Born with dry and wrinkly hands and feet, developed crust on toes
September 7, 2010 10:19 AM   Subscribe

Can the hive mind do better than my dermatologist in identifying these skin conditions? (Dry and wrinkly skin, pics inside)

I am in my late 20's and have had wrinkly hands and feet as well as dry skin my whole life. My mother was born the same way. There has got to be a name for this condition besides 'just dry and wrinkly skin'.
Also on my big toes I get (for about the past 10 years) this buildup of 'crust' that I assumed was fungus but the dermatologist just said it is excess skin production (no name for the condition given beyond that). I have seen other people with the same thing just on their big toes like mine. After softening up in the shower I can scrape the stuff off but it always grows back.
posted by dino terror to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The skin on your toes looks like it's just trying to pad a place where your shoes rub.
posted by hermitosis at 10:25 AM on September 7, 2010

I have the stuff on your big toes, too... I think it's just like a callus, just in a weird spot. Do you still get them if you wear flip flops or other open toed shoes after you scrape them off?
posted by Grither at 10:27 AM on September 7, 2010

Either we have the same condition with our hands.. or that's normal. They don't seem excessively wrinkley to me. My hands are dry, but I utterly detest the feel of lotion on my skin, so I live with it.

no idea on your toe, though.
posted by royalsong at 10:35 AM on September 7, 2010

Yeah, the toe thing looks like it's just a callus. (A callus is, essentially, "excess skin production," usually a reaction to friction, as might be caused by footwear.) I find that rather than scraping calluses (which is just more friction, which...yeah), just putting some moisturizer on there does the trick in a few days. You could also throw a bandaid on top.

Now, this is kind of a stretch (so to speak), but is your skin, in addition to being wrinkly, also especially stretchy and/or easy-bruising? I really only ask because of the shape and size of your hand (and feet), which is big and long and thin and possibly indicative of a connective tissue disorder like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (which is where the stretchy/bruisy stuff comes into play), Marfan syndrome, or homocystinuria. Or maybe you just have big hands and feet, or maybe I'm seeing big hands and feet where there are no big hands and feet.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:58 AM on September 7, 2010

My SO has similar skin on his feet, which also callouses very easily (which bothers him because he has wide feet that are hard to fit and he's on his feet most of the day.) Diligence with the pumice stone after his morning shower is how he handles it.
posted by desuetude at 11:07 AM on September 7, 2010

Slathering on a good lotion and then covering with cotton gloves and socks while you sleep might help, too. Your feet look as dry as mine and it helps me.
posted by fiercecupcake at 11:13 AM on September 7, 2010

Getting regular pedicures will keep your feet tidy.
posted by Ideefixe at 11:34 AM on September 7, 2010

That could be eczema on your big toes. Google eczema big toe and you'll get a handful of complaints about it and a few semi-official looking medical mentions of it. This page notes a kind of dermatitis that starts on the big toes. This page talks about foot eczema starting on the dorsal surface of the big toes. I don't know anything about the credibility of the sources but it may be a line of investigation for you.
posted by Askr at 11:54 AM on September 7, 2010

My husband's hands look just like yours. His mother has always been convinced that he has wrinkly hands and dry skin because the doctor put her on a low fat diet when she was pregnant. (She was older and they thought she was going through menopause and didn't know she was pregnant.) Years after hearing this theory, I am chatting with a pregnant co-worker about pregnancy weight gain, etc. and she brings up her friend. The friend's mother was always very proud of having only gained 11 pounds during her pregnancy, but, the co-worker said, the friend has really dry skin and strange wrinkly hands and they wonder if that could be related.

So, two data points of strange coincidence to consider. (NOTPINSAD: None of the people in these stories are doctors.)
posted by artychoke at 12:48 PM on September 7, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses, my curiosity about the toes is satisfied. As for the hands, Sys Rq I am mightily impressed that you deduced Marfan's from those pictures: I've jumped through all of the hoops with the specialists for Marfan's and I apparently don't have it, although I have other symptoms such as the pectus carinatum. I don't have the aortic valve aneurism thing which means no early death so that's all that matters really. However, I am not that familiar with the 2 other possibilities that you listed so I am going to have to look into that. I knew that if I got an explanation for the hands it might reveal something else more substantial...
posted by dino terror at 12:55 PM on September 7, 2010

Looks like ichthyosis to me.
posted by arabelladragon at 1:48 PM on September 7, 2010

After an eight month fight with a serious skin disorder and seeing one general practitioner, a cardiologist, a rheumatologist, three dermatologists (two of which were specialists at Johns Hopkins Medical Center), and months off of my feet because of conditions far worse than yours appear, my nurse wife suggested I go off of all medication an see what would happen.

I did this and in desperation made an appointment with a practitioner of holistic medicine. He made a few fairly minor dietary recommendations, told me to stay off the meds and take fish oil tablets and vitamin D daily, and to drink as close to a gallon of water daily as I could.

Over the last six weeks my improvement has been nothing short of miraculous. As recently as recently as the middle of July I was afraid I'd have to quit working, but now I'm at 95% of my old self, health-wise, and improving daily.

I am no longer a skeptic of the holistic approach to medical care.
posted by imjustsaying at 4:49 AM on September 9, 2010

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