Why wrinkled fingers and toes?

Periodically, my finger tips become wrinkled and have no bounce back when pressure is applied. My toes do the same thing. Generally, my hands and feet feel like they don't have enough fluid and become wrinkled and very dry.

Nothing seems to help. If I increase my already very high volume of fluids, or if I move around more, the symptoms stay the same. It seems like I have neuropathic pain return in my feet and legs when the "wrinkled fingers" come back.

Tell me if you experience this and/or if you know what causes it. Many thanks!


Senior Member
Me too

:confused:I do indeed have that and I also have no idea why. Similarly, increasing my fluid intake along with my salt intake (to hold the fluid) seems to make no difference. It comes and goes in all seasons of the year, but in general seems to be worse when my symptoms in general are worse, but there are some exceptions. Stumped too.
I have this as well, along with a pink to dusky red skin appearance over the distal phalanges that is especially prominent with exposure to cold. The wrinkles are oriented along the long axis of the finger. Since my hands and feet sweat a lot more, I'm thinking it is a sympathetic nervous system response.
Old thread, but YES! I have this same exact problem and have been searching for answers just about everywhere you can imagine. Not even Mayo Clinic could figure it out for me; they blamed it on soft skin from my Ehlers-Danlos, but I don't necessarily believe that given how the phenomenon doesn't always occur. They said I've probably always had this but just didn't notice it, and I know for a fact that isn't the case. Now, it's getting better after eight or so months, but definitely still there!

Here's what I do know about my own personal situation, in case it helps someone else just as bewildered as I was:
- My sympathetic nervous system is indeed overactive - I've had some of the most experienced neurologists in Chicago clinically observe this, although it's been difficult to actually pick up on tests
- I've had multiple skin biopsies to check for small fiber neuropathy - NEGATIVE; I know small fiber neuropathy can be patchy, but the biopsies were indeed taken where I experience neurological symptoms
- I've had multiple QSARTs (a special type of sweat test) to check for autonomic small fiber neuropathy - NEGATIVE
- I've had a tilt table test to check for autonomic dysfunction and autonomic small fiber neuropathy - NEGATIVE; I do have documented orthostatic intolerance, but no documentation of autonomic dysfunction or autonomic small fiber neuropathy (that said, my heart rate does occasionally increase by 30+ BPM upon standing, but that's not a constant occurrence at all, and this test didn't pick up on it that particular day, so I wasn't diagnosed with POTS. This isn't uncommon in Ehlers-Danlos patients. Either way, it's clear that my sympathetic nervous system is very hyperactive)
- I've had multiple EMGs to check for for large fiber neuropathy - NEGATIVE
- I've had a brain MRI to check for MS and brain-related issues - NEGATIVE
- I've had a Doppler ultrasound to check for circulatory problems - NEGATIVE
- I've had dermatographia that is not raised observed, so I was diagnosed as having mast cell issues, although it is my understanding that autonomic nervous system issues can also contribute to similar issues

I also have issues with excessive sweating, especially in my hands and feet, as well as when a specific part of my body is touching an object (example = if I'm sitting on a chair, my rear will start to sweat; if I rest my forearm on a tabletop, sweating will begin). My distal sweating is one of the major reasons I was not diagnosed as having neuropathy, as truly damaged nerves will not sweat. Compensatory sweating can occur, but I don't seem to have a problem with sweating anywhere on my body, and it's rare for compensatory sweating to occur in the distal limbs anyway.

My feet will turn very purple and yellow upon standing on solid surfaces without socks or shoes. My hands used to become EXTREMELY mottled when walking around, but it's gotten way better. These are all signs of autonomic dysfunction/sympathetic overdrive, which is very common in the type of Ehlers-Danlos I have (hypermobility type / type III). Could this be blood pooling? I'm not convinced - I strongly believe this is a result of vasoconstriction, not too much vasodilation, as it's very similar to the Raynaud's I experience in cold water. An autonomic specialist told me the same thing. He also said the fact that I sometimes cannot detect temperature in my hands and feet is not due to nerve damage, but rather a Raynaud's-type process. My feet always turned SLIGHTLY purple and yellow (even as a young child), but it didn't become severe until this year after going through a very stressful time in my life, binge drinking alcohol once a week, and vaping high levels of non-nicotine vape juice for a week and a half.

Additionally, I noticed that my skin in general is MUCH more prone to dents. For instance, while it's normal for my watch to leave an impression around my wrist, it's literally 10 times deeper and redder than before. And it may or may not hurt me! There are times when it's painful for me to sit down on solid benches, grip pencils, rest my chin on my hands, etc., but that uncomfortableness is not always present.

Wrinkled fingertips became a common occurrence for me at the same exact time I began I experiencing the exaggerated symptoms described above. Interesting, right? Especially given the day-to-day inconsistency, and how each of these can be traced back to the sympathetic nervous system. I'm convinced that sympathetically mediated vasoconstriction is playing a key role here.

Below is an article that may be of interest to everyone who is affected by similar issues. Water-induced fingertip wrinkling been confirmed to be controlled by the sympathetic nervous system. Wrinkled fingertips can sometimes occur in Raynaud's cases. I've spoken to other people whose doctors say this all boils down to Raynaud's. Personally, I don't think everyone experiencing this phenomenon has Raynaud's, but I suspect we all do have overactive sympathetic nervous systems, which can cause conditions such as Raynaud's. Based on that, I think finger wrinkling can be very similar to - and even linked, for certain individuals - Raynaud's.

I should also note that my fingertips were wrinkling within just a minute or two of taking a shower. However, as I've started sweating less thanks to Cymbalta calming my nervous system down, the wrinkling now occurs later for me (it still happens, but simply takes more time). I've noticed my fingertips wrinkling while cold or stressed out, and in addition to cold-induced, Raynaud's can be stress-induced. Could this all just be from a faulty - but harmless - sympathetic nervous system that needs some calming down?

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This started happening to me about 6 years into it. At the same time, my fingers "became slick" and I could no longer turn sheets of paper. I was stumped for the longest time and sending out a google search for "slick hands no grip" doesn't return much of squat. My hands are not rough, dry or cracked looking at all. Just slick.
About 2 minutes in the shower prunes my finger tips and then I go to work and cannot turn pages without 1. Licking my fingers (ew) or 2. Wearing nitrile gloves (I do blood testing in a clinical laboratory). People often harass me when they see me wearing gloves in the office doing paperwork, assuming I am wearing dirty gloves from the lab in a clean area. If I'm in the mood, I attempt to explain. Mostly I just look annoyed and keep working.

I've spent over 1000 dollars easy on all types of lotions, ointments, creams, files, pastes, sanders, fish oils, flax, drank gallons and gallons of water with different variations of minerals and electrolytes and nothing ever worked for more than about 30 minutes with the grippy problem and there was still no solution to the finger/toe pruning either
By accident
I have awful, red photodamage primarily on the left side of my neck from the sun coming through my car window. My derm has never seen such a thing in 30 years on a less than 40 year old man (was late 30's) or really any man. His words. I had 6 IPL treatments on my neck that he recommended and they didn't do much except now a couple of weird wart looking things have popped up....I've never had a wart in my life before.

So, I figured out myself through pubmed that Vit D deficiency allows this to happen. It has a protective effect on the skin against UVA through glass. That plus all of our other neat antioxidants get chewed up by our wrecked immune systems instead of being recycled like they are supposed to and the DNA in my skin bit the dust.

Anyway, in addition to supplementing orally, I purchased this Vitamin D3 + Mg cream on AMZN really just to apply to my neck and hope for some miracle DNA rejuvenation. Yeah, not likely but there's always hope. So I bought this:

AnuMed Vitamin D3 Cream 10,000 IU 3 Ounces
AnuMed Intl
(plus Mg)

When I got the package I opened the container and put a small amount in my palms to check it out. I kept working and rubbing my palms together for about 6-7 minutes (think of warming your hands in the cold).
To my amazement a layer of skin started coming off of both palms in little balls. It was like this crazy gentle super-exfoliation happening. When my hands were dry I immediately found a stack of papers and began flipping through them. I had my grip? back!! It lasted the whole day and the next.

I Had to do the procedure with the cream again the day after that because the layer was growing back. I'm gonna do it nightly for now until I get more familiar with it. It's actually kind of fun to do.

I've started using it on my forehead, neck, face and I'm totally amazed at this extra layer of skin I have that I don't think should be there, at least not to the degree of thickness that it is ( I have a theory about why this happened with the illness and once I get more familiar with this great site, I'll share)

***Also, maybe about half the time after I work the cream into my face and brow, I notice that my chronic nasal congestion will be cleared up for several hours. Gonna think about Qtipping it into the nasal passages directly if this continues to have a positive correlation.

Oh...back to the hand pruning in the shower thingy. It turns out, that after that layer of skin is off , hands will accept real moisturizer and it will soak in instead of just rubbing around until it evaporates and also the hands natural oils are finally exposed to their thing. So, this part isn't immediate like the exfoliation, but by the end of the first week, my fingertips had gotten to the point where they barely even dimple during a 20 warm shower instead of having 10-15 deep grooves per finger when I'm towling off.

Also, I think there is another thread here about us losing fingerprints or something? I think this is related to that to maybe. Perhaps the ridges on the fingertips don't really disappear but maybe just become partially sunk in under this other layer.

I tried this same trick at a health store for a lady that was working there with a cream they had. It was a different Vitamin D cream, but it was still 10,000 IU. Instead of having Mg, it had K2. This cream also worked, but not as well, but I really think that was because I had just 'done it' the night before with my own cream. Because it wasn't working as well, I did the backs of my hands instead of the palms for her and after a few minutes the skin started balling up like the other brand and was baby smooth underneath. This makes me feel pretty positive it is the VitD ingredient since it worked both with the Mg one and the K2 version. I'm sticking with the Mg version for now until I figure out more.

I maybe should mention that I've not been able to use any moisturizers on my face without breakouts of some weird kind of acne for about the last 7-9 years (or maybe since the beginning? I'm a guy so facial moisturizers weren't even on the radar when I was 30). After using the D cream on my face to get that superficial layer off, I am now able to use moisturizer freely. I am aware of exfoliation and have been for a good while (even have a Clarasonic), but nothing has worked anything close to this stuff. My skin color shows some life now instead of that kind of grayish color it has taken on over the past several years (and rapidly). Wish I would have figured this out before my pores became craters. I had really decent skin when this whole thing began and now my parents in their 70's have better skin texture than me, I kid you not.