Exfoliative Keratolysis

Exfoliative Keratolysis

It is a condition in which the skin on my fingertips hardens, splits and peels away, every 15 days or so.

It is painful and it is ugly. If you have ever had it, you know how painful, annoying and frustrating it is. You know that you can’t play guitar, eat spicy finger foods, or trace your finger over a lovers skin.
You can’t use dish soaps and shampoos and bleach is your mortal enemy. It looks like this, and feels as bad as it looks.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I have finally found something that helps.

I have tried many prescription creams, and many over the counter remedies. All to no avail.

Through online searching, I found something I had not given much hope to, Urea cream.

I had previously tried 10% urea cream, with not much luck, however, after much research, reading and experimenting, I have developed the following routine.

Please know that I have not cured this yet, and am still tweaking this, but it is helping, and I am out of pain, so I wanted to share now, rather than wait until the bugs were worked out.

The Treatment:

Each night before bed, I clean my hands with coconut oil. Rub it in well, then wipe it all off with a paper towel.

Slather hands in this

20% Urea cream. I’m not sure brand matters, this is what I could find. The important part is the 20% Urea. Don’t use the 10% at night, it’s not strong enough.

Put on surgical gloves, and leave on overnight. I leave the gloves on in the morning until after I have washed my hair and cleaned my body, so that no soap or detergents get on my hands.

Speaking of surgical gloves, I keep boxes all over the house. I want to be able to put on a pair to do anything that involves cleaning or chemicals.

I use Excipial 10% Urea

when I remove the gloves, and alternate this and CeraVe throughout the day.

Here, I believe brand does matter.

I use CeraVe anytime my hands get wet. I have had the very best results with this cream.

Avoid, and much as you can, any detergents, cleaners, etc. They will damage your skin. Avoid your hands being wet too long.

The Results:

I have been doing this for 10 days, and I am healing. These are not fast results, but my hands did feel better after the first night. I have never had results good enough to write about, and am hoping this continues to improve. I am going to contact my doctor about a 40% Urea cream for nighttime use. I will update you on the results if he will prescribe it for me.