Peeling skin can be defined as unintentional loss of the outer layer of the skin. Typically, one's outermost layer of skin is automatically replaced every twenty-eight days. This skin replacement is often unnoticeable, but can be discovered when it is affected by external factors such as overexposure to the sun, infections, a weak immune system, or other diseases. Rashes, itchiness, and dryness are other symptoms that may be visible along with the skin peeling.
Peeling skin is most often a temporary problem that heals by itself with time. However, if the skin is aggravated while it peels, it can result in excessive peeling on the face, hands, fingers, legs, or other body part.
What is Hand Skin Peeling?
Peeling of the hands' skin can develop due to various factors and its specific cause can be diagnosed by its symptoms. In some cases, the skin develops blisters which pop later on, causing the skin to peel. And in other cases, irritants can make the skin dry and itchy which eventually cause the skin to peel. The doctor will study the symptoms that are causing the skin to peel, the duration of the peeling, and ask whether there is any family history of a similar condition.
Types of Hand Skin Peeling:
Eczema: Eczema is also known as hand dermatitis. It causes peeling of the skin on one's palms and on the back of their hands. This type of hand peeling is caused due to allergies, some injuries or genetics. An individual can also be infected with eczema if they are constantly exposed to specific irritants like cleansers. Therefore this infection is very commonly seen in the following industries – mechanical, metal, healthcare, salons, catering, and cleaning. The resulting symptoms can be itchiness, pus-filled blisters, scaly skin, redness, and swelling. If the itchiness gets worse, it will affect the normal work ability and daily activities of the affected person. Thus, it is advisable to wear gloves while working outside and to protect the hands from coming into contact with any detergents and irritants.
Psoriasis: This is a very common skin infection that affects the life cycle of the skin cells. In cases of psoriasis, cells are built up very fast on the layer of the skin, which makes it look scaly and causes itching, dryness, and red patches. This infection can affect people of any age group and is mainly a genetic problem. Therefore, it is commonly seen in families.
Dyshidrotic Hand Dermatitis: Dyshidrotic hand dermatitis causes blisters on the skin, especially on the sides of the fingers and on the palms. This infection is created within the body and not on the skin. This infection gets worse when the person is under tremendous stress and is not caused when the skin comes in contact with any substance or any other external factors.
Exfoliative Keratolysis: Exfoliative keratolysis can majorly affect younger adults. It creates peeling skin on the fingers. In this infection, blisters are formed on the skin, which later pop and result in a circular mass of peeled skin. This infection is recurring and worsens when an infected individual uses household or industrial solvents, chemicals and detergents.
Tinea Manuum: This is an infection that can affect both or one hand, and it is very similar to psoriasis and exfoliative keratolysis. This infection causes rashes, itchy palms and peeling skin. Some also experience blisters and pus-filled rashes on the fingers or palms. This - unlike other forms of infection - is contagious. People who frequently engage in manual labor are more prone to this kind of infection.
Causes of Hand Skin Peeling:
Overexposure to Extreme Weather: People who spend a significant period of time working outdoors, enjoying outdoor hobbies or participating in outdoor sports are more likely to suffer from peeling skin, since their hands are exposed to sun, wind, and heat throughout the day. This can cause dryness, itchiness, and peeling skin on the hands, fingers, and arms.
Allergies: Peeling hand skin can be caused by allergies to certain substances or chemicals. Allergens are the substances or materials that are found in different objects or products that create a reaction when they come into contact with the skin. These substances are commonly used in many products and items. The reactions that are caused by these allergens can be unique to a particular individual and not every indivitual may experience the same kind of reaction.
Fungal infection and allergies are some of the most common causes which cause the itchiness and peeling of hand skin.
Immune System Disorders: Any kind of immune system disorder can also cause peeling skin. Scleroderma and psoriasis are two of the various autoimmune disorders that cause peeling of skin on the fingers and hands. Kawasaki disease, most commonly seen in children under the age of five, is also a common cause of peeling skin.
Mineral Deficiency: A deficiency of minerals in one's body can lead to peeling skin. It is therefore of utmost importance to keep the elements of the body balanced. A healthy, balanced diet is the best way to ensure this. Consuming a multivitamin daily is an added precaution that can have beneficial results.
For those who suffer from peeling skin on their hands and fingers, below are some home remedies that can heal one's infection and revive their skin.
Soaking with warm water: By soaking the hand and fingers with warm water, the skin can gain back its flexibility. This also helps with the removal of dry skin. It can be even more beneficial to add lemon juice and honey to the water. The affected area must be soaked for around 10 minutes, before being dried completely and moisturized with lotion or olive oil.
Cucumber: The affected skin can be rubbed with slices of cucumber or covered with grated cucumber for half an hour, before being washed with lukewarm water. This can help the skin revive itself.
Oats: A handful of oats should be soaked in warm water and then placed on the affected area for 10 – 15 minutes. This remedy is helpful in removing dead skin cells. Post-soaking, the skin must be washed with warm water and moisturized with a cream or lotion.
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a good method of moisturizing skin and fighting bacteria and fungus that may be present on the skin. It is advisable to apply oil two to three times a day, especially before going to bed so that it remains on the skin overnight. This can help bring about a significant difference in the skin's texture and reduce the peeling.
Milk: Milk is a natural moisturizer that can bring about faster healing of the skin peeling on one's hands and fingers. Whole milk with a higher fat content is more effective than other kinds of milk. One can mix two tablespoons of milk with one spoon of honey and apply it to the skin, massaging the affected area.
Aloe Vera: The gel from an aloe vera leaf can be applied to the affected area of the skin. This will help revitalize the skin. One could also drink two tablespoons of aloe vera juice every day. This juice cannot be given to pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding.
Olive Oil: Olive oil is rich in vitamin E and acts as a great moisturizer for the skin. It is advised to soak the affected area with warm olive oil for about ten minutes, before rinsing with warm water.
Honey: Pure honey must be applied to the affected area and massaged gently. It should be left on the skin for about 15 minutes and rinsed with warm water. Another alternative is to mix honey with olive oil and apply to the skin daily.
Mint Juice: Mint juice can be applied to the affected skin before going to bed and rinsed with water in the morning.
Banana: Banana should be mashed and mixed with sugar, sour cream, and olive oil. This remedy is very effective in healing the skin immediately.