Skin peeling hands. Is this a consequence of Raynaud's?

Please click on the link above to see a picture of my hands. I developed a severe flare up of autoimmune disorder(s) almost overnight. Part of my diagnosis is rheumatoid arthritis with Raynaud's phenomenon. My consultant thinks I have another disorder too. Is this picture a clue to what it might be or do people think this symptom could be due to Raynaud's? When I was really ill I had such severe muscle weakness that I could not lift my arms or get up from a seated position. I also had severe joint pains, muscle pains, trigger fingers and a flu like illness. I feel desperate to know what's wrong. Please help.

11 Replies

  • I saw the picture, I have never heard of this with Raynaud's. I imagine that you are being investigated by your consultant and will have to wait for the result to know what is causing it. Sorry I can't help any further except to say that you are already a little better it seems.

  • Hi Naomi,

    I have Raynaud's, (as you know), but have never had anything like this, and agree with zenabb that I don't think this is a symptom of Raynaud's.

    It doesn't even look like the Scleroderma, which I have on my torso, as that is circular marking of the skin, but no skin peeling/breakage to speak of. If that or Raynaud's severely affects fingers I believe it is more like ulcers which develop, more than peeling skin, but others might be more qualified to confirm that.

    This looks like some form of dermatitis to me, and could be unrelated to your other ailments, and be a reaction to something like cleaning substances, rubber gloves, or a reaction from medication you're taking??

    Only guessing though. Sorry can't help more:)

  • Hello, I have Raynauds and Scleroderma. I have met many people with Raynauds, but have never seen peeling skin like yours. I don't think this is Raynauds, but I might be wrong.

    As for your weakness. I am also very weak, paticularly in the arms. I am right handed, but have to use my left for cups, glasses etc. Sometimes I can't lift my spoon to my mouth with my right. I was eventually referred to a neurologist, who diagnosed osteoarthritis of the neck. The discs had pushed into the spinal chord - my neck was never painful. I was told that it had nothing to do with the Scleroderma, but after my op the surgeon said the discs were very calcified, so I am not so sure. I had the discs removed, but the damage is not reversable. So I think that you must get the weakness investigated if you are still suffering.

  • OMG, just seen your pic of hands, they are just what mine look like,my feet are no better, battle to keep them moist and covered in cream every hour which is a nightmare when blisters, pins and needles an vibrations drive you insane,the doctor gave double base to be used when betnavate or cortisone creams are used I am also having problems with the joints being in pain, so dreading the weather the cold makes my body so painful,

  • I have Reynauds and ecsema. The condition on your hands looks to me like severe ecsema/dermatitis due to an alergic reaction to something. The peeling looks like chemical burns. It could be due to touching a plant or something like that. This has happened to me and to my husband.

  • To everyone who had replied.

    Thank you so much. I am quite relieved that people do not seem to think it's scleroderma or Raynaud's which caused it and your feedback had been really helpful. The peeling skin on hands and fingers occurred in the same week as a severe onset of rheumatoid arthritis (barely able to move) and I had been confined to bed in the week before the skin eruption occurred and had not come into contact with any unusual substances so I don't think it was contact dermatitis. My consultant thinks it was part of an autoimmune response but doesn't know what condition caused it as it doesn't fit in with RA, which is why she is testing me for other conditions. At the same time as all these other symptoms I got Raynaud's too as well as trigger fingers and terrible difficulties swallowing. I've always been fairly healthy so this was all a shock to the system.

    Jeanette I would be really interested to know if you have been diagnosed with any conditions as you have the same skin symptoms.

  • Hi. My hands look just like yours. I have scleroderma and suffer from thick skin & joint pain amongst other things. Its not due to any drugs as I stopped taking all of them 6 months ago as they were making me feel worse. I rasp down the tatty bits with a soft nail file, then use a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of olive oil to massage in. The sugar exfoliates, the oil moisturises and the rubbing helps my joint and tendon pain. Katy x

  • Dear Kate

    What type of scleroderma do you have? Is it crest? I seem to have other crest symptoms (red spots face and inside mouth, swallowing problems, raynauds). I have just been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis but have another unidentified autoimmune disease too. Did you say on the other post that you have other conditions too. Please don't think I am just being nosey but I would be so grateful if you would tell me a bit about your conditions and how they started and progressed. I am so ill at the moment and am scared. Having a diagnosis would help because then I can get treated. I am due to start on methotrexate next week to treat the RA but I really want to get any other diagnoses made. Please help if you can.

  • Hello Naomi - so many years ago that I can't be precise as to when, the skin on my hands (mainly the palms) started to peel in large patches. This went on for quite a long time but did eventually stop - without, as far as I recall, making any changes to my diet. I have Raynauds (diagnosed at around age 13) and have since developed scleroderma spectrum disorder (that's the latest diagnosis!). My scleroderma symptoms have appeared over the years - I've had servere itching (back intially, then torso, I also get bouts of it on my legs and arms too - strangely, it seems to me that I get the worst itching after I've been more unwell, and had more pain than usual), I began having stomach pain and reflux around 1985/6, telangiectasia started appearing in 1991, a couple of years later I was feeling so tired and had really bad muscle pain especially around my torso, that by lunch time I just wanted to put my head down on my desk. I was diagnosed in 1998 (aged 42) after a bout of a flu-like illness accompanied by such severe pain in my legs that I couldn't not stand on either one for more than a second or two, plus quite dramatic weight loss. The first consultant I saw said he thought I'd had an auto-immune disorder as well as Raynauds since childhood. I've since developed some fibrosis in my lungs. However, I feel lucky that mine was a slow onset as, statistically, the likelihood is that it will continue to progress slowly and be relatively mild.

  • Hi Naomi,

    Your hands look like mine right now. My hands did the same thing last year then after a month or so, it cleared up. I have auto immune thyroid disease but also others that are not yet diagnosed. About two weeks ago my hands started peeling and became sore and cracked. Now in addition to the peeling, they are sore, red and swollen mostly at night. My joints in my hands hurt as well. I have tested negative for RA but I am starting to wonder. I also get tingling and pin prick feelings in my fingers along with the other symptoms. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

  • I'm a currently suffering from what looks to be the exact same thing you have. The skin on the palms of my hands and soles of my feet are peeling and cracking so bad it's almost unbearable to walk or hold anything. Please Help!!! I went to the ER and they did nothing for me. I have a history of auto immune disorders, blood clots, etc... But have never been diagnosed with RA or Lupus but it runs in the family.

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