The skin between fingers is known as webs. It is fragile and prone to easy irritation, damage, injuries, etc. One of the common problems affect the webs is rash between fingers.
Causes of rash between fingers
The common causes of rash between fingers along with associated symptoms and treatments are discussed below:
- The most common infections that cause rash between fingers are by bacteria and fungus
- Dermatophytes skin fungus typically causes most infections of the hands. It thrives in warm and moist skin areas like skin folds, etc. Most infections of the webs are caused by fungus. Yeast infections may cause skin erosion along with rash.
- Bacterial skin infection may affect skin surface and causes erysipelas, deep skin layers and cause cellulitis, or follicles and cause folliculitis. People with cuts or tears in skin or with impaired immune systems are at increased risk to developing bacterial rash between fingers
- Treatment of web skin infections includes the following
- Topical antifungal for treating rash between fingers caused by fungus. Severe cases that do not resolve with use of creams may need prescription antifungal pills.
- Topical and oral antibiotics for bacterial infections
- Fungus flourishes in warm and moist places. Hence ensure that the hands, webs, and fingers are kept dry.
- Tea tree oil can be applied for alleviation of rash between fingers
- Excessively dry skin or xerosis can also cause itching and rash between fingers.
- Constant exposure of the hands to varied environmental factors can rapidly dry the hands and its skin.
- Excessive use of antibacterial soaps and antiseptic hand sanitizers is one of the main causes of dry skin on hands.
- Work-related or genetic factors can also cause dry skin.
- Treatment of dry skin and rash between fingers involves:
- Use of hand cleansers in moderation
- Use of moisturizers
- Barrier creams that protect the skin from varied elements that cause skin dryness
- Contact dermatitis is a skin condition caused by skin irritation due to exposure to certain substances; it is not an allergic response to such substances. Irritation of skin can damage its tissues and trigger inflammation, swelling, and rash between fingers.
- Short-term exposure to chlorine can irritate the skin. Long-term contact with water or sweat can also cause skin irritation.
- Dishwashers and similar jobs involve long term contact with soaps, detergents, water, and other kinds of domestic and industrial products. This can irritate the skin; hence such workers are more prone to developing rash between fingers
- Treatment for skin irritation includes:
- Using protective equipment like gloves, etc. when working with substances that irritate the skin
- Avoiding contact with skin irritants
- Thorough washing of the hands after exposure to skin irritants
- Corticosteroids to ease inflamed skin
- Using creams, ointments, etc., that create a barrier to irritants and thus protect the skin during recovery from rash between fingers.
- Rash between fingers may also be caused due to an inflammatory allergic response of the immune system to contact with certain substances that it mistakenly identifies as attacking the body. These substances are termed as allergens.
- Commonly called eczema, atopic dermatitis is a condition which may cause rash between fingers and other skin areas with folds or creases. It is caused due to an allergic reaction to inhalation, ingestion, or contact of skin to allergens like mite, pollen, milk, wheat, dust, etc. It is more common in children and those affected by asthma or allergic rhinitis.
- Allergic contact dermatitis is a kind of contact dermatitis that causes skin rash as an allergic reaction at a specific area after exposure of that site to an allergen.
- Treatment options for eczema and allergic contact dermatitis linked rash between fingers are as follows:
- Avoiding contact with allergic substances
- Antihistamines for alleviation of itching and other symptoms
- Pain medications for easing pain and discomfort
- Emollients for skin protection during recovery
- Oral/topical corticosteroids for easing inflammation and blocking abnormal immune system reactions
- Scabies is a contagious skin condition caused by infection by parasite sarcoptes scabi. It is marked by extremely itchy rash between fingers.
- The scabies mite burrows into the skin between the fingers and lives and reproduces there. Patients experience a reddish rash that is itchy and full of small blisters.
- The infection can spread via sharing of personal effects like towels, bedding, clothes, etc.
- It can also transmit with close skin contact or long handshakes with a patient
- Scratching the rash between fingers to find relief from itching can help spread the infection as well as tear the skin and trigger secondary bacterial infections
- Treatment involves:
- The mite can be killed with topical use of Permethrin cream 5%. It will also help clear the infection
- Antibiotics for secondary bacterial infections
- Anti-itch creams for easing itchiness
- Keep the infected hands dry. Wash the patient’s clothes, bedding, separately.
- Use of tea tree oil and coconut oil can contribute to healing of rash between fingers