Wrinkled Fingertips Causes, with and Without Water

Although mostly occurring after long exposure in water, wrinkled fingertips could also occur without water. In this post we explore what causes this condition, why fingertips get wrinkled and why your fingertips wrinkle while wet.

Wrinkled Fingertips

While wrinkles that affect the palm or entire hand are a result of the normal aging process, wrinkled fingertips may not be. It is common to have wrinkles on fingertips after a long interaction with water. Why, though, does this happen? Are wrinkles at the fingertips that occur without water cause for alarm? We answer these questions as well as explore the relationship between fingertip wrinkles and thyroid disorders, liver problems, lupus, and dehydration, and what to do about them.

Also referred to as atrophy of fingers, pruney fingertips of waterlogged tips mostly occurs after long exposue of the fingers to water. In some cases though, the same could be indicative of a health condition. In the latter, the fingers will appear wrinkly even without water and will be a symptom of a health problem.

Wrinkled Fingertips Causes  

To easily manage pruney fingertips, a correct diagnosis is important. With this in mind, what Causes Wrinkled Fingertips? The wrinkled fingertips causes are varied. The most common cause for the condition though is water. 

Wrinkled fingertips occur when the skin absorbs water and gets folds on the surface. It could also occur when the central nervous system signals the skin to contract. This usually is no cause for alarm. However, it is important to know when you should seek medical help for the same. Some of the causes of wrinkled fingertips are discussed below.

Prolonged Exposure to Water

The hands and feet contain high concentrations of keratin to make them withstand tough conditions. Keratin is highly absorbent and allows skin on these areas to absorb more water. When the hands are immersed in water for a long period such as when doing laundry, after a long bath, the uppermost layer of the skin which is made up of keratin and dead skin cells absorbs water.

While the skin layers below remain intact and do not swell, they remain attached to the increasingly expanding topmost skin layer. To accommodate the swollen skin on the limited space, the swollen skin layers are forced to squeeze on the available but limited space resulting in wrinkled fingertips.

Wrinkled Fingertips Thyroid Problems

Thyroid disease is another reason why you may experience wrinkly fingertips and hands. This is a condition that commonly goes undiagnosed, with most patients discovering it when it is too late. It comes with symptoms such as dry peeling skin on the hands. Diagnosis is through a full thyroid workup and antibody tests.

Wrinkled Fingertips from Liver Problems

The liver is an important organ and plays a major role in the proper function of various systems. It eliminates toxins and acts as a power house by enhancing production of energy. If there is a breakdown and its functionality is affected, a lot of things could go wrong.
Some of the symptoms of liver problems manifest on the hands and may include reddening of the palms, fine lines or wrinkles on the fingers as well as curling. If you notice these, see your doctor immediately.

Wrinkled Fingertips Lupus

Pruney fingers can occur in a person with lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease which causes inflammation of the skin. Its symptoms include swollen glands, numbness, tingling effect, and pale red fingertips that appear wrinkled. The hands may also feel excessively cold. Diagnosis of the illness requires some tests. Upon confirmation, the condition can be managed using various treatments to avoid wrinkled fingertips.

Diabetes Wrinkled Fingertips

One of the initial symptoms of diabetes is increased thirst resulting from dehydration. When there is excess glucose in circulation, the kidneys will attempt to get rid of it and eliminate it in urine. In the process, water is also eliminated as a result of which there is increased thirst. When the body is replenished with enough water, it remains hydrated.

However, if this is not done, the body tends to draw fluids from other sources such as tears saliva, and water stored in the body cells. It is possible to experience dry eyes, dry mouth and wrinkled fingertips as a result of dehydration caused by diabetes.

Wrinkles on Fingertips from Severe Dehydration

In addition to wrinkled fingertips occurring due to water, it is also possible to have wrinkled fingertips without water. Just like lips, hands, and feet get wrinkled when they are dry and lacking in moisture, so do fingertips. In severe cases, the wrinkling as a result of dehydration will lead to cracking and bleeding. 

The reason this happens can be attributed to the fact that loss of moisture from the skin makes it hard for it to maintain elasticity. Where it is lacking, the fingertips will become dull, dry and crack.

Wrinkled Fingertips Anxiety

At times, anxiety is associated with finger symptoms. It brings along unusual sensations that may affect different parts of the body. In severe case, you will feel pain, numbness, tingling and moving issues. Wrinkling, however, is not directly associated with anxiety. This is unless the affected person resorts to chewing the nails, nibbling or sucking the fingers, as a result of which the wetness will cause wrinkles.

Tingling, Cracked, and Wrinkled Fingertips from Vitamin Deficiency

Vitamins are important in maintaining the elasticity of the skin and preventing wrinkles. Vitamin deficiency, in particular insufficient vitamin D and B12, has been proven to have a correlation with cracked, peeling and wrinkly fingers. Where this is the suspected cause of wrinkled fingertips, your doctor will check your vitamin levels and recommend foods rich in vitamins if confirmed.

Wrinkled Fingertips Without Water

Like discussed above, it is possible to have wrinkled fingertips without water. Wrinkles of fingertips that are not as a result of water or wetness Most of the wrinkled fingers with no water will appear as symptoms to various health conditions. It is therefore, important to see your doctor for a diagnosis so that the cause can be identified early enough and stopped before it escalates.

How to Treat Wrinkled Fingertips

1. Establish the Cause

The first step towards effective elimination of wrinkled fingertips is to establish the cause. A doctor will make a diagnosis by running various tests as may be guided by additional accompanying symptoms. Where a medical condition is the reason behind wrinkled fingertips, he will prescribe appropriate treatment.

2. Moisturize the Skin

This is more so where the cause of wrinkly fingers is dry skin. A hand moisturizer, when applied two to three times in a day, will keep your hands and fingertips moisturized and prevent wrinkles. Also moisturize every time you wash your hands.

3. Apply Petroleum Jelly

An effective treatment for wrinkled fingers that can easily be done at home is using petroleum jelly. For the best results, apply some before going to sleep and wear gloves to bed. This will give the treatment time to work magic on the skin on your fingertips which will minimize the likelihood of dryness and wrinkling while making your hands softer.

4. Hydrate

Like seen above, one of the reasons why you might experience pruney fingers is dehydration. To get rid of the problem and associated symptoms, drink the recommended six glasses of water. This will not only prevent wrinkled fingertips but also protect them from drying out.  

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