monday.  And if I am correct, and the doc thinks I am, we will offer a cure to about 26 percent of the people afflicted with our varient.

Which will bring them closure, but open up new testing for me as this has to be a mutate because of its adhesin properties.

The day goes by you should notice it getting drier and drier, then flaking or cracking?

Talk at you Monday.
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Thanks for all the info. I will be waiting for your news Monday. About the skin on my thumb, it does get drier as the day goes by, and flakes off at the edges, whick prompts me to want to reap it off with my teeth, but I am trying not to, and I use small cissors to cut off the dried edges, and I keep putting lots of lanolin and parafin cream on, hoping it heals once again. I am avoiding water which is a pitty because I love swimming, but most definitely water makes it worse.

Will wait for your news. I am glad you are as determined as I am to find out about this thing, and with possibilities to investigate the cause of the problem.

Cheers.  



  
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I started having round sores as you describe having on my thumb years ago.  They would be fluid- filled and painful.  If I left them alone, they would likely go away, but if I scratched at them, as they were slightly itchy, they would  pop, spread, dry out, and get scabby and incredibly itchy and painful.  They started on my left thumb but in time spread to my left index finger, then eventually to my right fingers.  Now, years later, I am having problems more like some of the other individuals describe, where the skin on the tips of all of my fingers and thumbs will just kind of bubble up- no puss as before, though and peel off.  There is no itching or scabbing, either.  Just repeated peeling.  It seems to go in cycles... set off possibly by working in the dirt and/ or doing too many dishes, but the doctor was not much help, so I thought since you are trying to do something, my story may be of interest.  Incidentally, years ago I had athlete's foot on one of my toes and for a few years I have had problems with dry, painful cracks in my heels that sometimes burn enough to wake me up.  Don't know if there is a connection or not, but couldn't hurt to mention it.  Good luck with your investigation!
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finally, not a cure but at least some people who sound like they know what i've been going through. this started for me about 7 years ago and i was never able to make it go away. it started on my feet but recently jumped to my fingers as well and its getting worse (maybe the weather?) but the skin around my feet and fingers are now just cracking and can be pulled off in strips like string cheese. it doesn't hurt but the exposed skin underneath is often red and sensitive. I hope to hear good news from your tests on Monday and will check back to see the progress. Thanks for sharing. it helps knowing others have the same problem and I'm not some freak.
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I too have the same issue.  On top of thickened skin that peels on my thumb, my thumbnail is brittle.  I've been dealing with this for about 4 years.  I've tried tea tree oil, nail fungus treatments, etc.  I decided to have my nail  tested for a fungus and it came back negative.  The strange thing is the test showed a high level of yeast.  So after researching my symptoms further I'm going to try some of the suggestions I've read.  I found three that seemed promising. 1.Threelac and Oxygen Elements Plus 2. Symbion Probiotics. 3. Vitamin A & B Complex along with immune building herbs. Keep you posted! KP
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I am 34 years old and have lived with this problem dice I was an infant! And to make matters worse my hands from finger tips to wrist will peel layers of skin often times down to red "new" skin! But I also have hyper active sweat glands and my hands are always soaked! Never had a fungus, infection, or medical issue. However, it can get very painful, embarrassing, and inconvenient! I do however have the softest hands ever! A plus. I have yet to find anything that helps, prevents, or stops either from happening! I hate it! And every doctor who I've seen for it cannot give me an answer! Oh, normally the onset to a peel will begin with hundreds of red pin ***** looking bumps all over the palms and fingers! The hands will swell. This process is very painful and can itch! But it will go away and the layers of skin will then peel.
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brethens! I have the same problem i.e painless peelings on palm and feet. I started taking griseofulvin tablets this night. You may try it. Hope it works!
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