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Date of last update: 10/18/2017.

Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: hand's skin peeling off

 Vincentccw - Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:11 pm




hi, i'm vincent from malaysia, i'm 19 and a college student and working part-time as a kitchen helper and cashier b4.about 2 and half month ago my hand skin start peeling off from my finger tips and spread downard and stop almost cover half of my palm, neither it heals, the skins dies and grow back again and dies, the cycles continues

it started off as a small patch of dry skin from my right hand thumb and was hold by the other living skin around my thumb, the dead skin become more and more until it spread through both of my hand

i usually divide them into 2 stages:
1.the dried and crack stage(as shown on the image)
2. when the layer of dead skin is eliminated and a layer of soft and reddish flesh is presented.

-during the first stage my hand skin dried up and crack sometimes even bleed depending on the seriousness of the crack. the dried up portion of my hand usually feel painful cauz the dry skin contract and press towards my flesh
-for the second stages my hand become very soft and sensitive to hot and sharp things, feel itchy for sometimes.

daily life problems:
-my finger print is not doing its job that i found it difficult to lift a paper or plastic bag,
-feel pain when typing infront of pc or even holding a pen
-i have problems with cutting things while working in the kitchen that my hand easily get cut even a small sting.

extra information:
-i have gone through some research but i don't think is related to my illness, that i don't think is eczema i dun have any rashes or blister on my hand and the illness only appear on the palm not the sole
-i'm a asthmatic, and have a terrible breathing problem when i was young, but have no ideas when i grow older my illness never comes back again.
-the hand peeling problems has happened to me since when i'm young at least once or twice within a yrs,on and off it goes and come back again
-the illness usually last within a month during the pass experience but this times the illness has carried on for more than 2.5month.....
-i wonder is a genetic illness, cauz i have seen my mom and my mom's sister suffer the samething b4 but not as serious as i do, it only happens to them when they touchs chemical or dusty items.
-the last hand skin peeling happened b4 the present one when i was working as a cashier, touching notes and coins everyday....appt 1yrs ago and illness last for 1and half month.
-the present one is when i started to work in the kitchen.....sometimes i did touches detergent and wash plates, but only 3 times a week (i'm part-timer)
-i wonder whether is there anything to do with the changes in my working environment,and cauz a significant change in my emotional or body reaction
against the environment.
-i have a serious pimples(not sure how u call it, but it becomes a lump of yellowish materials and stores inside my body and faces and usually quite big compare to normal pimples ) growing on the back of my body as well as my neck during puberty.
-few yrs back i have squeeze out a rock-like structure between two of my nipples,
almost the diameter of 0.2cm, grey and black in colour and look and feel like exactly the texture of a rock and is extremely hard.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:13 pm

User avatar Hello --

Although your pictures are no longer appearing here, I think you very likely have exfoliative keratolysis, a condition of the skin of the fingers and palms usually, and one that, surprisingly, does not respond to steroids. Rather, it is often seen in kitchen workers and may be controlled by a) protection from soap and water (except, of course, when handwashing is required), b) use handcreams which contain urea, lactic acid, and/or silicone, and c) sometimes, in extreme and persistent cases, photochemotherapy (combination of chemical and light therapy).

I hope this is helpful to you. Good luck with this.

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