The medical condition keratolysis exfoliativa, or focal palmar peeling, is very common these days. It is normally accompanied by peeling hands, palms and foot soles. Though it usually occurs during hot summer months in teenagers, it may appear in elder men or women in early spring and late autumn. Air-filled blisters are the signs of the first stage. During the second one they rip open, leaving small collars of skin’s peeled scales. When the third stage comes, the skin beneath is getting red and dry, yet not itchy.
NOTE: the condition can be confused with psoriasis, tinea or eczema. They all have pretty similar appearance.
Signs and Symptoms of Exfoliative Keratolysis
Dermatologists define several main signs of this medical condition. Why are the signs important? It’s obvious that they help in noticing the first marks of a serious condition. The sooner they are addressed, the higher the chances for a fast and full recovery are.
- small blisters appear during the first stage of exfoliative keratolysis. They are always filled with air and not the fluid as most other blisters are. The affected areas are hands, so there’s no chance to miss their occurrence: they are always visible;
- first blisters begin to peel off. They do it in one of three ways: in a circular way, crack or split. The skin underneath is getting cracked and reddish. Hands peeling can occur only after the development of numerous skin tags. The tender and reddish layer that takes the place of an old one slowly becomes less tender and turns to the norm;
- in some people blisters cover not only palms but also finger tips and even soles of the feet. When the problem affects different body’s areas at once, they all must be treated simultaneously: if you address hands only, feet will suffer greatly;
- when left neglected, affected fingers and fingertips gain a much harder skin regrowth. Regrowth never stops because of a continuous skin peeling. Whenever a regrowth occurs, one’s skin needs more time to get back to a normal condition;
- even after the condition is cured, the signs and symptoms remain for several weeks as the skin needs much time to get back to its normal state;
- at times the disorder is harmless and painless, yet its appearance becomes an embarrassment that often leads to depression;
- keratolysis exfoliativa often affects the base of fingers. It leads to much deeper cracks, numbing sensations as well as skin hardening. When the fingers’ base is the center of the problem, a person should get ready to hands peeling that never goes on its own, to various healing complications and a long-lasting treatment process;
- the area may be covered by ruptured blisters, and they aren’t accompanied by itchiness.
NOTE: when the skin is affected, it is very vulnerable. Secondary infections, soap, cream and UV rays can cause harmful effects. In rare cases they have a negative impact on one’s general health of a patient.
What Can Cause the Condition of Peeling Hands?
Why are my hands peeling? – It’s the very first question people ask when their hands are covered with ruptured blisters. Unfortunately, it is pretty hard to name one exact reason that could be the cause of complications. Furthermore, many professionals are sure there can’t be an exact cause: the condition itself involves epidermis – he skin’s outer layer. This layer is made of many keratin layers. Keratin ensures skin’s flexibility and strength, so when it breaks down the skin loses the strength it used to possess and doesn’t function as a body systems’ barrier. Today there are several different factors that can lead to skin peeling on hands:
- soap & detergents: they are the top reasons why so many people have peeling. These products always include certain elements and chemicals that affect the skin on hands making it develop blisters and cracks;
- genetics: many specialists consider genetic factor the main reason why a person is prone to any disease, and skin peeling is in the list too;
- stress: the onset of the condition can be triggered by stress too. If the condition has already affected one’s skin, stress can aggravate it;
- allergies: blisters occur as results of allergic reactions, mostly to soaps, detergents or cosmetics;
- saltwater exposure: according to the latest researches saltwater bacteria can have a rather negative impact on one’s skin. It’s the case with fishermen, who are exposed to saltwater more often than others;
- hot summer months: it’s true that weather has its own impact on one’s body and all its systems. Excessive sweating of hands stimulates keratin breakdown, constant peeling and exfoliation;
- dry skin: when the skin is dry (due to medications, climate or health issues), there’s a risk of developing EK. In most cases the condition can be avoided by wearing gloves while washing the dishes, but sometimes one needs to address a dermatologist.
NOTE: some medical conditions can be the cause of peeling. These are usually some fungal infections that lead to peeling skin between fingers and itching. The same refers to Kawasaki disease. It affects children under 5 and is a serious condition.
Finding out the cause of peeling will help in finding the right exfoliative keratolysis cure.
Tips on Keratolysis Exfoliative Treatment: Ways to Cure Skin Peeling on Hands
Don’t believe those, who say that exfoliative keratolysis condition passes on its own. Keeping the skin clean is not enough for preventing all infections and possible complications. There are several tips for those, who need just to feel relief OR are interested in fast and full cure.
NOTE: always try to be more cautious, especially if you have already had the history of the peeling disorder. Triggers are always around and preventive measures are a wise decision.
Your prevention rules are:
- keeping hands clean at all times;
- being cautious, if you have a history of this condition;
- being cautions, if you have a weak immune system;
- being cautious if you have a genetic predisposition;
- avoiding contact with allergens and chemicals;
- avoiding constant use of detergents and soap;
- keeping away from excessive sweating.
NOTE: try to avoid too much water. The thing is that water takes away hands’ moisture. If you need to wash the dishes, use a pair of special gloves, thus your hands won’t get hurt.
Your natural and medical treatment options:
There are both natural and medical options for exfoliative keratolysis cure. Speaking of natural treatment options, their effects are usually noticeable only if the procedures are done regularly. If not, then no effects should be expected. Here are the best home remedies for you:
- try to soak hands for 15-20 minutes in an oatmeal bath. Repeat the procedure daily to gain improvement;
- soak hands into a bath with at least two anti-inflammatory herbs (ginger, chamomile, myrrh, clove, licorice, frankincense, etc.);
- include vitamin supplements to your daily ration: Vitamins A, B and C, fatty acids, minerals and iron;
- apply fresh Aloe Vera extracts (topical application);
- apply cucumber daily (topical application);
- eat more nuts, carrots, cereals, eggs, cheese, meat and liver;
- eat at least some garlic daily;
- apply some honey over the peeling areas for 30 minutes and then wash it off;
- apply fresh mint over hands for 30 minutes. Why mint? It contains healing properties and works as a moisturizer. Mint is also used for cases of dermatitis and eczema;
- pineapple juice may be effective as well. It should be applied for an hour over the damaged skin and then rinsed off.
We have a special recommendation for those, who deal with the condition regularly: you are to take extra care of your hands, especially during summer months. Define the irritants and stay away from them (chemicals, detergents, strong soaps and others). Make sure you have special creams with lactic acid and silicone as they are highly effective too. When the case is getting rather severe, turn to photo chemotherapy (only in rare cases, when the condition is unbearable). Lactic acid-based creams help skin remain softer. Some dermatologists suggest applying thin layers of coconut oil as it makes the skin both soft and supple.
Usually when all required measures are taken and all natural or medical remedies are applied, the condition has a good prognosis. The first signs and symptoms turn into very severe cases rarely.