ZocdocAnswersWhy is the skin splitting between my fingers?

Question

Why is the skin splitting between my fingers?

The skin between my first two fingers on my left hand is splitting. It is red and irritated too. Why is the skin between my fingers doing this? What should I put on the skin to make it better?

Answer

I am sorry to hear about this problem. Splitting and irritated skin between the fingers in a very common but very stubborn problem, and I suggest that you see your primary care doctor about the issue, especially if it is not clearing up soon. The first common cause of this condition is irritation of the skin of the hands, most commonly from common everyday tasks such as dishwashing, using cleaning chemicals, and the like. Fortunately, this commonly will respond to using a good hand moisturizer regularly and also wearing protective rubber gloves whenever putting the hands in water (or soft cotton gloves when performing other tasks not involving water). The second common cause is eczema, which is caused by over-dryness of the skin, leading to redness, itching, and cracking. In addition to protecting the hands with gloves and using a good moisturizer, it is usually very helpful with eczema to apply a topical steroid medication. Occasionally, a fungal infection of the skin can cause these same symptoms, although that is more common in the feet than in the hands, and this would respond to a topical anti fungal cream. Start by setting up a visit with your primary care doctor today!

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