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Dryness and peeling off of the skin - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Dry Skin
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 40 Questions
User :   My 5 yr old son's hands and feet are peeling off in large sheets. He has not had a rash or felt sick at all. We have not changed any cleaning products or anything around the home. He has recently started on a swim team and he has had a low grade fever 99.5ish for a few days. He feels fine otherwise. It is going on its 6th day of peeling on the hands but the feet just started today. His Ped felt it could be strep although he tested negative and his throat looks normal as well. They put him on Azithromycin anyway. I am concerned about his swimming in meets. Do you have any ideas as to a possible cause? Will it hurt for him to swim? We have been moistuizing, using petroleum jelly, ointments or XXXXXXXX butter with gloves at night but so far no real change. Anyadvice would be appreciated.
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   let me read
Doctor :   peeling of skin only in the hand and feet and not in any other part of the body ?
User :   Correct
Doctor :   is there any redness or itching associated with peeling ?
User :   No redness. The skin is a bit tough underneath the peeling areas. I've seen hand foot and mouth before and he did not start with any reddened areas before the peeling. It ruly came out of nowhere.
Doctor :   does he have any history in the past ?
User :   No med history to speak of beside the normal ear infections, a few URi etc, NKA,
Doctor :   other significant history is the skin peeling started
after he joined the swimming team ?
User :   Swiming started 2 weeks ago in one pool, Sat he swam in our neighborhood pool for the 1st time this season and that's the day it began.
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   it seems he has developed the excessive dryness following swimming which is resulting in peeling of the skin
Doctor :   it is very unlikely it is infection of strep or fungal in nature
Doctor :   either it is dryness of the skin or dermatitis
Doctor :   more so it look like dryness
Doctor :   applying baby oil or good moisturizer should control this peeling
Doctor :   since the peeling has started already even applying moisturizers will not prevent from peeling off the already damaged skin
Doctor :   it will only prevent the further peeling of the normal skin
Doctor :   anyways once you show it to the dermatologist,
Doctor :   hi
User :   Sorry for the interruption, If we continue to moisturize it sev times a day do you think is it ok for him to conitinue swimming? It began at the tips and worked its way down to the palms until the whole hand peeled off once and now it has begun at the finger tips again. He loses huge sections of it when he does swim.
Doctor :   peeling of skin is only the superficial layer of the skin is lost
Doctor :   he can continue to swim with the application of the moisturizer and sunscreen lotion
Doctor :   need not be several time once or twice a day
Doctor :   and while in water you need to apply every half hourly as the protective layer of moisturizer goes off in water
Doctor :   he needs to take a break from swimming if the peeling is wide spread( all over the body) other wise not
User :   Thank you! He will be happy to hear that. Any idea on how long it should take to heal or run it's course.
Doctor :   skin takes long time to recover and show the results
Doctor :   it will be any thing around 6 weeks to get some good results.
User :   Wow, good to know! Thank you again. Good night!
Doctor :   thanks for consulting health care magic
Doctor :   bye for now
Doctor :   good night
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