What Causes Skin on Hands to Peel Off?

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Kawasaki disease


It can cause inflammation in artery walls (particularly in medium-sized arteries) throughout the body. Since it can affect the lymph nodes, it is often called as mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome. It is commonly found in children younger than 5 years-old.

The signs and symptoms of the disease that appear can be classified into 3 major phases. In the first phase, the disease may cause skin rash that affects some parts of the body such as on hands and feet. This skin rash then may cause the skin to peel off.

Other possible causes

Again, there are many health problems associated with peeling skin in some parts of the body. In addition to that already mentioned above, other possible causes may come from:

  1. Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a condition that usually occurs due to a reaction to an infection or a medication.
  2. Staph infections, a bacterial infection triggered by staph bacteria.

Furthermore, some medicines may have a direct effect in causing the problem. These include:

  1. Adverse reaction to cancer chemotherapeutic agents.
  2. Topical retinoids for acne treatment.

How to cope with the problem?

The treatment is dependent on the underlying cause of the problem.

If there is a health condition linked to peeling skin on your hands, the treatment options can be focused to treat the disease.

If the problem is caused by mild sunburn or dry skin, it usually doesn’t require treatment /medical care since it is likely to respond and improve with some lifestyle approaches or over-the-counter lotions.

Use sunscreen to protect your skin and prevent sunburn! This is particularly important when you will spend many hours for outdoor activity.


If you have chronic dry hands, the following are some helpful tips:

  1. Wash your hands wisely! It’s important to have hygienic practice but this doesn’t mean you need to wash your hands more often than usual. Instead, wash up wisely and gently – and use lukewarm water instead of hot water. Since the tops of hands are easier to dry out than the palms, avoid scrubbing the tops of hands and scrub only your palms!
  2. If your hands are sensitive and easier to dry out, it’s important to have protection when you need to use your hands to touch or get a contact with irritants. For instance, you can wear latex /rubber gloves when you want to wash dishes.
  3. Avoid using a harsh cleanser (such as foaming, antibacterial, and heavily scented soaps – or cleansers rich in alcohol and alpha-hydroxy acids). Instead, only use a gentle cleanser such as moisturizing soap!

Moreover, keep your hands moist – one of best ways is by moisturizing them often! When choosing moisturizer, look for oil-based moisturizer because it is more powerful than water-based moisturizer in moisturizing your skin.

You don’t need to buy an expensive moisturizer. Just make sure your choice contain some of the following ingredients:

  1. Hyaluronic acid, it can be essential to retain more moisture in your skin.
  2. Dimethicone and glycerin, which can help draw moist and water to the skin.
  3. Lactic acid & urea! They can be useful to soothe dry skin.
  4. And some ingredients to help trap water in the skin. These include lanolin, petrolatum, and mineral oil.

However, if you have any doubt or if the problem gets worse /lasts longer that what you think, see a doctor to get a clearly diagnosis!

Peeling skin in newborn is commonly considered normal

While peeling skin in adults should be concerned as well, it is common in newborns. However, it may be distressing you, particularly if this is your first time in having a baby. But typically, it will go away on its own and usually doesn’t require treatment.

But if you really worry about the health of your baby, see a doctor for more advice!


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