Peeling fingertips: Peeling skin, anywhere on the body can be quite bothersome. When it’s the fingertips that start to peel, it becomes uncomfortable and somewhat embarrassing. There can be some reasons for this to happen to range from environmental aggravators to underlying medical conditions.
Here are some of the causes of peeling fingertips:
Certain habits like constant washing or chewing on the fingertips can be apparent reasons for the skin to start peeling. Washing your hands keeps them clean, but this repetitive use of soap removes the protective oils from the skin, making it dry and rough. Children, who suck their fingers or nibble on the tips, can also have peeling skin that will stop when the child grows out of this habit.
If there are itching and rashes around the area that’s peeling, it could be because of eczema. Hand eczema can be caused by trauma, genetics, chemical irritants, allergies, etc. The remedies include using mild soaps, wearing gloves, moisturising and avoiding hot water.
Sunburn can make the skin tender and warm. After the initial days, the skin will be beginning to peel, and it can take a few days or weeks for the area to heal. Since it can be quite painful, applying a cold compress, aloe vera or certain moisturisers can help soothe the skin while it heals.
In places that have very dry winters, peeling skin is quite common. Dry weather dries out the skin, causing it to crack. Preventive measures include using a humidifier, gentle moisturiser and avoiding hot water. Summers can cause peeling skin as well due to excessive sweating and use of sunscreens that may contain irritants.
All moisturisers, soaps, hand washes, dishwashing liquids, beauty products, etc. contain chemicals that can irritate the skin and cause it to peel. Those with sensitive skin can look for products that are natural or free of these chemicals.
Coming in contact with an item that contains substances that you’re allergic to can irritate the skin, causing it to become red and then peel. For example, if someone has a nickel allergy and then handles an item that’s made of nickel, it can irritate the skin, making it crack, blister and eventually peel off.
7. Niacin deficiency
A lack of vitamin B-3 (niacin) can lead to a disease called Pellagra. Apart from more serious symptoms like dizziness, digestive problems, weak muscles and even changes in the thinking process; Pellagra can also cause skin inflammation, making it appear dry, patchy and red. Foods like cottage cheese, black-eyed peas and soya milk are good sources of niacin, but when the deficiency is severe, supplements or other medical treatment might be required.
8. Kawasaki Disease
A rare condition that typically affects children under the age of five. The primary symptom is a high fever that goes on for over five days. The disease can also cause the skin on the fingertips to peel. Though there could be many other reasons, if this disease is suspected, it’s important to take the child to a hospital for diagnosis and treatment.
9. Other medical reasons
Fungal or certain bacterial infections can also be the cause of itching and peel.
Treatment of peeling fingertips will depend on the cause, but here are some general tips to avoid or deal with it:
- Avoid biting the nails or putting your fingers in your mouth.
- Keep your hands from getting too dry by protecting them in the colder months.
- Wear rubber gloves when dealing with harsh chemicals or doing the dishes.
- Do not cut the cuticles; you can push them back or rub them.
- Use hand creams, essential oils or a warm water soak to keep the skin supple.
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