Causes of Peeling Skin on Fingers

By Patricia | May 29, 2009
Causes of Peeling Skin on Fingers

Vitamin Deficiency

Your skin is like a covering that protects your body against external factors and also acts as the defense mechanism. There are mainly two layers of skin that cover the body, the epidermis or the outer layer and the hypodermis or the inner layer. Any problem in the skin, like infections, wounds, burns, inflammation, dryness or peeling first affects the epidermis, which is that part of the body which is visible to the eye.

While some people would attribute this condition to vitamin deficiency, it is most unlikely as only severe vitamin deficiency would cause skin to peel. Vitamin deficiency leads mainly to dry skin which will eventually flake and peel off. Severe deficiency of Vitamin B3 and niacin can result in peeling skin as the skin on the body dries. Deficiency of Vitamin B7 can result in psoriasis and eczema which eventually will cause the skin to peel off. However it is necessary to control your intake of Vitamin A. This is mainly because an overdose of this Vitamin would eventually lead to peeling skin. Besides this, we experience peeling skin also when there is a change in the weather or our surroundings. In addition to peeling skin on the fingers, you may also suffer from itching, scaling, flaking and cracking fingertips.

Your body does not really become vulnerable to any specific problem, even if the skin starts peeling off. For many of us, peeling of skin is nothing more than a source of embarrassment, as new skin grows back within a couple of days. In fact, the new, younger skin is stronger and is more capable of acting as the defense mechanism of the body. However, at times peeling skin can lead to a lot of pain and discomfort, especially in children. In some instances, peeling skin on fingers could be an indication of a serious health problem in adults as well as children.

Therefore, in case the skin on your fingers and hands continues to peel over a period of time, it is important for you to set up an appointment with a dermatologist or check with your family doctor.

Causes:

  • Dry Skin: Environmental factors like lack of humidity, air conditioning, sun exposure and use of harsh soaps could cause your skin to lose moisture and become dry. At times, dry skin could also occur due to conditions like hypothyroidism.
  • Eczema: Atopic dermatitis or eczema refers to inflammation of the skin due to which your skin may become itchy and dry. Hand eczema or dermatitis causes the skin on your hands to become inflamed, cracked and dry. You may also develop blisters that ooze pus and crust, due to this condition.
  • Psoriasis: This is a common skin disease, which affects the life cycle of your skin cells. In case you are suffering from psoriasis, the cells on the surface of your skin build up rapidly, which leads to the formation of thick, silvery scales and painful red patches.
  • Allergies: There are several different allergens that produce an adverse skin reaction, like latex and nickel are two common. Most people confuse allergens with irritants such as detergents and solvents; however the two are completely different.
  • Dry and peeling skin can occur due to the lack of vitamins in the body. Peeling skin usually occurs when there is an inadequate amount of Niacin or Biotin in the body. However, the deficiency has to be severe for you to experience this symptom.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes leads to decreased perspiration and thereby causes cracks in the skin.
  • Lack of Vitamin B: A deficiency of Vitamin B leads to a lot of skin ailments including Eczema.

Other common causes -

  • Use of certain medication
  • Infections
  • Rashes, Sunburn or excessive exposure to the sun
  • Wearing gloves that are too tight
  • Perspiring
  • Heredity
  • Conditions like scarlet fever, Kawasaki disease, erythroderma and ichthyosis

Some of the causes of peeling skin are quite serious and need to be treated immediately. Therefore, if the problem recurs or lasts for more than a week, it is best to check with a doctor.

Home Remedies:

  • Apply a few slices of cucumber on the affected part of your skin. This helps keep your skin fresh, moisturized and smooth
  • Prepare a mixture of honey and olive oil and apply it on to your skin each day, to keep it supple
  • Rub some fresh Aloe Vera gel on the affected skin, in order to preserve its elasticity and smoothness
  • The application of a mixture of sandalwood and turmeric can be a good remedy.
  • The application of fresh mint juice on your fingertips, every night is an excellent solution to this problem.

You also need to follow a diet that is healthy and provides your body with the right balance of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, protein, carbs and healthy fats.

Do remember that these remedies only stop your skin from peeling; they do not treat the underlying condition that has caused the problem. Moreover, while home remedies for peeling skin are quite safe if used correctly, it is best to check with a doctor before trying any of them.

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