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Wrinkled Fingertips

Wrinkled fingertips is a condition in which tips of the fingers gets wrinkles and turn red. This is a very common phenomenon and can happen when the hand is kept in water for a long period of time. But sometimes,  fingers get wrinkled even without being in the water. This is one of the biggest indicators of many underlying diseases.

Symptoms of Wrinkled Fingertips

Symptoms associated with this condition are:


Picture of Wrinkled fingertips

The first and the most obvious symptom is the formation of wrinkles on the skin. Skin on the fingertips is very sensitive and any small change in the body can affect it. Skin develops many folds and seems to be gathering together.


When Skin starts to wrinkle, it becomes tender and soft to touch. Even small touch on the skin gives a tingling sensation. Skin usually becomes tender when kept in water for a long time. There might be a slight swelling also on and around the fingertip area.


As already mentioned above, Skin around the fingertips is very sensitive. So when it becomes tender, any touch of brushing causes intense pain. There is also inflammation felt on the fingers. Pain can also be due to swelling of area around the skin.


Wrinkled fingertips turning red in color

Wrinkled skin turns pinkish red. Either whole finger or tip of the finger looks red and tender. Redness is accompanied with pain and itch. Sometimes, Skin might feel itchy and dry due to dehydration and lack of moisture.

Peeling skin

Wrinkled fingertips causing the skin to peel off

Skin on the fingers gets dried and tender. Dried skin tends to crack, and then peel. Peeling skin causes pain and inflammation in that area. Sometimes skin peels even if it’s not dry. Small blisters form on it and peel off later after exposure to water for a long time.

What do wrinkled fingertips indicate?

Wrinkled fingertips might just be because of the fact that the hands have been kept in water for a long time or it might indicate some big diseases. Wrinkled fingertips are not a disease in itself, it is a symptom of some underlying disease.

Wrinkled fingertips indicates the following:


The building up or accumulation on some parts of the fingers cause lymphedema. Lymphedema leads to tender and wrinkled fingertips. It can happen just in one hand or both hands.

Parasympathetic Nerve Disorder

Parasympathetic nerve disorder as its name suggests that the disorder of parasympathetic nervous system. This is a very common reason for wrinkled fingertips.


Hyperthyroidism is another reason for wrinkled or pruned fingertips. So excess production of thyroid hormone is indicated by wrinkling of fingertips.

Connective Tissue Disorder

Another cause for wrinkled fingertips is the disorders of connective tissue that is blood. Diseases like scleroderma and lupus are responsible for this condition. So if you have wrinkled fingertips, it might indicate that you have a connective tissue disorder.

Severe Dehydration

If your fingers are wrinkled without being in water, it is a sure shot sign that they are dehydrated to a lot extent. Skin loses its water and moisture to become wrinkled.

What causes wrinkled fingertips?

There are a lot of things that can cause wrinkled fingers. From simple temperature to big diseases like lupus, heart diseases and thyroid can be the reason.

Here is a detailed explanation of the causes of wrinkled fingers:


If you have wrinkles on your fingertips that feel dry and lack in moisture it may be due to dehydration in them. In addition to fingers, even lips, hands, and feet also become dry furthermore  lips can even start to peel causing bleeding in them. All these signs combined indicate that the body is lacking water. Water is very important to maintain the elasticity of skin and if there is no water then skin becomes dull, dry and starts to crack. The condition, however is not permanent and goes back to normal as soon as our body gets rehydrated.


Most common reason for having wrinkled fingertips is soaking them in water for an extended period of time. If you have been working in water for a long time or swimming, you might see your fingertips developing these skin folds that are soft to touch and sting a little. When soaked in water, the skin absorbs it specifically dead cells on the upper layer. This area contains a lot of keratin which is a high water absorbent. Similar to the hands, keratin is also responsible for making the nails softer after bathing. This absorption of water in the skin swells it up. Inner layers of skin, however, does not swell and stays the same. The upper layer which is constantly increasing in area finds space to accommodate itself and in doing so gets wrinkled. Also, other reason for fingertips getting wrinkled when kept in water for too long is that, when the brain gives a nervous message to blood vessels to constrict.


Diabetes is also one of the diseases that lead to wrinkled fingertips. Diabetes can have a lot of negative effects on our body. Wrinkles increases levels of glucose in blood. The body increases the urination in order to remove these excess levels of glucose, Then increased urination leads to loss of water and hence dryness in the body.


Lupus is a condition in which skin becomes inflamed. In addition to this, there is tingling and numbness in some cases. This is an autoimmune disease, where immune system reacts against cells. In addition to wrinkled fingertips, there are a few other symptoms like swollen glands and redness in fingertips. If all these symptoms happen at one time, doctor should be contacted immediately. There is even numbness and hands might feel excessive cold.


Hypo and hyperthyroidism are both responsible for skin conditions. If you do not have diabetes or dehydration or lupus, then thyroid levels need to be checked. Thyroid is one of the most common disorders in humans and usually goes unnoticed. Apart from wrinkled and peeling fingertips, other symptoms include fluctuation in weight, restlessness, fatigue, anxiety and lack of appetite.

Vitamin deficiency

Deficiency of vitamins B and D are responsible for wrinkled and peeling fingernails in humans. There is also tingling in fingers along with pain and inflammation. So vitamin levels need to be checked. Sometimes during pregnancy, vitamin levels in a woman drop due to various reasons and hence the pregnant ladies should especially get them checked.


Treatments for the wrinkled fingertips are as follows:

  • Find the cause – First thing to do is to find the reason behind the condition. So doctor will run various tests and enquire about the various other symptoms that you might be facing apart from wrinkled fingertips. He will then come to the conclusion and give you the required treatment.
  • Moisturize – Mostly wrinkled fingertips happen due to the dryness of the skin. So, to remove the dryness a good moisturizer should be applied on the hands. Applying moisturizer to hands two to three times a day is beneficial. Reapplication after washing hands is also important. Moisturized hands will never wrinkle or crack.
  • Glove treatment – This is an easy to do treatment that would just need a glove and some petroleum jelly. Apply petroleum jelly to the fingers and wear gloves overnight. Petroleum jelly is an excellent moisturizer and keeps dryness at bay. By this, not only wrinkles get reduce by morning, but your hands will feel a lot softer.
  • Hydrated – A person should drink at least 6 glasses of water daily. If temperature is hot or you work-out a lot, amount of water should be increased to eight or more glasses. This will keep your body hydrated and save it from the dryness and wrinkled fingertips.

Home remedies

Some home remedies can also be applied in order to treat the wrinkled fingertips like:


This is very rich in vitamins and minerals. Dissolve a few grounded leaves of fenugreek in water so that you make a paste. Now, apply the paste on your fingers and leave it overnight. Continue this for a week and you will start seeing lesser wrinkles on fingertips.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is an excellent moisturizer and coolant. So apply aloe vera gel on fingertips and leave it for some time. Then wash it off with cold water. You will not only feel that  wrinkles going but your skin will also become soft. It also helps in getting rid of inflammation.


Eating food rich in vitamins and minerals is extremely beneficial in treating wrinkled fingertips in the long run. Apart from healthy food, having an adequate amount of water is also very important. If health is maintained properly, half the diseases get cured by themselves.


Avoid smoking and intake of alcohol. Alcohol causes dehydration in our body which in turn causes dryness. If your skin is dry, there will obviously be wrinkling. In addition to alcohol, beverages such as tea and coffee should also be avoided.

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