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Peeling of the fingers and toes

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My 3 y.o. grandson has thick layers of skin peeling off the tips of his fingers and toes. I can't find anything online that addresses this particular problem. What could this be, and what can I do about it?

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replied May 14th, 2009
Preschool Kids Answer A6579
I see you are concerned with peeling on you grandson’s fingers and toes. You did not state as to whether he is in any discomfort, or has other associated symptoms. Such peeling can be seen days to weeks following the resolution of generalized vascular rashes (red rashes caused by irritation of the blood vessels in the skin), secondary to various bacteria and viruses. An example of this would be such peeling that can occur following the resolution of scarlatina. In general, this peeling will typically resolve on its own and can be symptomatically treated with moisturizing creams and lotions.

Patients who sweat and have constantly moist extremities, i.e. their socks are always moist, can get such peeling that can be relieved with frequent shoe and sock changes and powdering.

Since we are in or near the swimming season, it is interesting to note that irritation and occasionally peeling can occur from rubbing fingers and toes on concrete pool edges and bottoms.

If your grandson has other associated symptoms, such as a fever, joint pain or discomfort, or if his peeling does not resolve itself in a reasonable few weeks, he should see his pediatrician or a dermatologist.


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