How Do I Treat Peeling Finger Skin?

Petroleum jelly is a remedy for peeling skin on the fingers.
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  • Written By: Jennifer Voight
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 24 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Peeling finger skin may be a symptom of several different conditions, so treatment depends on what is causing skin on the fingers or hands to peel. Usually, this condition has an environmental cause, like friction or sunburn, and will heal on its own without intervention. When dry air and exposure to wind and cold causes peeling skin, using moisturizer on the affected area and protecting it from irritants can heal it. Sometimes, peeling finger skin may be caused by fungal, bacterial, or viral infections of the skin and may need treatment by a physician.

The most common cause of peeling skin is either sunburn or friction that has caused a burst blister. Both of these conditions will clear up on their own within a few days and do not require a visit to a doctor. Peeling skin caused by a blister should be covered to prevent wound infection. Using moisturizer can help soothe sunburned skin until it heals.

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When environmental conditions cause peeling finger skin, hands can become raw, crack, and bleed. It's important not to pick at the loose skin, no matter how tempting it may be, because this can expose deeper layers of the dermis, and fingers may become painful, raw, and bleed. If it's too difficult to stop picking at the skin, moisturizing and then covering the area with a bandage may help protect the area until it heals. When peeling hands becomes severe, it's crucial to watch for signs of infection, such as swelling, unusual or extreme tenderness, or the appearance of pus. If these signs appear, then it's time to seek medical advice.

Medical conditions that may cause peeling finger skin include eczema, exfoliative dermatitis, or a vitamin deficiency. Typically these conditions involve additional symptoms, including dry or flaking skin on other parts of the body besides the fingers. Sometimes peeling skin may be a symptom of a rare inherited disease called peeling skin syndrome. A doctor can prescribe creams or medications to treat many of these conditions and help ease symptoms.

No matter what the cause of finger peeling, certain precautions can help skin heal and prevent the dryness that makes the peeling worse. It can be helpful to keep the skin hydrated from within by drinking plenty of water. Taking a multivitamin and supplementing with fish or flax oil can help skin get all the nutrients and fatty acids it needs to stay healthy. Eating a healthy diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables can help prevent vitamin or mineral deficiencies that can contribute to peeling finger skin.

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Discuss this Article

fBoyle
Post 4

When I have a peeling blister, I apply an antibiotic cream on it and let it heal. The antibiotic cream prevents infection, which is the only thing I'm worried about with peeling.

SteamLouis
Post 3

@feruze-- Peeling is a natural stage after sunburn. Your skin has to get rid of the dead, burned skin, so that a fresh new layer can come up from underneath. I don't think you can prevent it, but you can do some things to relieve the pain and maybe speed up the process.

I recommend aloe vera gel and vitamin E oil for your skin. Apply these topically, but not together. Aloe vera gel is great for burns and relieves pain. It also helps skin recover. Vitamin E oil speeds up the healing process and gives flexibility to skin. Both of these should make your skin look and feel a lot better. You can get these from supermarkets or from the pharmacy.

If the peeling skin on your fingers doesn't hurt, then you can try some very gentle exfoliation with an exfoliating scrub. But if it hurts, don't do this because it will make things worse. You also have to make sure to moisturize your skin very well after exfoliation to avoid irritation.

bear78
Post 2

Is there a way to prevent sunburned skin from peeling?

I stayed far too long in the tanning bed and I'm peeling everywhere. I have skin peeling even on my fingers. It's very irritating and looks terrible. I've been applying hand lotion but it doesn't help.

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