A little over a year or so ago I began to develop a severe drying of my hands. The skin has become so tight and dry that it tends to crack and split and bleed.
I work in thick rubber gloves so in the beginning I believed that it might have something to do with the non breathable material and the sweat that accumulates bothering my skin. However I've ruled that out because despite vacations from work there has been no improvement.
Now some days are worse than others. Things that are dry sometimes wicks the moisture right out of my hands, such as paper, cardboard, and the such. I have seen 10+ dematologists about this issue and they are all stumped. They all recommend another cream and nothing has improved. No one seems to have any hints as to what can be causing this. I've done some research on my own and the only thing that has come up is tight skin contracture syndrome for infants and scleroderma which both do not seem to fit quite right. Maybe someone out there has another theory I can look into?
I was prescribed by my PCP a steroidal ointment that did tend to work quite well as a temporary relief for a few hours and would loosen my skin right up for a little bit. However I cannot continue using this forever because it is a steroid. Otherwise dematologists have tried all lotions including cows milk butter or something and many many other lotions that swear to work different than others. I have tried over 70+ lotions and have seen no improvement. The temporary relief I have been doing for now is putting on a lotion that doesn't sink in too quickly and putting on non latex gloves that hold the moisture in and allow me to work throughout the day.
Sometimes the skin is so dry and so tight that my fingers pull in and cannot extend fully, like a contracture, but when moisturized they release and can be flexed. This is something that is impeding my ability to do things in my daily life. Please if anyone has any ideas as to what could be creating this strictly local reaction to my hands, that would be amazing.
I am a 45 year old caucasian male, I have not made any changes related to diet or lifestyle that have seemed to improve or worsen this problem. I was, however, recently diagnosed with borderline diabetes type 2 that is managed purely by diet and have great low a1c's ranging from 5.9-8 range. I'm normally out in the weather related to my occupation. Medically I have always been a pretty healthy person with not many problems. I did have a inguinal hernia and a surgical repair about 3 years ago and long before that was told to watch my blood pressure bc it was on the high side, which I did and has now been in normal range for the past five or so years. I donate blood regularly. I think that is as much of a full picture I can paint as to my medical history, if at all helpful. Thank you