ZocdocAnswersIs the hardening of the skin on my index finger something I should be concerned about?

Question

Is the hardening of the skin on my index finger something I should be concerned about?

I am twenty two years old, hispanic, living in an urban environment. My career involves dextrous motions with my hands, and I currently work at least 30 hours a week. I have no history of skin cancer. Hair does not grow as much in the affected region.

Answer

This does not sound like something you need to worry about! In fact what it sounds like is that you have a callus. This is a normal reaction of the skin to friction and stress, in which the skin cells multiply and thicken to provide additional protection in the area where the skin is being stressed. This is a very common phenomenon in those who work with their hands, as you say you do. The fact that hair does not grow there as much as on other parts of your body has to do probably with how the rubbing motion that provoked the growth of the callus is also breaking off the hairs. This is also not something you should worry about. Callus has not potential for turning into skin cancer, so that is also something you do not need to worry about. If the callus is cosmetically very unpleasant for you, you can try keeping it moisturized with a good hand lotion, which will diminish its thickness. You can also try rubbing it with a pumice stone after a long bath, which will easily remove a lot of the dead skin. Talk to your primary care doctor if you have further concerns!

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

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.