Wrinkled fingertips or pruney fingers refers to a medical condition where your skin absorbs water and then folds or wrinkles over the surface. Apart from that, the situation might be due to some signals by the central nervous system on the skin and this leads to contraction of the skin.
In the event that the condition occurs, it takes proper diagnosis to pin down the cause and be able to employ proper management techniques and strategies. In some other cases, this condition may be as a result of normal aging process.
Water is essential to maintain the elasticity of your skin. Dehydration therefore comes with loss of elasticity and hardening up of the skin.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the amount of water you should consume each day depends on various factors, including;
Staying hydrated is important to combat wrinkles, because as your skin loses moisture, it can become cracked or flaky.
You should ensure that you take at least 6 glasses of water on a daily basis to keep your cells hydrated. Dry skin saps your cells of moisture, causing them to shrivel up and make wrinkles more prominent.
Wrinkled Fingertips due to dehydration is a temporary condition as when the condition improves the wrinkling also improves but in case you keep on working despite the condition the hands can really get sore and damaged.
During long periods of immersing hands in water, the skin on your fingers absorbs water. Specifically, the keratin-laden dead skin cells which are found in your uppermost layer of your skin, absorb the water.
Keratin is a protein found in skin, hair and nails, and it is a really good absorber of water. This water absorbability by keratin is the one responsible for the softening of nails after you’ve been in the bath. Where skin is thicker, it contains more keratin, and is therefore able to absorb more water in these areas.
Your hands and feet are areas where keratin is found in high concentrations in the skin, because keratin makes these areas tough to withstand hard work. Lots of keratin here means that these areas absorb more water than other areas of skin on your body.
When water is absorbed into the upper layer of the skin, the skin swells. The skin layers below this water-expanded area do not swell, and are still attached to the increasingly swelling skin cells above.
Eventually the swollen skin layer’s surface area is increased so much that it is forced to wrinkle, to accommodate the increased skin area on the limited space that is available on your fingertip.
Apart from that, it has been scientifically proven that, water submersion of the hands triggers nerves to fire off, and these nervous messages tell your skin’s blood vessels to constrict. As they constrict, the skin that is directly above them is pulled down, producing the deeper part of the wrinkles
Diabetes is a modern day disease that is affecting so many people in our current generation. It is associated with so many other effects on the body. Wrinkled and peeling fingertips are also an accompanying condition.
Wrinkled Fingertips which is not caused due to dehydration or putting the fingers in water for too long then it may be a case of diabetes and it is advisable that the individual consult a physician to get that ruled in or out and start treatment if ruled in.
Dry and wrinkled skin can occur as a result of high blood glucose. When the blood glucose level is high, the body attempts to remove excess glucose from the blood by increasing urination. This loss of fluid from the body causes the skin to become dry.
Dry skin can also be caused by neuropathy (damage to the nerves) by affecting the nerves that control the sweat glands. In these cases, neuropathy causes a decrease or absence of sweating that may lead to dry, cracked skin. Cold, dry air and bathing in hot water can aggravate dry skin.
Lupus is a medical condition in which there is inflammation of the skin. Since it is an autoimmune disease the classic features of this disease include;
The immune system is triggered to start eating up the tissues of the hand.
If you have some of these symptoms then it is advisable that you get an autoimmune workup done to confirm the diagnosis of lupus and if a diagnosis is confirmed then you should start treatment for it.
If you suspect that you could be having lupus that causes your fingers to wrinkle, see a doctor as soon as possible for treatment of these symptoms and the underlying lupus disease that causes your fingers to prune.
If you have this disease already, you can help prevent the wrinkles on fingers by keeping your hands moderately moisturized, but not immersing them in water for a long time.
The skin is the house of our bodies – “our bag”. It is made up of an outer layer called the epidermis. The epidermis itself is formed by stacks of skin cells like bricks with mortar between them.
The bottom layer of the “brick wall” is made up of the mother cells. These cells divide on a regular basis and as these cells mature and progress up through the layers of bricks they eventually form a somewhat impermeable layer called the stratum corneum that protects us from our environment.
Underneath the epidermis is the foundation layer or the dermis. The dermis is made up of connective tissue and in it are the blood vessels, nerves, glands and hair. The functioning of the skin depends on the general status of the body and it is controlled by hormones like the thyroid.
In case you have Wrinkled Fingertips not caused by water and you have been ruled out for diabetes, lupus, or dehydration then thyroid disorder can be another cause related to Wrinkled Fingertips. It is therefore advised to be checked for a thyroid panel to include
Thyroid disorders are common but most of the cases remain undiagnosed for far too long.
An underactive thyroid gland can cause a condition known as hypothyroidism. This can affect the skin in a number of ways.
First of all, a condition known as carotenaemia may develop, characterized by the skin turning yellowish in color. The skin may also become cold, pale and dry.
Dry skin may be more at risk for developing dermatitis, or an inflammation of the skin. Although there are many types of dermatitis, people with hypothyroidism may be likely to develop eczema craquelé (or Asteatotic Eczema)-conditions in which the skin becomes dry and itchy and cracks or splits open into irregular fissures/wrinkles.
It has also been noted that people with underactive thyroids may develop mucinoses-rare skin disorders caused by abnormal deposits of mucins (jelly-like connective tissue) in the skin.’
Your liver is the metabolic factory of your body, producing energy to sustain the thousands of functions performed every minute by all of your body’s cells. Your hair follicles need energy to grow strong shiny hair and your skin cells require energy to eliminate toxins and repair and regenerate themselves.
If your liver is not able to detoxify properly, toxins will then build up in your system and create free radicals that in turn promote cell damage in your skin.
On the other hand if your liver is not doing its job of breaking down toxins efficiently, they must be eliminated from your body by other means – in many cases they come out through your skin!
When excessive toxins build up in the deeper layers of the skin this causes inflammation to occur and this can manifest as skin, especially palm wrinkling.
Vitamins are protective minerals of our bodies. Your body needs some very essential vitamins that will help for the general well-being of the skin. The various vitamins available are key for the proper function required by the body.
For instance, the antioxidant properties of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and its role in collagen synthesis make it a vital molecule for skin health.
Vitamins not synthesized by the body should therefore be provided in diet or as supplements to enable the body to continue functioning without stopping.
The moment the skin is dry, it loses its elasticity and becomes vulnerable to forming wrinkles. But, from research it has been shown that shriveling skin on the fingers and toes is sometimes by the constriction of blood vessels beneath the skin surface.
Dry wrinkling fingertips point to various underlying health conditions. Some people report asymmetric prune fingertips, with only one hand showing signs of shriveling.
This may be associated with nerve damage in the fingers. The most likely cause, however, is that when the skin is dehydrated, it loses its flexibility and fails to resume its initial state.
Recently research pointed out that finger wrinkling is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system, a division of the peripheral nervous system that also controls other involuntary body functions such as breathing or digesting.
To explain this, our hands have to sense the aquatic environment in a distinctive way (we don’t have wrinkling in our arms, for example). The palm of the hand possesses an incredible amount of sweat glands, around 370 per cm2.
Each of those glands has a small duct to reach the surface of the skin and it is believed that when those are underwater, some amount of water can go through the duct and reach the gland inside the hand.
This process is thought to be sensed by the sympathetic nervous system that in turn reacts by reducing blood flow through the vessels of the finger.
Now blood vessels have restricted blood, which reduces their volume, and this situation causes the skin to shrink inward, forming the wrinkles we observe after taking a bath.
Over a very long time, it has been known that the pruning and wrinkling of fingers and toes was caused by the outermost layer of skin absorbing water.
Recent studies by Kyriacos Kareklas and Tom Smulders of Newcastle University in England have showed the wrinkling comes from the nervous system constricting blood vessels in the skin.
When the blood constricts, it reduces the volume of the fingertips and pulls in the skin. So even though you feel like your fingers have swelled in the water, their volume has actually decreased. If the nerves in your fingers are damaged or cut, your skin will no longer wrinkle in water.
According to Nature News International Weekly Journal the pruney fingers point to the change being an involuntary reaction by the body’s autonomic nervous system —the system that also controls breathing, heart rate and perspiration. In fact, the distinctive wrinkling is caused by blood vessels constricting below the skin.
There are various approaches you can have to deal with wrinkled fingertips. The remedies range from home remedies to hospital remedies. The hospital remedies involve use of drugs and advanced machines to deal with the situation.
Home remedies are simple and straight forward approaches you could explore to deal with the condition.
In as much as it will not heal the wrinkles, moisturizing will help to plump the skin and thus make the wrinkles less visible. Our favourite moisturizing creams is the one from CeraVe (Check price on Amazon)
It is rich in vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to wrinkles. In order to use this remedy, just grind a few tablespoons of fenugreek leaves and then dissolve them in water to make a paste.
After that, apply the paste all over your hands and once it has dried, leave it on overnight. Wash it off the skin in the morning. Repeat this treatment for a week and you will be able to see an improvement in those fine lines and wrinkles.
The malic acid in aloe vera is touted to improve wrinkles by increasing skin elasticity. In order to use it, follow the following steps:
We highly recommend organic cold pressed Aloe Vera gel (Check price on Amazon)
Helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on your hands and when mixed with the scrubbing properties of sugar, the remedy can be particularly beneficial. In order to use, follow the following simple steps:
Apply Vaseline on your hands and then wear a pair of gloves before bedtime. In the morning, the skin will not only feel soft but will be less wrinkled.
Other than that, behavioral changes at home can be of great benefits with regards to reducing wrinkled fingertips.
Although not the easiest of options, giving up smoking may help slow down the ageing process of the fingertips
Although there is still no adequate scientific evidence, many experts agree that getting at least 7 hours of sleep everyday will in the long-term result in better physical and mental health in addition to better quality of the skin.
Hospital remedies can also be very beneficial and very effective in treating wrinkly fingertips. They are majorly creams:
penetrates quickly to protect, nourish and moisturize hands. Honey, almond extracts and coconut oil are blended with Shea Butter to create this extremely effective formula.
The rich texture leaves hands soft and smooth with no oily traces, and can be applied as often as needed.
Another one is the Avon Moisture Therapy Intensive Hand Cream: It is used for dry hands moisturizes for days with Hydra boost Technology that lasts for 72 hours. Fragrance-Free formula is non-irritating and reduces redness! Comes in a 4.2 fl oz. container. It has several benefits in that:
The use of any remedy for the wrinkles and prunes on your hands should be done in great consultation with your medical personnel and specifically dermatologist.
If a remedy is used wrongly, it is likely to bring about side effects that could be very detrimental to your health.
Reference and Sources