Cold, dry air can cause dry skin, peeling, and even cracking and bleeding of the fingertips. Washing dishes without wearing gloves can put hands and fingers in contact with harsh detergents that can cause fingers to peel. Soaps and lotions that contain perfume can cause hands and fingertips to become irritated and peel.
Any type of trauma to the fingers, such as playing the guitar, can cause fingertips to peel. Peeling fingertips can also be associated with certain infections, reactions to medications and, rarely, potentially serious medical conditions.
A few simple measures can often stop the peeling, or at least slow it down:
Wash your hands with an unscented soap. Use an unscented moisturizer after drying your hands. Avoid trauma to your fingertips. Wear gloves when washing dishes.
Peeling skin is therefore a temporary problem and is known to heal in a few days as the new skin surfaces. Though there are few exceptions such as: 1)in case of infections or medications that cause the skin to peel or, 2) a hereditary disorder known as Peeling Skin Syndrome, all of which may require medical consultation to cure peeling skin. Some of the known causes leading to this skin disorder are: excessive perspiration, staph or viral infections, or excessive sun exposure resulting in sunburn.
Peeling skin syndrome is an extremely rare inherited disorder characterized by continual, spontaneous skin peeling or exfoliation. Other findings may include reddening of the skin and itching. Type B is associated with congenital erythroderma, a condition in which the skin has an intense red color.
If peeling continues, contact your doctor or see a dermatologist to rule out exfoliative keratolysis or dyshidrotic eczema.
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