Your fingertips can become cracked for a number of medical and environmental reasons. Dry skin, also known as xerosis, or xeroderma, is the most common cause of cracked fingertips, and xerosis has a variety of causes:
- Cold weather - people often find that they suffer from cracked fingertips during the winter. This is because cold air holds less moisture and can leave your skin feeling rough and dry. When cold air enters your home in the winter and spring, it causes the warm air inside to dry out, which makes your skin drier and more susceptible to irritation.
- Exposure to hot water can reduce your skin’s moisture levels
- The chemicals in household cleaning products can irritate your skin, causing your hands to dry out
- Medications: certain medications, such as cholesterol medication and diuretics, have dry skin listed as a potential side effect
There are other skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema, that can make your skin appear very dry and lead to cracking.
Inherited skin conditions, such as ichthyosis vulgaris, can also cause your hands to dry out, as can underlying medical conditions, like diabetes and an underactive thyroid gland.