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Scleroderma & Raynaud's UK (SRUK)
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Paper type cuts appearing on fingers

Yup, seems there's yet another wonderful symptom developed... Has anyone else had paper cuts (it's the closest thing I can call them) appearing on your finger tips?

I've had digital ulcers on the past but this seems different, they're really painful, just like a paper cut, and I'll not be shocked if they turn into ulcers.

I'm booked into the docs next Friday (soonest appointment available) to ask his advice, and I've got yet another abscess in my mouth so I'm on anti-b's anyway. It'd be nice to get some advice from you guys tho. I've found fellow sufferers oft have more insight than the doctors.

Anyhoo, any help appreciated.


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Hi Charlie,

I'm not sure if mine are similar. I have a "dead pain" with a numbing for a week or so knowing that there's something brewing on my finger tip before a blistery appearance. Then usually there is a little discharge or splintery hard protrusion which I'm thinking is a calcium deposit. This tends to start a lengthy healing process. Some in the past have ended up as abscesses and I have lost bits of fingers as a result. The latest is healing (I think due to the medication regime which helps my circulation) but meanwhile it is very tender.

I hope this helps. All the best.


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Hi gindy

I saw your post and had to reply straight away because I experience identical symptoms and have done for many years.

I have SSc diagnosed 12 years. Like you I get digital ulcers which in some really bad cases can take six months to heal. One GP I had suggested "just don't get them in the first place". Everyone with SSc and raynauds knows how hard we try NOT to get them! I have had so many ulcers now that my finger tips never return to 'normal' and are permanently disfigured and pitted.

When the weather gets cold (like now!) I start to get tiny little splits almost like a paper cut as you say, particularly where the finger tip meets the nail bed. If I'm really unlucky that will develop into an ulcer, sometimes under the nail bed which is terribly painful. It's taken me years to learn how to manage them effectively. I have twice yearly iloprost infusions at the Royal Free which helps a lot and I feel totally supported by them.

The tiny cracks appear with a sharp pain which is always a sign to do something. I know that many health professionals say leave them open but for me that doesn't work. To avoid the ulcer, as soon as the crack appears, however tiny, I cover it immediately with a small dry breathable dressing such as melolin with a finger bandage to keep it in place. This looks a bit over the top but keeps the germs out which is the key thing. I ALWAYS wear disposable vinyl or nitrile gloves I keep a box by the sink. Not rubber gloves as I think they breed germs in the tips after a while. Keep reapplying the dressing until the split settles down and keep it moisturised to soften the skin.

I'll do anything to avoid the ulcers they're so painful, impossible to heal sometimes and horrible to live with.

Sorry for such a long answer but I really hope it helps.

All the best to you and keep warm in this chilly weather


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lindyanne that's it exactly, they're appearing at the sides of my nails and it seems wicklows are developing as well, and kind of merging with the cracks/paper cuts :(

I've had quite a lot on lately, I've had to clean my old Dad's flat, as he's 80 and isn't really managing the cleaning side of things. He's an amazing artist, and as well as not really having the mobility to clean, he's also got the "artistic" temperament of, 'cleaning isn't important' πŸ˜ƒ

Anyway, as these paper cuts had already appeared, I used disposable gloves probs the same as u describe (they come in boxes of hundreds) which are also under my sink lol. I'm really glad I did as I think what's helped these cuts along is that at home, as I take things easy mostly I've not been wearing the gloves for washing up 😞

I'll be sure to wear them all of the time now.

Well I'm not glad that you get these symptoms too Lindy, but as always it's reassuring to know you're not alone.

Thanks for the replies, @struth and @lindyanne it's always great to be able to ask on here about anything SSc/Raynauds related, and get support from others in the same boat.

I'll update this thread if these paper cuts don't heal. I'm slathering then with doublebase cream and some antiseptic cream, to try and allay any worsening until I see the doc. I'll see how they go today, but might wrap them up in a bandage as you've described Lindy.

Thanks again guys,

Charlie x

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Hi again Charlie - sorry got your name wrong first time - what a twit!πŸ™„

Like you I looked after my Mum (now 83) cleaning shopping etc for years which was challenging with weird hands. I now look after my 11 month old grandson (who is a total joy) so keeping those hands busy..

Good luck with the GP

Take care


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I have had the 'paper cuts that you are talking about for years every autumn and winter. They are almost always on the sides where the nails meet the tigers & the cuts then splay open a little & the skin on either side goes very hard. The splits go very deep & sometimes bleed. Because they go up & across the top of the finger, no sooner do they start to heal then I tap my fingertip on something; the keyboard, or clothes in a drawer & they split open agin even deeper. Because the skin turns as hard as rock either side of the cut it means that they don't heal easily. Because of this I tend to hold the cut together with a piece of micropore tape pulled tight over the top of my finger, or thumb, keeping the two pieces together (without constricting the blood supply & keeping this in place with another piece of tape going around the finger (this one is not tight - it just keeps the other bit from lifting. The problem being that as I work with small children & wash my hands a lot, it looks unsightly quite rapidly & needs frequent changing. Fortunately I do not yet get digital ulcers. I am grateful that I read your post, as I have never heard them mentioned before & just thought it was one of those odd things that goes with being me!

Wishing you well (- literally)

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cpns yep another exact description. The bits that go hard keep on catching on my clothing and pulling the cut open. I'm definitely going to have to wrap them in breathable gauze as you and lindyanne have described.

It's so very cold here on the South coast today, that I've not been out for my walk so haven't managed to pick up any bandaging supplies. I'm getting lapse as I've usually got all this in the medicine drawer. I could use a plaster for today actually.

I'm having to use a splodger to type with atm as my fingers just won't take 'swyping' on my phone or tablet. It seems my SSc/R is really coming on heavy this year :( I'm hoping that it's not a sign of what it's going to be like all winter. Although if I'm honest I know it will be. My immune system has already crashed, the symptoms and obligatory abscesses have already begun.

I hope you guys get off more lightly than I am just now.


It's been two years. Can you give me any advice or treatments that have helped you or is there no cure to this ?! Lol it's so painful I'm mad, I have even cut some with paper at school and those cuts bleed !! Like it's bad I feel nasty, any tips ?


Honestly, no its no better at all. I've learned to accept what I cannot change though which helps a lot.


Just a quick update cpns and lindyanne thanks for the advice on covering these pesky paper cuts. They've kind of had a chance to heal, and although the doc was sympathetic as she's not versed in RP/SSc she tried to say they were actually paper cuts... I had to lol, as there's so many I can't even count them.

Anyway all she suggested was to wrap them as I have been doing and to apply antiseptic creams, as I have been doing 😳

At least the pain from them seems to have settled with the binding.

I'm thinking that maybe I should try leaving the fresh air to get to them though, I don't want them to fester. Maybe I'll take of the bandages at night.


It sounds like scabies to me, the marks that resemble papercuts could be mite burrows.


So glad I’m not on my own with the cuts on fingers , I have two fingers which ulcers keep occurring, ulcers have long gone but still got scars and hurt if you bang them (which seems all time) going to get some gloves for cleaning etc , what creams do you use for your hands , I don’t use any creams at moment so any tips would be a help. Thanks x


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