Most people have experienced wrinkled fingertips, particularly during and immediately after a bath. You may also have noticed that it doesn’t usually happen when you shower, and this has often baffled people. Of course there’s a very simple explanation for this though. When you’re in the bath, your hands are mostly submerged in the water, during which time a certain amount of water will be absorbed into the top layers of your skin. This in turn causes the skin to swell, and that’s when you see the wrinkles.
Now, we could go deeper into this and explain why you get wrinkled fingertips in the bath, while the rest of your body remains wrinkle free, but in this article we’re more concerned about wrinkled fingertips that are not a result of bathing or swimming. So, why are some people’s fingertips always wrinkled, even when their hands have been nowhere near water?
I really wish I could give you a definitive answer to this question, but I’m afraid not even dermatologists are 100% certain why this happens to some people. There is a lot of speculation however, just as there are several theories. For example, many people report that they only get wrinkled fingertips during cold weather spells, which in turn suggests that it could have something to do with the way in which a person’s skin reacts to outside temperatures.
It has also been noted that people who suffer from hypothyroidism are prone to having puckered or wrinkled fingertips. The general consensus here is that hypothyroidism tends to lower one’s metabolism, and a low metabolism in turn results in a slightly lower core temperature. When the body is cold, the blood vessels on the skin surface become restricted as the body tries to conserve heat, and this could then, in theory, cause wrinkling to occur.
One trait which seems to be common between people with wrinkled fingertips is that nearly all of them suffer from very dry hands, or at least, the skin on their hands is for the most part unusually dry. This has also led many to believe keratin deficiency may be to blame, or at least partly to blame for puckered fingers.
Under normal circumstances, there are particularly large amounts of keratin present in the skin on a person’s fingertips. This naturally occurring protein is vital for skin health, in part because it stimulates the production of collagen, which in turn is responsible for the elasticity of skin. Besides being so important for skin, keratin readily absorbs water, so when there isn’t sufficient keratin present in the skin, the result will be dry skin.
Even though wrinkled fingertips may well be the result of one or more underlying health problems, most people who experience this strange phenomenon have found relief simply by using a good quality hand cream, but one does need to bear in mind that many common hand creams can also make the condition considerably worse because of certain ingredients which may be present in the creams. As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid using any creams containing petroleum based ingredients, and ideally, scented creams should also be avoided since many of the scents used in cosmetics are particularly harsh on skin.