Gluten Free Guerrillas
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Can anyone offer any advice, I am confirmed coeliac, nearly two years now, I follow a strict diet, and also have dairy issues so avoid that too.

I have a thing with the ends of my fingers where they split a lot, or the skin particularly on the ends of my thumbs peels off very, very easily, which leaves very, very sore fingers and thumbs.

Does anyone else get this, is there something I can do about it?

I take Vit d3 supplements (1000mg/day) to ease the tiredness, and I keep fit, run and football 2-3 times a week...

any advice more than welcome..

thanks Mark

11 Replies

Hi Mark, I don't know if CD is related to split ends of fingers, but I also suffer occasionally from the same.

I swim a lot and have always put it down to the pool leeching out my natural oils (I also get itchy calfs).

My solution is emollient cream and it seems to help. For my fingers, if they are particullarly bad, I put the cream on before bed and slip a medical rubber glove on. Takes a while but relieves my fingers after a day or two.

Hope this helps and best of luck.


Hi Mark,

It is very important to dry your hands thoroughly after washing and when it's cold I sometimes get dry hands and I find that Neutrogena hand cream works really well.

I think that SDM hit the nail on the head about the chlorine in the water drying her hands of natural oils.


Another possibility is a problem with Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, which is found in many products you wash with. It is a strong degreasent and can dry out skin badly.

If it has persisted for some time, perhaps it would be a good idea to ask your GP for a referral to a dermatologist?


ok thanks all... :)


Take baths in sea salt water to reduce inflammation. You may also have nerve damage and maybe this can help.


Nerve damage may be from a B12 deficiency. Have you had this checked?


The winter is tough on fingers and protection and moisturising is good for everyone.

Perhaps, you have a nutrient shortfall after years of malnourishment before diagnosis. My response would be to try one of the proprietary 'hairs/skin/nails' type tablets and see if there is an improvement, I think there is a long period of catch up after diagnosis with CD.

They are expensive but several people I know have had marked improvement in their hands. The cost may offset the cost of trying lots of other stuff which is expensive, messy and may further irritate the problem.


Hi, I used to have bad cracks on my fingers all the time when I ate gluten, especially the thumbs. Exactly as you describe: splitting and peeling. Nothing to do with dryness, lotions, weather etc.

Now, it only happens when I get accidentally glutened. When it's a worse glutening than just a mouth ulcer, but not as bad as when I get the headaches and diarrhoea.

So maybe you are not quite as gluten free as you think... By trial and error I found out for example that I was suffering cross contamination issues from flaked almonds.

Good luck with working out what it is.


how odd , never thought about this as being coeliac linked but I have had that, and just attributed it to soap at nursing, or winter etc and used hand creams , this gives me pause to wonder if coeliac linked ?


Hi as an unconfirmed coeliac, (thanks doctors!!) I used to suffer from these cracks, more often the thumbs, and my god they got sore, It was always after handling anything to do with engine oils/fuels. Now I am not a mechanic I do not get into contact with oils of any sort very often, but even other types of oil can start a crack.


Hi Mark. The best thing I found for cracked skin on the ends of my thumbs is Neutrogena hand cream,buy the extra strength one. The fisherman use this cream in the winter while fishing in the extreme cold weather. I used to get terribly cracked fingers as I used to work with fabrics of which were full of starch. Also use cotton gloves to sleep in at night ,you can buy these from any chemist.

Let us know how you get on.


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