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The skin weighs nearly 10 pounds and covers close to 2 square yards of the body, according to Medline Plus from the National Institutes of Health 3. It is the first defense against many viruses and bacteria. The fingers frequently develop skin problem disorders that can be difficult to treat, because they are continually exposed are regularly in contact with allergens and irritants.
The fingers are a prime location for eczema outbreaks. Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is grouped under the general category of dermatitis by the Mayo Clinic 1. It appears on the fingers as itchy, dry, swollen and reddened skin. Eczema is a chronic rash that may appear and disappear without apparent cause. In extreme cases, skin lesions may appear on the fingers. It is treated with allergy medications, but its exact cause is unknown.
The Mayo Clinic describes psoriasis as a chronic skin disease that "causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin, forming thick silvery scales and itchy, dry, red patches that are sometimes painful." Psoriasis is difficult to treat, especially on the fingers 1. There is no cure, but application of prescription and non-prescription creams and exposure of the fingers to limited sunlight may provide some relief, according to the National Institute of Arthritis.
Periungual warts are caused by a virus that grows next to the nail on the fingers. Most warts are harmless, according to Medline Plus, but periungual warts may interfere with normal fingernail growth and should be examined by a medical professional, who will determine if the growth requires treatment or removal 3.
Dyshidrosis is recognized by the appearance of tiny blisters on the sides of the fingers and sometimes on the palms of the hands. The causes of dyshidrosis are unknown and the treatment, in severe cases, is to apply topical steroids to the blisters. The condition is intermittent, coming and going and sometimes flaring up during periods of extreme hot weather.
Scabies is caused by a tiny mite (Sarcoptes scabiei), a microscopic insect that tunnels underneath the skin and rapidly lays eggs. The sides of the fingers are a frequent location for its burrows. The mite can be identified by the irregular burrow tracks that appear as blisters or rows of small bumps. A medical professional may be required to determine a scabies infestation, because the burrows are similar to eczema and dermatitis, according to the Mayo Clinic 1. Treatment involves application of lotions and ointments.
The skin on the fingers and hands is also a prime location for fungi and bacteria. Tinea pedis (commonly called athlete's foot) can occur on the fingers, and is identified by cracking and scaling. The treatment involves antifungal spray and careful attention to the fingers to maintain dry skin at all times to prevent spread of the fungus. Oral antifungal pills are also prescribed, but because the pills have a high degree of liver toxicity, they should be used only under close medical supervision.
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