Peeling Skin on a person’s hands is often caused by regular exposure to elements in their environment. It could also indicate an underlying condition.
Different causes of peeling skin on hands and their treatments.
Exposure to environmental elements:
Often you can easily identify and address environmental causes for peeling skin on your hands. Following are several examples.
- If your hands have been overexposed to the sun, after a few hours following that exposure, the skin on the back of your hands might look red and be painful or hot to the touch.A few days later, the top layer of the damaged skin on the back of your hands may start peeling.
- Treat sunburn with moisturizers and cold compresses.
- Shop for gentle moisturizers online.
- Try an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) if you’re feeling any pain.
- Avoid sunburn by applying (and reapplying) a brand of sunscreen that you know doesn’t irritate your skin. It should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.
Heat, wind, and high or low humidity can affect the skin on your hands.For example, the dry air in certain regions can cause the exposed skin on your hands to dry, crack, and peel.
In dry climates or in areas with cold weather, you can prevent dry skin and peeling by:
- using cool or lukewarm water (not hot) when bathing or washing your hands
moisturizing after bathing.
- using a humidifier when heating your home
- Purchase a humidifier online.
Chemicals, such as fragrances found in soaps, shampoos, and moisturizers, could irritate the skin on your hands. This may result in skin peeling.Your skin can also be irritated by antibacterial ingredients and preservatives in certain products.
Other common irritants are harsh chemicals you might be exposing your hands to in the workplace, such as adhesives, detergents, or solvents.
To stop the irritation, you must avoid contact with the irritant. This can often be done by the process of elimination: Stop using specific products or combinations of products until the irritation subsides and doesn’t return.
Shop for bar soap for sensitive skin or gentle body washes online.
Washing your hands is a good practice, but overwashing them can result in irritated and peeling skin. Overwashing includes:
- washing too frequently
- using water that is too hot
- using harsh soaps
- drying with rough paper towels
- forgetting to moisturize after washing
- To avoid the irritation of overwashing, avoid these practices. Moisturize after washing with a fragrance-free moisturizing cream or even plain petroleum jelly.
- Shop for fragrance-free moisturizing cream online.
Underlying medical conditions:
Peeling skin on your hands may also be a symptom of an underlying condition.If you think you have psoriasis on your hands, see your doctor or dermatologist. They might recommend:
- topical steroids
- topical retinoids
- vitamin D analogues
- When to see your doctor
- If the skin peeling on your hands is the result of a controllable environmental element such as over exposure to the sun or overwashing your hands, you can probably take care of it at home by:
- using OTC moisturizers
- making behavioral changes
- avoiding irritants
- If you aren’t sure of the cause of the skin peeling or if the condition is severe, make an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist before trying home remedies.
You should also see your doctor if you have signs of infection, such as:
- worsening pain
- If the skin on your hands is peeling, it might be the result of regular exposure to elements in your environment, such as
- excessively low or high humidity
- chemicals in household or workplace items
- It could also indicate an underlying condition, such as:
- exfoliative keratolysis