Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Skin Forum

Numb Finger Tip And Peeling Skin (Page 3)

February 18th, 2012
I am noticing while looking online for possible answers to my questions about my right hand thumb, that I'm not the only one suffering from this weird condition.

My condition started back in December. I usually do get really dry skin during the winter months, but what's happening to the tip of my thumb is disturbing and frustrating.

It started with a simple tiny pea sized aread of dry skin. I would lotion it more than usual with no relief. In January, it then started to swell up and turn red. I would notice a big bubble started forming which made my skin feel numb or covered up and then that bubble would break open through my everyday movements of handling things or even typing. Right before the bubbles ever popped, I would have intense pain in the thumb and it would break open and bleed. I admittedly would tear the skin off at first, but stopped due to the fact that it would cause pain and started bleeding. I now use a cutical cutter to take off the extra skin and wear a bandage as to keep the rough edges from gripping anything because it will peel really easy.

Like I've said, the symptoms are the exact same as a lot of other posts here and I know I'm not getting all the information down correct, but I do know that I've tried different remedies because of advice given to me from nurses I know.

Antifungal cream, triple antibiotic, extra lotion, extra moisture lotion, washing the area thoroughly, etc doesn't work to fight against this. I do notice it worsens when I wash dishes though and since this is something I have to do, it happens everyday.

I have yet to find a cure for it. And I did notice when I scratched the area (As it is itchy anyway) and I take off some of the skin, it feels better, rather than leaving the skin on there.

I'm making an appt with a dermatologist soon to see what I can do and I'll bring up all my points I've tried because I don't want to have to go through the antifungal thing again or have some wimpy lotion that won't work.

If you guys have found anything to help this condition since the last dated post, let me know. I would like to get this thumb cleared up before it spreads to other fingers.

And good luck to everyone. I know how annoying this thing can be. I don't even want to walk into a nail shop to have a manicure done because I'm embarrassed about my scaly thumb!
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied February 23rd, 2012
hi! i have the same symptoms but before i used to have asthma of the skin
i get these whenever its cold
nowadays, it doesn't really happen that often
i've done water therapy and also tried drinking green tea cause of the antioxidants in it that's good for the skin Smile
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 13th, 2012
I've had the condition now for 5 years--hand/fingertip eczema is the most stubborn form of eczema but, it is somewhat under control now. Here is what I did:

1) 80% of cases are caused because of an allergic reaction (contact dermatitis). Go to your doctor and get blood tests done to determine if you are allergic to anything. Next, you need to do patch testing and skin prick testing to see if it is anything you're coming into contact with.

2) If the patch testing/skin prick testing is negative, I'm all but certain you're like me and you're eczema is caused by mechanical trauma. Now, you might say, "I'm not in a profession where I use my hands a lot." Well, neither am I. I'm in financial services and the only thing I use my hands for is shaking hands and typing. Nonetheless, I am certain my skin overreacts to trivial trauma incurred. In any event, there is little you can do to avoid this.

3) Remedies: the first line of defense is topical steroids. Go straight for the strongest stuff, Clobetasol, and make sure you put it on your hands in the morning and wrap your hands with clobetasol (occlusion) at night. If clobetasol doesn't work, the next line of defense is immunosuppresents: tacrilomus (Protopic). Apply protopic in the morning and at night, under occlusion (i.e. put on groves). In my opinion, protopic works great with any lactic acid type lotion. You see, the reason why so many steroids and other creams are ineffective is because you can't get percutaneous absorption. Your skin becomes hardened (hyperkeratosis) and the ointment can't go deep enough to do its job. a lotion with Lactic acid exfoliates the skin enough so that the other ointments liek protopic, will have a greater efficacy. If after a while, you notice the protopic doesn't work, the next line of defense is to expose your hands to a narrow band of UV light. There are two types of UV light therapy 1) PUVA and 2) narrowband uvb. PUVA requires that you apply an emollient to your hand which makes your hands sensitive to light, then you expose your hand to a small band of UV-A light, which your doctor administers. Narrowband uv-b therapy uses the 310-312 bands of light to treat eczema. I personally used narrowband uvb because it had a greater safety profile and i didn't need to use an emollient prior to therapy. I found that the narrowband uv-b improved my condition but it hasn't gotten better. The next line of defense that I have yet to try is alitretinoin which is an antineoplastic agent and a derivative of vitamin A. This retinoid was originally developed as a topical ointment used to treat kaposi's sarcoma. In 2009, pharmaceutical company Basilea developed an oral form of the drug to treat hand eczema. It is marketed as Toctino and it is a first of it's kind--the only systemic treatment that is for hand eczema. It is available in every single developed country except the united states. Currently basilea is concluding stage 3 clinical trials. Once it becomes available in the united states, I'll be the first in line to take it. So far, thousands of people in europe, canada, and oceania have had great success with toctino. There are people who have been suffering for 30 years with this condition and toctino has cured them. If you live in the US like me, and can't wait, you can purchase toctino through a canadian pharmacy but, be prepared to dish out a pretty penny. A 90 supply (the minimum dosing cycle) costs upwards of $2000. I would rather wait for it to come to the US so my insurance can cover it.

Some other treatments that you should NOT consider include oral immunosuppresants and steroid injections.

4) Safety profiles
a. Clobetasol - has been shown to cause atrophy of the skin but, i wouldn't worry about it. The skin on your hands is very thick. I've been using it for two years with no problems.
b. Tacrilomus (protopic) - it has been shown that pro topic causes lymphoma in rats. However, i think this is overblown. The rats were given an oral form of the drug and we're talking about a less potent (topical) form of the drug which is localized only to the hands.
c. PUVA and narrowband uvb- I think both are relatively safe but, if you're skin tone is darker, it's slightly safer. In other words, if you have fair skin, red hair, and freckles, I may think twice about choosing narrowband uvb or puva as a therapy but, then again, I think the chances of skin cancer are slim. You aren't exposed to the whole spectrum of ultraviolet light, you're only exposed to a very small band of light--usually the 311 band. I think uvb has a better safety profile altogether
d. Alitretinoin (Toctino) aka: 9-cis-retinoic acid-- this drug has a relatively good safety profile. The only thing I would worry about it hairloss. However, people have mentioned that hair does grow back after the drug is no longer present in the liver.
Did you find this post helpful?
Quick Reply
Answers to Similar Questions
User Profile
Anand J. Singh
User Profile
Harpreet Singh
User Profile
Dr. Andrijana Shterjovska
User Profile
Dr. Goce Aleksovski
User Profile
Dr. Srinivas Singaram
Must Read
Acne is a common skin condition - but what types of acne can a person have? Start learning about acne here....
Does chocolate or greasy food cause acne? Learn the difference between fact and who is at risk for getting acne?...
Severity of acne and symptoms vary by individual. Learn the difference between mild and sever acne here...and when you should seek medical help for acne....