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My skin becomes very soft, white and extra extra pruned when wet

By November 9, 2009 - 7:49am
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I am having a problem with what I can best describe as "soft skin" - especially when wet on both my hands and feet.

I have had toenail fungus for years. I keep my feet clean and dry. I've tried lots of creams and other therapies, but have not gone for the pill treatments as my doctor has felt it won't work, and the risks of side effects are too great. My toenails are not black or very yellow, but they are a bit thick, a little yellow, and uneven. Mostly they just look dry. My toenails on my big toes frequently separate from the skin and fall off. I do not get athlete's foot.

Regardless of whether I moisturize or buff my feet, my feet, especially my heels, are always very very dry and a little bit cracked. If I use a foot buffer on dry feet, dry skin powder will just flake off and off and off. Normally I don't have any pain from the skin on my feet.

When my feet are wet, however, the skin becomes very very soft and just rubs off. I can rub it off even with my fingers. When I go for pedicures, the skin will just rub off and off and off, it's almost never ending.

Lately I've noticed that the skin on my hands is beginning to have problems. During the course of my normal shower, my hands become quickly pruned, with some cracking pain. When I get out of the shower, they remain pruned for a long time, with the pruned skin turning a whitish color. It's particularly pronounced and painful on the outer sides of my hands -- like the part of my hands starting from the base of my pinky fingers going to my wrists.

My nails on my hands are fine - strong, pink, even. I don't really have any other problems with the skin on my hands. It's a little dry, but resolved with moisturizer.

I've dealt with ugly, dry feet and nails for so long now it's always just been part of my life. But I'm really worried about what's starting to happen now with the skin on my hands when it's wet, and about the soft skin on my feet when they are wet.

Can someone please advise as to what the condition(s) might be and how to treat?

Thank you,

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EmpowHER Guest

I've got the same thing. It is a fungal infection, most likely yeast, which causes skin to turn white when wet (check your tongue - if it is white-coated, that is a sure sign). I am suffering exactly the symptoms you describe - especially on my little toes - after a shower I can literally peel off dead-whitewhitewhite skin from them, but that seems to make no impact in the thick dead whitewhitewhite skin I can pull off after the next morning's shower.
Get yourself tested for candida. But know that it is an arduous, long road getting rid of this, if that is what it is. Oral anti-fungals, Paleo diet (very strict), and I have heard hydrogen peroxide soaks help. Am only at the beginning of my own journey on this - but I hope we both get better! I find it really, really depressing - the embarrassment, etc - it has made me so self conscious! Bless you and good luck!

September 1, 2011 - 4:02pm
EmpowHER Guest

you are a jomose xual

June 25, 2010 - 7:44pm
EmpowHER Guest

For dry cracked heels:
Warm olive or almond oil or jojoba oil for about 3 to 5 seconds and apply it to your feet. Massage the areas that need extra attention. Wrap your feet in saran wrap and then wear cotton socks. Of course, this would be at night. You can do the same in the AM,minus the plastic wrap.

You could also try, Elizabeth Arden's 8 hour cream, it is a bit like petroleum jelly, kind of sticky and can be used on any part of the body. One tube lasts a long time and is very reasonably priced.

Ask your pedicurist not to use a razor on your heels, just to use a scrub.

For you toe nails:
Use tea tree oil (anti-fungal properties), by soaking a Q-tip in the oil and then lightly massage the nail. Please make sure not to put the Q-tip in the bottle, instead pour some into your hand. Also as a habit, try and use cotton socks, I know they're hard to find, but they're out there somewhere.

I paint my toe nails only for about 4 months in summer, and irrespective of how expensive your brand of nail polish is, most of them leave your nails discolored. There is supposedly a Polish brand, Inglot, that has a nail varnish that is breathable. I have yet to try it, but have read rave reviews about it.

Shoes: Leather shoes, or canvas shoes are excellent. Stay away from Pleather or anything synthetic.

Hope this helps.

March 8, 2010 - 7:25am
EmpowHER Guest

I wash my face daily with acne wash and I only get pimples sometimes, but when I do get them, they are sometimes hard to get rid of, what should I do to prevent them? Also, what should I do to stop them from getting larger when they first start out?
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November 19, 2009 - 11:58pm
HERWriter Guide

Dear KMD

Thanks for your post and welcome!

I also have a problem with very dry and excess skin on the soles of my feet (my hands are fine) and I get a pedicure every 3 weeks, although could do with one every week. The soles of my feet thicken so quickly that when they use a razor to remove the dead skin (I know they are not supposed to use it but I let them as it's a must!), they remove so much that it's nearly unbelievable! I think they could be going and going and it'd never end. Within a week (my toenails are fine) the soles of my feet are back to being the same again. While my regular pedicures do maintain my feet somewhat, like you, I think they could take off layers of skin and I'd still have more on the soles of my feet. We do not wear shoes indoors, nor do I wear socks (I'd slide on the hardwood floors too much and I like to be barefoot anyway) but I don't believe this makes a difference.

Are you going to see a regular doctor or a dermatologist? It sounds like you need a specialist. There is a rare condition like Ichthyosis which is genetic and there is no cure - you can read more about this here http://www.ichthyosis.com/
Is your skin looking a bit like fish scale?

You could have eczema or psoriasis too or any kind of skin condition that causes your symptoms but a trained professional will of help to you here.

Also, are you using an alpha hydroxy cream for your hands and feet? This is usually an effective treatment for very dry skin.

You could also try some home treatments like covering your feet in petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) and wearing cotton socks to bed. This will provide a deep moisturizing treatment for you, and you can do the same with your hands, using cotton gloves. It might feel a little weird at first but it does work.
You could also try mixing olive oil or almond oil with a tea spoon of lemon juice and massage it into the affected areas and let it soak in. Do it when you are done for the day and relaxing on the sofa.

Keep your showers short and use warm water, not hot and don't take baths. I think you need a firm diagnosis so you can have a better idea of how to treat your symptoms. A lot of skin conditions are genetic and don't have a cure but there are certainly treatments that can make things more manageable. Are you able to get a referral to a dermatologist?

November 9, 2009 - 12:44pm
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