Help! I’ve got Zombie fingers!

Apologies dear blog reader, I should have warned you before hurting your eyes with such a gross photo! The hot humid weather here in the UK has left me with a disgusting dose of itchy eczema yet again. I hate my fingers in the summer. They look like I’ve stuck them in the jar marked LEPROSY! DO NOT TOUCH! Every time we get a spot of hot weather those tell-tale bubbles appear on my skin and pretty soon the itchy scratchy feeling starts.

I resist. I really do.

But the skin just pops and cracks all by itself without any help from me. I feel sick just looking at that photo. Last August I wrote about my zombie skin and how it seems to relish in hurting me – Eczema – Itchy Nightmare – and had some wonderful comments about how to ease the pain.

Is there a cure?

Wonderful Joss from Crowing Crone suggested I keep a food diary. I did. I jotted down everything I ate for a few months. I couldn’t pin point any one food that prompted another outbreak.

Granny from Granny 1947 suggested it may have something to do with soap. I switched my shower gel, hand soap, deodorant and even washed my hands with nothing but water.

Yadayadafishpaste thought this may be chilblains. The doctor says it isn’t. Sigh. She suggested lemons. Um. No. I didn’t try that. The idea of squeezing lemon into cuts sounded too painful to attempt. She did mention eating more yoghurt so I tried that. Yummy. No cure though. And I don’t have bad blood circulation either, my hands are always warm. And sadly I couldn’t find any Zam-buk.

I hunted around for extra virgin coconut oil too. Not had much luck there. Funny thing is that as soon as the humid weather went away, and after my hands stopped shedding, they went back to normal. Well, kind of. Until the next lovely evil humid weather front arrived. And during the winter, say from November to around start of May usually, my hands are fine.

Stupid evil humid weather.

I had some cream from the doctor. Betnovate. It’s a topical Corticosteroid supposed to be good for eczema, reduces swelling, helps with the itching, blah, blah, heard it all before. It hurts like hell when I put it on and doesn’t really help all that much.

My fingers never hated me when I was younger, this is a recent thing, in the last few years. Stupid age related issues. And not content with my index fingers, it is spreading to middle fingers and thumbs. Does this mean that in another 10 years time I’m going to be peeling great sheets of gross skin from my arms? It only seems to infect my fingers at the moment but who knows where the evil eczema beast is planning to set up camp next!

“What’s up with your hands?”

And once again I’ve become very self-conscious of my hands. I spend a lot of time pointing at things at work, over time slips, time sheets, stuff on the screen. I can’t keep tapping the end of a pen at what I want people to look at. They’ll think I’m losing my marbles instead of my skin. I catch them looking, their eyes flick down to catch a quick glimpse of the red raw flaking skin. I can almost see their thought bubbles over their heads:

“Is that contagious?”

“That’s gross – glad I’m normal.”

“Please God, I hope he doesn’t touch me.”

“Why doesn’t he do something about it instead of sticking his fingers in my face.”

I don’t actually do that.

“Is that some kind of disease?”

“Should I ask him about it?”

“OMG, he’s picking at it. Dis. Gus. Ting.”

“Stop scratching it!”

“I never knew skin could crack like that.”

“I’m going to puke.”

To stop searching their expressions for those endless thought bubbles I end up pointing it out to people:

“Yeah, the eczema beast is back. He hibernates for the winter than comes creeping back the second the humidity levels rise. Ha ha.”

Sometimes I’m given a sympathetic look or a smile along with:

“Have you tried [insert weird remedy here – salt/rhubarb paste/Yak urine/clay mask/spit!] because it worked for my Gran/Mum/Dog/Fish/Big toe/back of leg/goat etc.”

I thank them and say anything is worth a try. Salt – no, no no noooo! I tried Strawberry Jam once. Made me hungry. Yak urine – I think not. I tried one of those clay face masks on my fingers. Was kinda fun. Made me itchy after. And finally, spit. That was someone’s serious suggestion.

“Yeah, just spit on them. Spit’s got all sortsa enzymes in it that are good for you.”

I tried it. Once. In the bathroom. I had a glass of water to replenish my dry mouth and spent 20 minutes hawking up and gobbing on my fingers. Never again. It was too gross and squelchy. And it didn’t help.  Someone even suggested I wee on my fingers. No. Sorry. I don’t care how much “goodness” someone else might find in their own wee but mine goes in the toilet and nowhere else.

I now have a list of things I’ve rubbed into or coated my fingers with. Here it is, just for laughs. I didn’t get much benefit from any of these but they may work for someone else.

Stuff I’ve tried to cure my eczema.

  • Milk – 1 bowl, hand in, splishy splashy, 10 minutes later I wanted Cornflakes – not in the same bowl you understand.
  • Spit – Gross. Never again.
  • Strawberry Jam – Smells wonderful. Feels sticky. Not fun. The sandwich after was nice though.
  • Yoghurt – Very cooling, kinda nice. My skin did feel softer afterwards but the itchy eczema beast soon came back.
  • Clay face mask – a bit like the yoghurt, soothing at first but not fun to wash off, and I needed a lot of water which just irritated the sores.
  • Olive oil – An okay sensation but didn’t help ease the pain. Made me hungry.
  • Hand lotions – All pointless, I think the acidity level or whatever probably isn’t very good for skin. And those pH neutral ones – meh.
  • Over the counter creams & ointments – Some are okay, they help for a while but nothing long-term. And some actually hurt when applied.
  • Salted water – I figured sticking my hand in a bowl of highly salted water might close up the sores or help them heal. Don’t try this!
  • Soil – Funny one. My fingers felt very cool after digging around in a pot of compost and soil for a while. Itchyness soon came back. Sigh.
  • Sand – At the beach. Again, soothing but nothing else.
  • Dog tongue – Our dogs seem to hone in on my fingers and lick away like crazy. It tickles and is very wet. I let them get on with it for a while but it starts to get real old when they show no sign of stopping.
  • Ice cream – Very soothing but sticky when it starts to melt. Tasty though.
  • Ice cubes – Cold, numbing, very nice until I start wondering if I could put the cubes to better use, like in a nice glass of Baileys or Southern Comfort.

Please feel free to add your own attempts to the list!

The eczema beast hates water!

Every time I wash my hands my fingers seem to dry up twice as fast after. The skin cracks and goes all red. And this is without soap or detergent of any kind. Oh and sweat. I spent a few hours working up a sweat this afternoon helping customers and my fingers were screaming in agony when I’d finished. So what do I do? Wash my hands.



Hiya pain.

Welcome back.

Stupid cracked skin!!

And peeling potato’s is a nightmare. The second anyone mentions having potato’s for dinner I’ve left a Dave shaped hole in the wall. I guess I’m moaning now for the sake of it. And I shouldn’t really. It’s only skin. It hurts like a son of a bitch but compared to what some people have to endure in their day-to-day lives it’s pretty low on the Owie, Ouchy or Hurty Scale.

Sigh. Big, BIG sigh.

I make light of it because what else can I do? Sure I’m bitching about it on my blog, add a slice of humour here and there, but in the end I just get on and try to ignore it as best I can.

It’s better to laugh than cry I always say.

But you know what, dear blog reader, it does get me down at times. I’m not a vain person in the slightest but when the eczema beast comes calling it’s hard not to notice the disgusting state of your skin. And it’s worse when you catch the look in someone’s eye when they see it too.

Anyway, thanks for reading through my rant. And again, apologies for the unexpected photo of my zombie fingers!

I’m off to find a watermelon to shove my finger in, haven’t tried that one yet!

A cure is out there!

53 thoughts on “Help! I’ve got Zombie fingers!

  1. Oh my Dave, that looks painful! I can’t say I’ve ever experienced anything like this or could even begin to suggest something to try. I do hear that it is very painful though. Sorry hon. I hope you can find some relief.

      1. I do not know if you are still receiving these messages, but I will try. I am a 54 yr old female. My fingers started to peel when I was 40. It started only on the thumb and index finger, now it has spread to the middle finger and sometimes the ring finger, not much on the pinky but sometimes. I had no idea at first what it was. I thought I was washing the dishes too much. Then I noticed it only happened in the summer. I have lived in humid weather and dry weather. I now live in Arizona. I have gone to dermatologists and the only thing that helps it is urea. It is now April and the peel has started. My fingers start to get ‘tough’ and thick and feel like I have bandaids on. It is a bit itchy, not crazy itchy, but itches. my index and middle finger on my left hand have already gotten that thick blister and have peeled. I now feel it starting on the inside of my middle finger on my right hand. the skin near the thumb nail is blistering. I get very very depressed from this. Not only is it hideous, but very uncomfortable and hard to hold things. I constantly have the urge to bite the peeling skin. So, Urea helps a bit. I put on Hydro Urea 40% in the day and 70% at night with white gloves on . There is no cure. I am told the skin cells do not want to bond for some reason when it is hot. What I do remember is always having freezing cold hands in the winter and the constant feeling that my fingers were too dry, so I would lick them (I know, sounds weird). I hated dry feeling finger tips. I was also told you are born with it and it usually comes out at around the age of 40 – exactly when mine started. How are you doing with your hands now? Have you found any relief?

        1. Damn, that sounds nasty, and you have my every sympathy. It sounds like your condition is way worse than mine, and certainly very far from fun.

          I have similar angry self-loathing sessions. Right now, at the start of May, my hands are okay with only very mild itchiness. The winter here this year wasn’t that cold so I only had a small flare up. I’m not looking forward to the summer much because I know the humidity is going to cause me hell.

          I did find a sort of remedy last summer, well, more relief than a remedy. I bought a small tub of goop from a high street store in the UK called Lush. The stuff is called Dream Cream, a hand and body lotion. I did a follow-up post to this one last year, where I wrote how good this goopy stuff was:

          It doesn’t solve the problem but it sure is very soothing and removes the irritating need to scratch.

          I’m now waiting for the humid weather and the next flare up. Still, plenty of people with way worse problems than mine, so I consider myself lucky in many respects.

          Wish you all the best.

          1. I use A+D ointment and bandaids with loose bandages around the bandaids to keep them on. As long as I keep out all water and keep the ointment replenished the eczema goes away. It stops the spreading to other fingers also. It takes at least a week or two of redressing and applying ointment after showers, gym, washing hands, etc.

          2. I feel so bad that I never saw you responded till now. My fingers are at a severe peel stage now and again googled Zombie fingers and found you and suddenly I see you wrote back. Thank you!!! Everything I try doesn’t work. Im in depression now because my fingers not only hurt, but it is hard to hold onto things. Like I don’t have that natural moisture in the fingertips for gripping. The thumbs now are at the thickening stage and soon the skin will start to separate from the finger. *sigh*

  2. You are not alone. I’m not sure if it’s eczema or what (although I’m pretty sure it’s part of it anyway) but I have this happen in the winter. In the summer my hands (as well as elbows, knees, etc etc) are super super dry, but in the winter, I get this awful red rash on my hands which becomes super itchy and breaks open and bleeds. It looks similar to your photo, but its worse. And I’m sure you know that once the skin is open you can’t really put much on it to help.
    I’ve tried keeping a food diary, tons of different creams- both over the counter and prescription, using different soaps, taking vitamins, and more and nothing has ever helped. This past winter wasn’t very cold overall, so my hands weren’t bad at all, but most winters I honestly wish I could amputate my hands for new ones. Anyway, I don’t say all this just to complain, but to say you are not alone when it comes to problems like this on your hands. It’s too bad it has to happen at all, but on your hands is the worst freaking place.

    1. You hit it spot on there, I wish I could chop of my fingers and jam some new ones on. Replacement fingers cannot come quick enough on Amazon! It’s funny how conditions like the weather or seasons effect people differently.

      A few years ago I spent a few days working in a chicken packing factory, it was very cold and extremely dry, and even though I wore gloves the conditions left my fingers cracked, sore and bleeding. Very nasty.

      I guess I wouldn’t be too concerned if it broke out on my leg or somewhere not always visible, but like you say, hands are on display all the time, and hits the confidence quite bad.

  3. Mate, your pro’lly gonna hate the simplicity, but wear gloves when you wash the dishes.

    Cup of aloe vera tea spoon of lemon juice. Apply whenever it starts to feel dry.

    If you work with cement, use barrier cream. Actually if it isn’t food, but powdery use barrier cream. Baby oil is a great substitute for barrier cream.

    And stop picking your nose.

    1. Aww man, gloves when washing the dishes? Isn’t that a teeny bit girly? Oh well, I suppose it does make sense. Interesting stuff about the aloe vera, as PiP mentioned that too. I’m wondering if the best thing is a cream or what. I’ll certainly look into that.

      And how do you know I pick my nose…I mean, um, I don’t pick my nose! Well, not much. Okay, now and then. Well, c’mon we all do it!

  4. Oh man I feel your pain!!! Well, not on my hands but everywhere else on my body. Currently dealing with a pretty sweet looking “eczema beard” on my face that has put my normally great self-esteem in the gutter. It’s amazing what eczema can do to your spirits eh?

    My mom has eczema on her hands and it looks exactly like the picture you posted. She was all I could think of as I read your post! I have watched her break down and sob because it is just so frustrating. Just like you said, EVERYTHING makes it hurt/worse, even plain water.

    Hang in there. As an eczema sufferer I always try to tell myself that it IS going to get better, this is not permanent. Sure there will be flares again, but it is not permanent. We are fortunate, as eczema sufferers, because when we are NOT in a flare, we feel AMAZING. Other people don’t know the happiness and peace that just having clear skin can produce. It’s perspective 🙂

    I wrote an eczema inspired blog post awhile ago and had this quote at the end:

    “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

    I hope it offers you some encouragement the way it does me!

    1. That is indeed encouraging! I don’t know how I’d handle having it spread over more of my body, and I think I’m lucky its limited to my hands, though it is slowly spreading out. We only realise how important our skin is when there’s something wrong with and yes, I do feel so alive when the eczema has faded!

      Thanks for your comment, I really appreciate it!

  5. Aaah that doesn’t look like fun! 😦 On a lighter note, I have nerve damage (very minor nerve damage) to my one finger from over-zealous gardening. When its cold, the rest of my hands & fingers go red, but I have one finger that goes completely pins & needles and YELLOW. My eldest has dubbed it my Zombie finger hehe. I just laughed when I read the title of your post! I nearly yelled out SNAP. 🙂

    1. Gosh, the zombie fingers are indeed taking over! I had a friend with a similar hand problem when I was younger, not through nerve damage but seriously bad circulation. His hands would go white, blue or yellow and look very alien. He just put up with it and never really complained.

      Years ago when I was overweight I had a nerve problem in my right thigh which used to go numb, very horrible sensation but I’m guessing probably not as bad as not being able to feel a finger properly!

  6. My little boy was an eczema sufferer. Neem oil and aloe vera are good to treat the outside of your body. Load up on zinc, B vitamins and omega oils to heal from the inside out. It does take some time to get it to go away but it will eventually go. Good luck!

    1. Ooh thanks Billie! A few people have suggested aloe but I never thought to take vitamins etc. I’ll certainly explore those! Thanks again! Excellent ideas!

  7. Dear fellow eczema sufferer,
    I have had the same issue for year. I work at a convenience store and have the same awkward feeling everytime a customer looks at my hands. The only things I have found that work for me are actual ocean salt water and pool/ chlorine water.

    1. Hmm, interesting. I’ve been using Aloe cream as recommended in the comments, and it seemed to work ok, although having said that we had a humid couple of weeks again and back came the dreaded eczema monster. I’ll certainly make a note of ocean salt water – feels nice and natural and I like that!

  8. I know exactly how you feel…i have had this on my hand since I was a little kid, my parents took me to many dermatologists and they could never give me anything that would help….I know what it feels like to get all those weird looks and questions…although it doesn’t go away forever, I have found that chapstick takes away the burning/itching sensation and the skin stops peeling, I have just recently tried this, it’s been a couple days and it seems like it may be working!!! I have also used vinegar…that was OK but you know how it goes…it just chills and some days are better than others…sorry for the long comment lol

    1. Now chapstick I haven’t tried. Interesting. It’s funny you happen to pop a comment now because we’ve had a couple of warm days here and already my fingers are starting to react to the change from the cold winter. I’ve tried out so many different things suggested by the kind people here, though they soothe the itchy nastyness it still lurks there waiting to flare up at a moments notice.

      Not sure I’d like to try vinegar, especially when it’s at the worst, all cracked and bleeding. Chapstick though, I’ll be giving that a try! Thanks!

    1. It’s a bummer indeed. My fingers have been red raw for days since the UK got slammed with some hot weather. Lots of things seem to calm the itching though, one of the weirder ones I’ve tried is that Greek natural yoghurt, very soothing!

  9. Honestly, I went in the past to several doctors and was told I had flat warts. At this point, I now know it’s eczema and thos particular doctors were idiots. In the meantime, I was getting rid of the patches successfully, albeit slowly, by using Wart Stick and Leukotape. Basically, you put on a gob of WS, cover with Leukotape. I try to put it on after a shower, when the skin is still soft and those damn patches are vulnerable! I’d slough off what I could as the top layers come off easy once you’ve started the process, apply the WS, cover and keep it on for as long as the Leukotape held on. Peel off, let your skin really thoroughly air dry, all the patches that are white (that had WS on them) will return to normal, file it down with an emery board – the wart sticked areas dry out like a thin callous – and repeat. In a couple weeks it’s gone. No scarring, no months of care. It can sting a bit, but you learn how to handle it and prevent that as you go. It worked for me, instead of patches of nickels and quarter sized affected skin, now I get a couple patches the size of an pencil head here and there and I take them out one by one. Maybe, it’s worth a shot? And you can do a chunk at a time. It really just removes all the upper layers and gets you down over time to healthy pink and fresh skin. It’s like rebooting your skin. You don’t have to cover your whole patch either, I would try it on one side since yours are more extensive than mine were, or find a small patch if you can. And I cannot stress enough LEUKOTAPE. It’s really gummy and sticks on through washing your hands, and all your daily activity.You really need a seal all across the WS area. This time, brand matters! Leukotape!

  10. I know exactly what you are going through. I just recently found that Crazy Glue helps on severe cracks. You can even wash your hands. It’s like a liquid band aid. Very weird, for sure!

  11. Hi! I know it has been a while since your original post, but I could have written that, picture included.

    I see a rheumatologist for related conditions I have still not been told what the hand peeling and finger cracking are), but they gave me two things. The one is a hydrocortozone type cream to put on my hands when they start flaring and the other is plaquenil (I am not sure what it is called in the UK, but it is an antimalerial that is often given to Lupus patients. The Plaquenil has slowed down the frequency of these flairs, They still happen, but not as bad.

    I have also noticed that plain water makes it worse. That is the most irritating part of it when I am not in a flair (or just hanging on the edge of one)… I will blister (not fluid filled – just lifting skin) and peel. I have my daughter do the dishes (even when I wear gloves, I somehow manage to get water in them), but I dread every day when taking a shower. or if I am working on my car or garden and for one reason or another do not have a glove on. A couple of my fingers on my right hand have permanent small fissures that get dirt in them. It is almost impossible to get it all out and it makes it look like I have dirty hands. It is irritating.

    I did find one thing that works wonders, but once you stop using it, the stuff comes back. It takes a while to get used to as well (it feels really weird). If you have Bag Balm (you might find it in the farming section or a feed store or something similar) or in the health and beauty isle of a store. It is something used on milking cows that keeps them from being irritated down there. The stuff is really thick, so you do not have to use a ton. Take some of this and rub it onto your hands when you are going to bed. You do not have to rub it in, but it wouldn’t hurt if you did. I like to leave some excess. When I would do after that is take my daughter’s old band gloves (they are just thin cloth gloved) and wear them (over the ointment, obviously) all night. It takes a couple days, but they feel really nice afterwards. Like I said though, if you stop using it, the cracked hands from Hades come back.

    1. You have my sympathies with the plain water problem. You’d think that simple water wouldn’t or shouldn’t have any impact on your skin at all. Washing up dishes for me at times is a pure nightmare, and so is things like peeling potatoes. I’ve tried various creams, oils, ointments etc and though they ease the effects they come back when I stop using them.

      Since I wrote this post I have definitely noticed that the effects are worsened in hot humid weather and very cold weather. It’s as if the change in weather, heat or cold, has a direct impact on the skin of my fingers. This year summer in the UK hasn’t been too humid so my fingers are in an okay-ish condition, but those nasty cracks are still there, and never really go away.

      I have used something called Dermol 500 (comes in a pale blue plastic bottle) which is okay whilst using it, but stop or forget to apply for a day and it’s back to itchy scabs and big old cracks.

      What I find infuriating is that this is only a recent thing in my life, last few years or so. I guess bodies do change through one’s life and to some extent you have to accept those ageing changes, a little like why my ears seem hell bent on forcing hair to sprout from them – why??

  12. Hello! I moved to London from Spain a year and a half ago, and i realised some little bumps in my fingers before, but since a year ago, my index finger and the inside of my thumb in my right hand are constantly cracking, and itching sometimes… i work as a busker singing around London so i carry a heavy suitcase always, and i have been doing that for a year at least 2 times a week, and it is what causes most of the cracking. If i cover the finger and i leave it in moisturixing cream, it helps, but i dont know if it is the same as you have! Im 25, though… and its annoying. By the way, when i looked at the photo, i realized your ring! in my right hand, just now i have a similar one, with the heart and hands aswell.. that was funny. Anyway, i hope you are ok and fighting! cheers!!!

  13. Hey there,

    By looking at the picture, I think I have the exact same problem on my hands. I leave in Asia and it’s hot and sunny everyday, so definitely not the cold weather! I have been to several skin specialist here and haven’t heard of a cure for it yet or a name to call it. Vitamin E cream works well with me. And sleeping early really help the skin to flare up less. I am a night owl and rarely sleep before 12am. But when I do, my skin conditions improve greatly. Try and see if it works for you 🙂

    Girl with the same problems 😉

    1. Hey Charlene, I’ve noticed that this summer there’s hardly been any problems, a few tiny flaky bits but nothing like before. The weather here recently has been humid and hot, which is usually what sets off the zombieitus. Since this post, wow, back in 2006, I have shed rather a lot of weight, about 10 stone in all, and I don’t feel the heat generally like I used to. Though I’m not enjoying winters as much as I now feel the cold, but I do think for me at least it was partly due to being overheated with the weight.

  14. I feel your pain!!!! For over 15 yrs now.
    Although, I never thought humidity- just drastic change in temperature is when I’ve noticed the start of “Zombie” fingers.
    I too have tried all the creams(otc & Rx), vasilin with socks on my hands while I slept and even the bowl of milk. Nothing really works.
    Everyone tells me to wear those rubber gloves while cleaning with chemicals & doing the dishes but then my hand starts to sweat and you & I know what sweat feels like in cracked skin. Like FIRE!! And I dont know about you but even water stings really bad. Showers are horrible until I get to the hair conditioner & then alittle relief as long as it’s not overly scented. But then that washes out so quickly then its like why bother.
    Best of luck & if you do find the cure or atleast relief please post it.

        1. Oh yes, I remember the surprise and agony of how much water stung. Showers were nasty, any kind of shampoo or shower gel seemed to head straight for the cracks and set them on fire. Other than losing weight, which seems to be the only difference, I can’t honestly think of anything I’ve changed in my life. I’m more active now I guess, though I don’t see how physical activity can have an impact on a skin condition.

          I did indeed try various supposed remedies, from oils and salves to cream and coconut oil, which whilst soothing at the time, wore off and left me no better off. I eat less junk food now, not much chocolate and sweet stuff. Perhaps the change in diet helped, though it seems there are different cures for everyone and no one single thing works.

  15. My daughter has this, and as I write to you she has a flare up similar to yours. I haven’t yet but I’ve been researching and found that her good flora in her stomach may not be enough. I’m planning on putting her on a GAPS diet.

    If you Google it you will find a lecture on YouTube about GAPS. In short I will be feeding her organic grass fed beef broth for a while then introduce other organic food. This will hopefully restart her beneficial bacteria, and kick up her immune system.

    Take care and ice it in the meantime.

  16. Re: excema mgmt … I’ve gotten relief from putting Neosporin+PainRelief on the s pots where cuts breakout, and cover that with a bandaid. … I’ll have 4or5 bandaids on my fingers and I get a lot of “what happened?”s and I say “Ive got these cuts but the bandaids help” …. meh – it’s not such a great solution but it helps protect me from my triggers: clean laundry, almost any fragrant cleaner, and cardboard or dust, petting my cats? Have several styles of work gloves too – Lotion up before using the gloves. That’s my current efforts that work ok.

  17. Hi Dave. This looks much like my fingers. Mine flare up and get new places, but it never completely goes away anymore. Does the skin on the tip of your fingers harden during a flare? It feels sort of like you have wax or glue hardened on your skin. I have not found anything topical that helps, other than just keeping it hydrated.

    1. I never had problems with the tips of my fingers, but where the skin cracked up it became very brittle, indeed like hardened glue. Felt very alien. Just recently I’ve had a few splits and cracks which I can’t attribute to any dietry issue. As I’ve said before the only consistency I’ve found is extreme temperatures, very humind or very cold. We’ve had a number of cold days here lately and my left index finger has gone all silly – flaring up, flaking, cracking, but only in a couple of places.

      I tend to pick at the “stuff” less these days. I do still try hand creams and whilst they do offer some relief momentarily, they’re not a cure.

  18. Hey Dave, i found your blog on the net, i also suffer from the same thing you do on your fingers, mine is a little different but they get cracked badly and hurt like heck, its not because of the weather or anything like that, it just happens,i have found a cream called MG 217, have you ever heard of it? i believe you live in England? so maybe they dont have it there,i found it after using a million different things, it doesn’t kill the condition but it makes it go away for a little bit (and i sure cherish that little bit). when it starts i usually cover my hands in it and cover them with a couple of white socks before going to bed,i found the cream at Walgreens,its petroleum based and its very heavy but it works,its the only thing that has worked for me and Ive had this for about 15 years. what i have is called dermatitits which is all related to several different things.

  19. I understand your pain, I’ve had the same issue for about two years now on both of my index and middle fingers and it has spread almost all the way around my fingers and its so painful! Ive tried alot of things, but if you haven’t already tried it, Cortizone intensive healing formula. I have found that it works for stopping the ichyness and soreness. Good luck! Please update again if you find a cure!

  20. I have it on my fingers as well. The only thing that seems to help is something someone recommended, but I was incredulous until I thought about it, then tried it to find it helps without hurting. It is called “Bag Balm” it was designed for chapped cows udders, which is why I balked at first, but after trying it, I have to say it is an amazing help for me. I get it at the local pharamcy, it’s stocked on the shelves, but if they don’t carry it, you can get it from Amazon, it comes in a small green tin and you really don’t need a lot. I apply it several times a day during flare ups. Works awesome. Hopefully it can help you as well! Good luck.

  21. I have the same problem 😦
    Did you ever find something that works? I’ve had no luck. Thanks in advance.

    1. It’s called Dyshidrotic Eczema. Blocking out water/sweat with an ointment like A+D and bandages lets your fingers heal within a few weeks. I saw someone else mentioned chapstick which I think has the similar water protection the ointment does. Mine started during summer when I was 18 and didn’t use gloves to lift a barbell. Barbells distress the skin and also cause it to thicken which flares up my eczema. I can’t give up lifting though so now I just treat my fingers with ointment before and after the gym and any showers or washing of hands.

  22. Thank you so much for posting this Dave! I’m 27 years old and have suffered with this for the past 6 years or so! I have no idea how it started but I’ve always thought it was due to being allergic to my own sweat! (Don’t ask), but I have the exact same issues. If I do the washing up, my hands hate me.
    If I wash with water, my skin fights back. Bright red, scaling and stupidly itchy. I try not to scratch, but it’s too pleasurable/painful! And forget about potatoes or cutting any salad! With this current heatwave at the moment I just want to cut my hands off.
    It gets me down sometimes, I should have elegant hands and fingers but instead I look as I’m about to shed new hands!
    Unfortunately like yourself, I’ve not found a cure yet. I’m still trying but if I find anything I’ll let you know! I just try and keep them moisturized as it makes me feel better that I’m doing something! The only solace I have is that it’s only affecting my hands and not my whole body!

  23. Try supplementing with taurine. You can also use lotions with shea butter, and kerotin. My “cure” happened after having my gall bladder removed in 2007. After 13 years of raw, cracked and bleeding hands, they cleared up in 30 days after my gall bladder was removed. I did extensive research to understand why my hands healed and how to prevent it from happening again and I can tell you that these things combined with regulating blood sugar and reducing the consumption of fatty fried foods, will help your symptoms, if not an actual cure. Please feel free to ask me any questions on why these things work.

  24. Wow, after lots of google images and searches I have never been able to find something that fits what I have going on, till now. No dr’s have helped so far, tried alclamatazol(?) and triamcilanone(?) and also urea like someone else mentioned. I didn’t try urea long though, my skin was dying down and I didn’t care for the feeling it left. But yeah, feels like I have “pain gloves” on. I noticed when I eat sugar/gluten the itching gets insanely bad. It’s horribly embarrassing too, I know the feeling. The worst is when I use my debit card and the cashier is staring the whole time.

  25. I understand this post is several years old, but I just wanted to say, my fingers look exactly the same, starts out as tiny itchy fluid filled bumps, that seem to pop on their own and then peel and flake… something I have found that works quite well at clearing it up (though I’ve found nothing to prevent it) is a cream from the dermatologist called ketoderm… within a day or so the problem is gone…

  26. Wow, great site with tons of super recommendation. The prescription ointment is doing nothing so far so I will be trying Bag Balm, Aloe, Chapstick, coconut oil..I tried the Lush cream and not much improvement. It’s not a good sign when the pharmacist told me that you just have to keep trying different remedies to find the one that works. Thanks for the amazing site and comments. We will conquer!

Speak to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s