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Why Does the Skin on My Fingers Turn White & Peel?

by
author image Solomon Branch
Solomon Branch specializes in nutrition, health, acupuncture, herbal medicine and integrative medicine. He has a B.A. in English from George Mason University, as well as a master's degree in traditional Chinese medicine.
Why Does the Skin on My Fingers Turn White & Peel?
Eczema is a common cause of peeling skin and skin discoloration. Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Having the skin of your fingers change color and peel can be frightening, particularly if you don't know what's causing the condition. In many cases, however, it is not a sign of something serious, although it might be causing you discomfort. A common cause of skin peeling is eczema, which is an allergic-type reaction that can causes a variety of issues with your skin. Rarely, skin peeling on your fingers can indicate a more serious disorder. Consult a dermatologist before attempting any type of self-care measures.

Eczema

Eczema is a chronic condition that affects the skin. It can take several forms, but the most common is atopic eczema, also referred to as atopic dermatitis. Symptoms of atopic eczema can include oozing blisters, raw skin from scratching, changes in the skin coloration, ear drainage or bleeding, thickened skin, or redness or inflammation around any blisters that have formed. According to PubMed Health, itching almost always is present with atopic eczema and often is worse during the night.

Causes

Atopic eczema is caused by an allergic-type reaction and many of those who suffer from it also have allergies, such as asthma. Certain stimuli can exacerbate the symptoms of eczema, such as certain dyes or perfumes.Wearing gloves, particularly latex gloves, can irritate the symptoms of eczema on the fingers or hands. Stress, exposing your fingers to water, dry skin and allergies to things, like pollen or mold, also can contribute to a worsening of the symptoms.

Other Causes

Although eczema is a common cause of peeling skin and skin discoloration on the hands or fingers, other conditions also can have similar symptoms, including contact dermatitis, psoriasis and actinic keratosis, as well as a variety of other skin allergies. In rare cases, a more serious disorder is to blame, such as psoriatic arthritis or diabetes. In most cases, more serious problems are accompanied by other symptoms. For example, in the case of psoriatic arthritis, joint pain and swelling usually are present.

Considerations

Eczema and other skin conditions often can be controlled by using creams and avoiding the stimuli that cause or exacerbate the condition. Before attempting any self-care measures, however, it's important to get a proper diagnosis, as you might exacerbate the problem if you apply the wrong treatment. A doctor can inform you of the proper home-care treatment. In some cases, prescription medication may be offered as a solution, particularly if the underlying cause is an autoimmune disorder, such as psoriasis.

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