I’ve previously written about the skin condition, exfoliative keratolysis, that I get every summer on my thumbs. EK is a strange skin condition that is not eczema or psoriasis. It is its own thing. It usually comes about in the summer triggered by humid conditions. It tends to show up on thumbs, hands or the soles of the feet. Though it looks like dry, peeling skin, water makes it worse. The skin thickens, hardens into a callus, dries out, and peels off. Sometimes it peels off so deeply that it makes me bleed. It can be very painful. I avoid wearing nail polish because I don’t want to call attention to my hands, but mostly because using polish remover kills!
I’m writing about exfoliative keratolysis again because not a lot of people including doctors know what it is. My doctor and the dermatologist she sent me to several years ago both misdiagnosed it. Recently, I posted about exfoliative keratolysis on Facebook, and my post actually helped another blogger who has EK on her feet know what it is. Also, I came across a product that actually helped lessen my EK and helped it get better faster.
I have found a few forums on the internet for EK sufferers. They share information about symptoms that helps people diagnose the condition as well as tips for treating it. Presently, there is no cure and nothing that gets rid of it overnight. However, urea is the treatment of choice, especially products with a high percentage of urea. In one of the forums I was reading at the beginning of the summer before my EK returned, I saw a number of recommendations for Revitaderm40 Keratolytic Emollient.
I checked it out online, and from what I read, it seemed to produce better results than the products I had been using in the past. I tried Aveeno Eczema cream that made my skin feel and look a little better in the short term because the peeling was less obvious but it didn’t do much to help it heal. Last summer, I tried an old-fashioned looking product with urea: Gramp Lyford’s Country Salve, a product for dry, cracked skin that I found at a local agricultural store. It did help somewhat.
Revitaderm40 is a very thick white gel-cream. It can be applied as needed, but they recommend applying it after showering or after hands have been in water as well as at bedtime. The cream sinks in after a minute or two, so I try to put it on during the day too.
I can tell that Revitaderm40 is working because the skin on my thumbs isn’t peeling nearly as much as it has in past years. And none of the peeling areas that I do have have bled.
The thumb on my left hand has even less peeling than my right hand, and it hardly looks effected at all.
The key ingredient, as I mentioned, is urea 40%. In addition, Revitaderm40 has aloe vera gel, tea tree oil and chamomile. The jar of cream also comes with a pumice stone that you can use to get off the flaking skin. I bought Revitaderm40 by Blaine Labs on Amazon but you can also buy it directly on the Blaine Labs website. It’s priced at about $30 for the 4 oz. size (it also comes in an 8 oz. jar), and it should last a couple of years. It’s made in the U.S.
So if you have EK, give Revitaderm40 a try and let me know if it helps you!