ZocdocAnswersWhat causes my skin on the top of my hands and fingers to peel off when just slightly bumped?

Question

What causes my skin on the top of my hands and fingers to peel off when just slightly bumped?

My skin on the top of my hands and fingers look like I have put em in a cheese grater. I have stopped using any cleaning chemicals. The skin on my hands and fingers feels so thin also

Answer

There are several potential causes for skin peeling like this and I recommend meeting with your primary care doctor. One of those causes is a reaction to a cleaning chemical or other substance. This can cause "contact dermatitis" which is an inflammation of the skin in response to an irritating substance. There can be peeling and itching of the skin as well. Most of the time the treatment is trying to figure out which substance caused the problem and avoiding it, as well as applying a steroid cream to speed resolution of the symptoms. Another cause which appears quite similar in terms of redness, itching, and peeling, is a condition called atopic dermatitis (often commonly referred to as "eczema"). This is a condition which usually starts in childhood, so if you have a history of skin trouble throughout your life, then this is a likely cause. Treatment is fairly similar to treatment of contact dermatitis, although use of moisturizers is much more important. There are additional causes, as well, which could include superficial fungal infections of the skin, as well as other forms of eczema/dermatitis. I would recommend meeting with your primary care doctor quickly so that you can get a formal diagnosis and recommendation about what the appropriate initial treatment would be.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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