Peeling palms and fingers on hands and toes and soles of feet...HELP!!

I have been diagnosed with psoriasis and have all the ointments, creams, moisturises and hyrocolloid plasters, and gel socks. I haven't had a flare up with over a year. Now I have skin peeling from fingers, palms, toes and soles of feet. My steroid ointment does not appear to be having any effect and cracks are starting to appear in the creases of my toes. I have done loads of research but now have found a condition called Exfoliative Keratolysis which would appear to be what I am suffering from right now. Can anyone help me in finding a treatment which would alleviate the symptoms?


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20 Replies

  • I am sorry you are suffering with what sounds an awful condition.

    I don't know anything about this but this is an excerpt and your doctor should refer you to a dermatologist:

    It’s not easy to find a treatment plan that works, because the response to EK treatments varies from person to person. However, some general rules apply. The first treatment is always prevention: avoid all soaps, detergents, or solvents that could irritate the skin. Choose hypoallergenic cleansers for the body, hair, and cleaning supplies. But even the best preventative measures may not be enough. In the event of an outbreak, it’s time to treat the skin that is peeling. The agreed upon first step in terms of over-the-counter treatments is to find a moisturizer that contains urea.

    If the over-the-counter treatments don’t work, a prescription may be in order. Doctors can prescribe a number of medications, including topical steroids and cortisone cream. Dr. Jodi S. Politz, D.P.M., at Mountain Podiatry in Las Vegas says she recommends Vanos, “the strongest cortisone cream on the market.” She also says “high doses of prednisone can be helpful if all other products do not help.” Because EK is not usually painful and can go dormant, many sufferers opt out of steroid treatments, which can have adverse side effects. Even when patients are willing to take the risk, the result can be disappointing. Doctors have also begun to use photo chemotherapy to treat EK, but results are inconclusive

  • Thank you so much for your advice. I'm waiting for my doctor to return my call as I type! I appreciate your taking time to reply:)

  • Skin conditions can be very painful and we use our hands all day long. I wouldn't think you could wear protective gloves either as they would probably irritate your skin too.

    I hope you get a solution soon.

  • I wish to be in the skin problems section not Thyroid, as I don't have thyroid problems:)

  • Personal anecdote:

    I don't suffer from psoriasis, but I have suffered from eczema since I was a child (which was a long, long time ago). Since I started optimising my nutrient levels (at least for the things I could afford to test and supplement) my bouts of eczema have occurred less often, they don't last as long as they used to, and the condition is now less severe than it was.

    Are your nutrients at optimal levels? You never know, it might help.

  • Thank you very much for your quick reply. I haven't heard of nutrient levels before but will research. As a child I was diagnosed as having excema, only in recent years has it been changed to psoriasis, and now it appears to be something different again! Thank you for taking time to reply:)

  • By nutrients I was referring to vitamins and minerals. And people with thyroid problems need to have good levels of the things listed on this link :

    Getting nutrients optimised made a huge improvement in my feelings of wellness, although I haven't optimised all of them - the tests are the really expensive bit!

  • For some reason I have been put in the thyroid section but I actually have skin problems!

  • Okay, you'll find the other communities/forums on HealthUnlocked here :

    Just keep scrolling down to see a list of about 500 communities. If you know what you are looking for then that's great. Otherwise do a search.

    If you become a member of several communities then you can choose which one you want to go to by looking at the top of the page and clicking on My Communities.

    If you want to remove yourself from a community, go to your profile - click on your own name at the top of the page, then click on Profile to get to it - then click on Edit Profile near the top of the page. The communities you are a member of are near the bottom of the page. Untick the communities you want to leave, then remember to Save changes.

    My point about optimal nutrients helping skin problems still holds though. :)

  • I forgot to mention...

    There are some forms of eczema which can lead to peeling palms and soles. Have you ever heard of dyshidrosis, also known as pompholyx? I get that and I sometimes lose skin on my palms. Thankfully my soles haven't been affected but I know that they can be.

    If you go to Google Images and search for dyshidrosis it might rule it in or out for you.

  • Yes, I used to get pompholyx, it starts as see through extremely itchy blisters on the palms and soles of your feet and down the sides and fingers and then can make the skin crack and peel off. Happens on hands and feet.

    Although steroid creams can help short term for skin issues, they can also cause thinning of the skin long term which then can make things worse. You can try a non steroid type like allergenics, this can help with some things - not pompholyx though as this is normally an immune reaction from something internal. Allergenics will only help if caused by a topical allergy/sensitivity. Mine disappeared when went gluten free so you could rule out food intolerances as a root cause as many of these issues are being caused by something your body doesn't like. If it is both hands and feet and is symmetrical in nature down both sides of body, then likely something internal triggering your immune system - e.g something you're eating. If it is non symmetrical and in patches of no pattern, it is more likely to be external cause.

    The most typical cause of deep cracks in between the toes and peeling coming from this though is a fungal infection. Google images of athletes foot and see if seem similar? If appears to be this, you would need an antifungal cream, garlic can help also. Atheletes foot can cause blistering too but more likely in the toe areas as well. With skin issues already with skin that is not intact, you are more prone to catching fungal or bacterial infections especially if skin a little weaker. a bacterial infection is likely to be hot/warm to touch and you would need to see doc and get antibiotics.

    So it really depends on what it is and treatment for one could make another worse and could be a mixture of two? Do you have any other skin conditions elsewhere, is it the same on both feet/hands in the same places? Is it different in between your toes? Is it very itchy?

  • No it doesn't itch. It burns a bit and the skin is ultra dry, causing the cracks. I have started a new steroid today and shall wait to see how it works. Thanks for taking time to reply

  • I know you said you didn't want to be in the Thyroid UK bit of HU - ... but...

    Dry skin is a known symptom of hypothyroidism. (Certainly was for me. Used to be a hand-cream junkie.) It would be a shame to have posted here and not have read that!

  • Thank you I never knew that, perhaps I should be in both?

  • Yes thanks, am doing that right now:)

  • Hi. I've got peeling hands at the moment and have googled exfoliative keratolysis after reading your post and it appears to be what I have as well. I have Hashimoto's but don't know if the two conditions are linked - I am due to have my TSH levels checked today as I have been feeling really fatigued so wonder if poorly controlled Hashimoto's is a factor. A brief google suggests handcream containing urea.

  • Have you gone gluten free as gluten is often responsible for skin conditions

  • Yes I've tried gluten free in the past and it makes no difference. Thanks for your reply

  • Supplementing with zinc may well be useful. H&B do a good one which contains a little copper.

  • Thanks Daisy77 I take Zinc and other supplements for a compromised immune system.

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