Fingers melting! Why? What'll stop it?
June 13, 2006 2:56 AM   Subscribe

The skin on my fingers is peeling off! Why? What'll stop it?

The skin on the tips of my fingers if shedding in dry blister-like patches. What's causing it? What can I do to stop it or at least make it look less gross?
posted by jonesor to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Does it itch? Dry skin perhaps? Did you try to use a good hand lotion on it? If you did and it doesn't work, you might want to see a Dermatologist
posted by teapot at 3:31 AM on June 13, 2006

A friend of mine had this problem - turned out it was an allergy to a type of soap. (Dove, I think).

A dermatologist can provide some cream for the condition.
posted by divabat at 3:47 AM on June 13, 2006

Blah Blah Blah see a dermatologist.

Not trying to be snarky, but there's lots of reasons, from "meh, it happens" to "flesh eating bacteria". I doubt the last, but all I (or any of us) can see is a few dozen white letters on a green background, and I'm a netadmin, not a doctor.

If you wish, we can wait around for MeFi's resident doctors to come and tell you to go see a doctor. ;)

Seriously -- it probably isn't a big deal, but when your body does odd things for reasons you don't know, the right answer is someone trained to figure this stuff out.
posted by eriko at 4:37 AM on June 13, 2006

Could be from prolonged contact with some chemical or cleaning agent (409 or something similar). Rock the Lubriderm in generous amounts and let the skin grow back.
posted by deceptiv at 4:48 AM on June 13, 2006

This happened to me once during a very stressful period in college. Calculus II, IIRC.
posted by atchafalaya at 4:54 AM on June 13, 2006

I'm having the same problem right now. They're tiny, little patches about 1 mm in diameter all over the tips of my fingers. I have about 4 or 5 on each finger. I seem to remember that this has happened to me before and I was told at the time by a friend that it was a reaction to the change in weather. Though, I have been going through a stressful period lately, so who knows. I just peel it off and moisturize more.
posted by KathyK at 5:35 AM on June 13, 2006

If you started using a new soap or started a new project that's hands on, you may want to stop to see if this clears up. But you should see a doctor.

In the mean time, try looking for something at the local drugstore called Crack Cream. It's mostly clove oil, and excellent with extremely dry skin.
posted by FunkyHelix at 5:35 AM on June 13, 2006

I'll chime in with a "happened to me too." For a couple of months last year, maybe even right around this time, only on my index fingers (mostly on the right one). It stopped on it's own after awhile, never hurt, but was kind of...icky. I just chalked it up to stress, but had I had health insurance at the time, I would've probably had it checked out.
posted by bibbit at 6:46 AM on June 13, 2006

That used to happen to me all the time when i worked at fast food places when i was a teenager. I always just assumed it was the soap we were using the clean the kitchen.
posted by empath at 6:52 AM on June 13, 2006

Those anti-bacterial gels people use instead of soap have also been known to cause skin-peeling and irritation.
posted by junkbox at 7:15 AM on June 13, 2006

Every year in August since he was a little kid, the skin on my husband's hands peel off in big patches. It's always been written off as a seasonal allergic reation to ... something, but no one knows what. Because it doesn't cause anything but minor inconvenience, there hasn't been any treatment.
posted by macadamiaranch at 7:15 AM on June 13, 2006

I get this sometimes. And I only use Dr. Bronners pure Castile "Hippy Dippy to the MAXXXX" Soap. Hrm.
posted by zpousman at 7:39 AM on June 13, 2006

I used to have the worst case of box hands ever. It was from handling all these boxes in the backroom at a pharmacy. It got to the point where I couldn't touch another box without cringing. I swear that I could hear the moisture being leeched out of my hands.

Maybe it's box hands?
posted by jon_kill at 7:48 AM on June 13, 2006

I got this for about a week once. I think it was related to stress. Therefore, while you are waiting for your dermatologist appointment, make sure you are getting enough sleep, moisturise your hands a few times a day, try to avoid anything but the mildest soaps.

However, *do not pick at it*. If bits are peeling, let them - do not pull or scratch them off. As soon as I stopped doing that, it began healing.
posted by pollystark at 8:40 AM on June 13, 2006

I have this happen each year, it started when I was a bartender so I've always attributed it to the chemicals behind the bar.

Aside from being occasionally painful and kind of gross, its not really any big deal. But I'd like to figure out a cure too.
posted by fenriq at 10:35 AM on June 13, 2006

I totally have the same thing! Right now I'm trying Tinactin. I'll let you know what results I get (it's only been one day of Tinactin).

I find that it gets worse when I'm using my hands a lot-- like this weekend when I painted the guest room, my thumbs and forefingers are a mess now!
posted by orangemiles at 10:47 AM on June 13, 2006

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