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Dr Chip (M.D.)
Dr Chip (M.D.), Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 31218
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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Skin cracking/peeling on index & thumb of right hand. Need help.

Customer Question

Skin cracking/peeling on index & thumb right hand, since august. Have tried bacitracin, Neosporin, cortisone 10 bag balm, vitamin E oil, vitamin D. A & cream, bag balm, peroxide, also some home remedies w/raw onion/garlic. Nothing has helped clear it up.

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 6 years ago.

Is it only in the one area you describe? I take it you haven't had a doctor look at it? What you've tried so far has had absolutely no effect? Just as you describe, without any blistering?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Yes, since august only my point finger (index)? And my thumb has had this problem.No other fingers!
I have not had a doctor look at it since I do not have one , (cannot afford superfluous treatments right now). I am sure a dermatologist can help figure this out.
Well, the creams all have an initial SOOTHING effect ON the areas,without much improvement.Each time I take off the bandages (several times a day) when they get wet, or dirty, I am facing the same issues of scaling skin segments, peeling layers, painful cracks forming, and again applying something/anything which will eliminate the pain /cracking.Sometimes bleeding of this skin- when I move fingers, or apply any pressure to the skin (like turning a door knob, or even pressing to flush a toilet...).

This is really difficult since it is on my right hand.
In august, now I have determined the cause may have been when I was processing my elephant garlic, and shucking all the dead crusty leaves off..
(There were 100 lbs or so), I was not wearing gloves and was so tired after/just went to sleep and did not even wash my hands till next day.
Several days later, this problem appeared.
Nothing I have tried has made it better. The bag balm, or any such sim. While petroleum jelly seems to help with the cracking of skin and just sooth that part.

Yesterday, while at supermarket pharmacy, pharmacist said it may be infected..
Suggested the hydrocortisone 1% on shelf, then said if this last thing does not work, please go to a doctor. Cortisone 10 and hydro cortisone same thing,Because neither have worked. She said it could go to the bone. (infection? not sure what that means).
I need a remedy that WORKS.

IF YOU KNOW what I'm talking about here, and give me something that works,
I will pay an additional 10.00 when I see it's working.
We are poor right now, and can't even afford the luxury of testing/analysis.
So your best guess as a doctor, would be /may be helpful to me at this time of need.

Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 6 years ago.

I understand your concern. I was asking for the information, since eczema, while it can affect only one certain area, is often more seen in various parts of the body. If there were blistering, that might change the type of eczema diagnosis, but the treatment stays about the same. There are prescription medications like tacrolimus and pimecrolimus creams that are immunomodulators and don't work the same ascortisone. As far as what you can try at home, beyond what you've tried so far, here are some suggestions: 1) A paste made of camphor and sandalwood 2) Same, but a mixture of turmeric powder and bitter neem leaves 3) Nutmeg powder and water mixture 4) almond leaves mashed in water 5) Witch Hazel, Most important is use a hypoallergenic soap and not keep the area overly moist.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

To answer your questions,
I have no eczema on other parts of my body.
Contact dermatitis is what I personally believe it may be...

not blistering. Although a photo of my fingers may be informative to you? Please tell me how to post that?
Taxrolimus, or pimecrolimus? How can I gain a script for that without the expense of routine visit and hundreds more dollars here??

Home remedies; where can I get camphor and sandalwood?
Turmeric, I can find, but bitter neem leaves? Where?
I will try the nutmeg powder and some water,while I await these answers,
since i have that in my resources.

Any suggestions why I cannot even straighten my index finger? (its swollen a tiny bit).
Cracks are still forming.
Is Vaseline or bag balm a good idea for applying, so it doesn’t dry/crack so easily?
Any other thoughts?
Nutmeg/water is my next try at this moment!
Hope it works!
Thanks in advance.

Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 6 years ago.

Well, contact dermatitis usually resolves when the contact to the offending agent is cut off. The prescriptions are just that--need to see a doctor for them. The ingredients are available at most heath food and supplement stores. The finger problem is probably from the skin tightening and the swelling. You can use the tree icon on this page to post the photo.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

i use ivory soap mostly. always did.

Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 6 years ago.
see them very well. This is more than routine eczema or contact dermatitis. At the least it's an inflammatory type of eczema, and it may be a fungal condition. You might try Lamisil or Monistat cream, but this is severe enough that you may have to see a dermatologist for biopsy and cultures to find out what's really going on.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

The brown colour is due to the nutmeg, and not permanent coloration to the problem.
Is mostly red, pink and skin colour.
The nutmeg was also soothing, as the other applications are when applied.
I will try more nutmeg overnight on it.

I will get some lamisil or monistat in the morning and see if either starts to clear this up.
Will keep you posted! I am hopeful one of these will cure this.
As soon as I see a sign of improvement, I will accept your answer, and if it indeed helps, I will add 10.00 to the original price.

Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 6 years ago.
Let me know how it goes.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Ok, the choices at supermarket :
When looking at the Lamisil, I see right next to it the lotimiin"ultra" that I just bought and tried VERY briefly (for12.bucks )..
It was VERY IRRITATING to this problem.
Lamisil does the same thing that lotrimindoes,correct??

So, I went back to the monistat feminine aisle and bought that.
Now I am wondering, what to do with these capsules which don't go on fingers?

Also, I am concerned, if monistat has same ingredients, and if it will be painful?

Currently, the cracks have appeared to be more than last night, looks like knife blades cutting through my skin.... and feels just as bad.

When skin hardens, it cracks even more. So I have to keep moist, or soften with bag balm.

Any more advice on this terrible problem??

Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 6 years ago.
Unfortunately any topical could potentially cause the side effect you had, and, yes, both monistat and lotrimin are essentially the same. For now, I'd suggest soaking your hands until the peeling skin is very soft, then gently rubbing off the excess skin with a soft cloth. After that, try Eucerin cream and either cotton or hypoallergenic latex gloves that you can wear at night.