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Avatar universal

Losing Skin on My Thumbs

This discussion is related to skin peeling of in layers on hands.


I'm glad I found this thread, because I have the same skin problem that a few of you have.  This skin on the inside of my thumbs starts to look dead, cracks, and falls off in sheets.  It's painful when the lower levels of my skin are exposed, and it bleeds and cracks.

It's better when I keep it moisturized constantly and keep bandaids over my thumbs.  I've tried a cortizone: Triamcinolone Acetonide, which I have for an excema-fungal problem on my legs, which has long since vanished.

I think it might be some kind of infection, since it started when I accidently took a one-quarter inch slice off my thumb.  Maybe it spread to the other thumb from my steering wheel, since do alot of driving.  I hope someone finds the answer . . .
24 Responses
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi,

The peeling and the dryness may be due to a fungal infection. A dermatitis/eczema and an allergic reaction are also differentials. Dermatitis can be recurrent. If this is irritant dermatitis then persistent exposure to the irritant ( possible example is material of you steering wheel ) may aggravate the condition. Continue to use a bland and hypoallergenic cream to moisturize the area. A glove or a cover over your steering wheel may decrease the chance of direct contact of the material to your skin. Avoid other possible triggers.

A possible infection may also be considered .However, this usually is associated with swelling , pain and discharge. The cut may have triggered an itch scratch reaction that could have led to an eczematous flare.

Eczematous disease may require steroidal creams. Have you had a consult already?
Avatar universal
I have had the same thing for years. With me it seams to show up in the winter time. I have a friend that both he and I were in the military and both spent time in Asia and both get this in the winter.  First I will get a small bump that is redish and sentative.  If I leave it alone it will just dry up and appears to go away. If I poke the bump there is clear fluid in it and it will dry up quicker, but whenever the bump appear the skin pealing is soon to follow.  I so much lotion I can't believe it. My thumbs are the worst to peal but most my fingers will peal off on the sides and bottom but no skin peals on the top.  Some skin will peal off the palm of my hand but not much. Luckily for me nothing peals off my feet.  I have tried anti-fungals and no help either.  I hope someone can figure this out.  It goes on for about a month for me before it gets better.  I would love to get rid of it once and for all.
Avatar universal
I, like you, am pleased to finally find some people who seem to have a similar problem, one I have suffered for decades. dermatologists are a waste of time and continue t o advise that it is exfoliative keratolysis. My outbreaks sound similar to many of the people in this forum and are confined to my hands... a predictable and progressive redness, itching, blistering, drying out, peeling and sometimes re-peeling. The only thing I can add to the discussion is that my outbreaks are triggered by the use of sun lotions in hot (tropical) conditions. I travel a lot to the Caribbean and must wear sunscreen, and when I apply it I wear rubber gloves. Even so, I still have a reaction because my hands eventually come in contact with the lotion which has been apply to face, arms and legs. And then it off to the races... I know that within a day or two I will have an outbreak. Does anyone have a similar situation? I have tried hypo-allergenic screen but they all seem to have the same effect.
Avatar universal
I am 25 and have been getting this just about every winter for about 4 years. I get the same problem of the skin on my thumb or index finger beginning to peel, and then it spreads to the other fingers till they all have lost a few layers of skin and are red and sensitive. One interesting point is about the herpes fever blister correlation that has been mentioned. I also get fever blisters and had an outbreak a few months ago. Does anybody else suffer from both problems?

I have been able to keep it under control if I get it to completely go away, which is VERY difficult. I use Neutrogena Norwegian Formula as a moisterizer. I almost made it through the winter this year without an outbreak, but I was staying for 10 days in a hotel and didn't have my lotion. I only had the hotel brand. I could feel my fingers getting dryer each day, then it led to the first blister and now I've had it for about a month.

It seems that using a Humidifier at night in the bedroom helps it heal, but then it just blisters and peels again since the skin is tough, caloused and dry.

For anyone that finds a solution, please remember this thread and post an answer.
Avatar universal
I just went to the dermatologist today and my fingers were all torn up and pretty much just had the new skin with plenty of peeling visable. About 3 weeks ago I had this winter's flare up and he gave me a steriod shot which helped it clear up after 1 week but a couple days later the skin had peeled off again.

He said that I have Dyshydrosis Hand Eczema and he prescribed me what he says is an intense treatment to try to heel my fingers, here is his treatment plan:
Apply Desonide lotion during the day
Apply Clobetasol cream .05% at bedtime
He put me on a Z-Pac antibiotic 250mg
DHS clear shampoo
Aveeno eczema control body wash

We talked a lot about what is causing this. My brother told me today he gets a very similar condition but on his feet. We discussed the fever blister connection but he says this is related to a different condition and he is certain I am not having that. We talked about Shampoo and body wash (I use Axe) and he said to stay away from the heavy fragrance washes.

I will keep the post updated with my progress and I hope others that have something that works please do the same.

One final note, when I showed my fingers to my Pharmasist, he said that he had a buddy who got the exact same condition and it was stress induced. I am finishing up building a house, so it would make some sense, but I seem to get this every winter so I'm not sure.

Avatar universal
My daughter has the peeling thing on her hands and sometimes her feet
I can understand her feet as she has really bad sweating feet,  but her hands this time are really bad -- she is 5 and has had this problem since a baby.  I don't know what to do anymore.
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