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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Why is the skin on my fingertips so scaly?

Answered by
Dr. Kakkar S.


Practicing since :2002

Answered : 8460 Questions

Posted on Fri, 20 Jul 2018 in General Health
Question: I've been dealing with dry, cracked, flaky, and sometimes cut finger tips on both thumbs and forefingers for over 3 months. I've tried every cream, lotion, ointment, and OTC treatment known to mankind, including wearing nitrile and cotton gloves, and absolutely nothing helps. The nitrile gloves soften up the skin nicely, but when I take them off, bingo - same condition quickly returns. I simply can't break the cycle no matter how diligent I am in the attempt. A nurse practitioner told me last week it appeared to her to be dyshidrotic eczema, but none of the actual photos (MD.COM) I've looked at seem to be like my problem. I also have cracked/split heels lately, but not nearly as troublesome as the finger tips. I'm a lawyer by occupation, and don't use solvents, harsh soaps, etc that might cause this condition. The NP prescribed "betsmethasone dipropionate .05%" ointment, but I haven't tried it yet, as I just picked it up from my pharmacist today. Can you advise?

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Answered by Dr. Kakkar S. 45 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Moisturizer and potent topical steroid e.g betamethasone dipropionate

Detailed Answer:
Hello. Thank you.
I am Dr kakkar (Dermatologist and Venereologist). I have noted your concern and I have viewed the image.
You seem to have a scaly finger tip eczema. I suggest you to use a moisturizer regularly e.g either 10-20% Urea (Ureativ cream/lotion) or 10-12% Ammonium lactate based moisturizer (Amlactin). These are moisturizing as well as keratolytic and therefore would help shed excess skin/ scaling. Use it at least 3-4 times in a day.
In addition to this you may apply a topical steroid e.g betamethasone dipropionate 0.05 %ointment, twice daily for 2-4 weeks. Try using it under plastic tape occlusion for faster results..
Of course you have to continue avoiding soaps, detergents, solvents etc as much as possible as they are harsh and would exacerbate the problem.

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