Skin Between Thumb and Index Finger: What Causes Itching, Swelling & Peeling and Remedies?

In medical terms, the skin between the thumb and index finger is referred to as the thenar web space when extended out in an open state. We use this tiny patch of skin to hold things and use our fine motor skills. Those who engage in activities that stress this region, such as manual laborers and athletes, are more likely to get injuries and discomfort there. 

Despite its diminutive size, the skin between the thumb and index finger performs a crucial job, so it is essential to take good care of it to preserve its health and usefulness. You can experience discomfort, itchiness, or swelling in this area. Let’s investigate the cause of these problems and potential treatments.

Unveiling the Reasons behind Itching, Swelling, and Peeling Skin Between Thumb and Index Finger

It is time to soothe the agony. Let’s explore the causes and remedies for peeling, itching, and swelling skin between your thumb and index finger.







  • Contact Dermatitis
  • Dyshidrotic Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Use 1% hydrocortisone ointment or cream
  • Use cleansers & creams
  • Steroid ointments or creams
  • Dyshidrotic Eczema
  • Use lukewarm water
  • Use cleansers & creams
  • Arthritis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Tendonitis
  • Medication, massage, use of heating pads & ice packs
  • Wear a wrist splint, painkillers, and hand exercise
  • Pain relievers, physical therapy, platelet-rich plasma
  • Irritant Contact Dermatitis
  • Allergic Contact Dermatitis
  • Hives
  • Anti-itch cream protects your hands,
  • Steroid creams, anti-itch creams, drugs
  • Anti-itch drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs
  • De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
  • Dactylitis
  • Immobilizing thumb, applying ice
  • NSAIDs 

What Causes Itching in Skin Between Thumb & Index Finger & Treatment Options?

Cause 1: Contact Dermatitis: 

An allergic reaction to a material or direct touch with it might result in contact dermatitis, an itchy rash. Although the rash is not contagious, it can be highly unpleasant.

How to Treat Itchy Skin Between Thumb and Index Finger

Discovering and avoiding the allergens or irritants that cause you trouble is one of the most crucial aspects of treating contact dermatitis. There shouldn’t be any symptoms if you can successfully prevent or minimize the source.

Apply 1% hydrocortisone lotion or ointment (Cortizone 10, etc.) to the irritated spot. Regardless of your chosen product, try chilling it in the fridge before using it.

Do not scratch the injured area. Cover an itching place with a dressing if you find it difficult to refrain from scratching it. Be patient with blisters.

Read More: How Many Calories in a Cupcake with Icing?

Cause 2: Dyshidrotic Eczema

Small blisters are a symptom of dyshidrotic eczema, also known as dyshidrosis. This skin disorder typically affects the palms of your hands or the tips of your fingers. The blisters may include fluid and are frequently highly irritating.

They can also show up between your toes and on your feet. It is believed that dyshidrotic eczema is brought on by coming into contact with something that leads to hypersensitivity. It can get worse every time you use soap if you’re hypersensitive to one of its ingredients.

Treatment Options

  • Two to four times a day, you can immerse your hands in cold water.
  • Use steroid cream suggested by an authorized dermatologist.
  • Apply a thick moisturizer to your hands and feet every time you shower or wash your hands. Rub it on to seal it in the water while your skin is still moist. A lotion containing dimethicone may also be used to protect your skin.

Cause 3: Psoriasis

Skin flakiness and scale formation are symptoms of psoriasis. The color of the patches may seem red, sometimes pink, and the scales may be white or silvery on dark, black, or white skin.

According to the NHS, when skin cells are replaced more quickly than normal process, psoriasis develops. The precise etiology of this is unknown, although research points to an immune system issue as the likely culprit.

Treatment Options

In most parts of the body, mild to moderate psoriasis is usually treated with steroid creams or ointments (topical corticosteroids). The potency of topical corticosteroids ranges from modest to very potent. Use these only on your doctor’s advice.

You can go for the light therapy option.

What Causes Dryness in Skin Between Thumb & Index Finger & What to Do?

What Causes Dryness in Skin Between Thumb & Index Finger & What to Do

Image Source: Cleveland Clinic

Cause 1: Dyshidrotic Eczema

Dyshidrotic eczema may be brought on by exposure to some compounds, such as cement, nickel, cobalt, and chromium. Flare-ups could also be brought on by food allergies or other allergens, such as hay fever (allergic rhinitis). Moisture: Dyshidrotic eczema may develop on hands or feet that are frequently sweaty or damp.

Treatment Options

  • You can use topical creams with corticosteroids or salicylic acid.
  • If the condition becomes severe, go for treatment with psoralen and ultraviolet light.
  • Dupilumab and other targeted biologic injectable medications have been authorized to treat eczema.

What Causes Pain in Skin Between Thumb & Index Finger?

Cause 1: Arthritis

CDC states arthritis is the term for swelling or joint inflammation. It describes more than 100 ailments that impact connective tissues, joints, and surrounding tissues. Depending on the type of arthritis, specific symptoms can vary, although stiffness and joint pain are typically present.

Treatment Options: 

  • Prednisone and other corticosteroid drugs lessen pain and inflammation while slowing joint deterioration.
  • NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, can reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Some kinds of arthritis can benefit from physical therapy. Exercise can strengthen the muscles around joints and increase the range of motion.

Cause 2: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The pressure on a nerve in your wrist is called carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Due to this, your hand and fingers will tingle, feel numb, and hurt. Although it is frequently treatable by self-care, recovery can take months. However, this is one of the most common reasons for pain in the skin between the thumb and index finger.


  • You can wear a wrist splint to decrease the pressure on your nerves.
  • Ibuprofen or paracetamol may provide temporary relief from carpal tunnel syndrome discomfort.
  • Reduce the time you spend bending your wrist or gripping tightly.

Cause 3: Tendonitis

The third cause of pain between the thumb and index finger is tendonitis. Inflammation of the fibrous solid cords that connect muscle to bone is called tendinitis. Tendons are the name for these cords. Just outside a joint, the disease causes discomfort and tenderness. Any tendon can develop tendinitis.


  • Rest is beneficial to cure tendonitis. For two to three days, try not to move the tendon.
  • Apply an ice pack to the injured area and leave it there for 20 minutes. Repeat this procedure every two to three hours.
  • Use a soft brace, a tube bandage, or an elastic bandage to bandage the affected area. These are available from pharmacies. 
  • Platelet-rich plasma has additionally shown promise in treating chronic tendonitis and tendinosis disorders. It has been proven to treat tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow, improving function and reducing pain in those individuals.

What Causes Peeling in Skin Between Thumb & Index Finger & Remedies?

Cause 1: Irritant Contact Dermatitis

The most typical kind of contact dermatitis is an irritant. When an irritant destroys your skin’s outer protective layer, a non-allergic skin reaction occurs. Strong irritants can cause reactions in some persons after just one exposure. After repeated exposures to even moderate irritants, like soap and water, some people may develop a rash.

What Causes Peeling in Skin Between Thumb & Index Finger & Remedies

Image Source: MDedge


  • Try to determine the root cause of your rash so you can avoid it. Use jewelry made of hypoallergenic material, such as surgical steel or gold, for body and ear piercings.
  • Apply a barrier cream to your skin; these products might act as a shield.

Cause 2: Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Several chemicals can induce mild allergic skin responses. When these compounds are in contact with the skin, the immune system overreacts. This leads to allergic contact dermatitis, which results in a rash, swelling, and irritation.


  • Consider applying calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream as anti-itch remedies.
  • Take an antihistamine medication like diphenhydramine to lessen itching and your allergic reaction.

Cause 3: Hives

You develop hives when something releases a lot of histamine and other chemicals into your skin. This is referred to as a trigger. Hives can be brought on by anything that irritates or presses against your skin, such as irritating or tight clothing.

Treatment Options

  • Anti-itch or anti-inflammatory drugs can be helpful.
  • If the cold doesn’t cause hives, apply a cold compress to the affected area, like ice cubes wrapped in a washcloth.

Causes & Solutions for Swelling in Skin Between Thumb & Index Finger

Cause 1: De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

The tendons on the thumb side of the wrist are affected by this painful ailment. When you turn your wrist, grasp something, or make a fist, you will likely experience pain if you have de Quervain tenosynovitis.

Treatment Options

  • To assist the tendons’ recovery, immobilize the thumb and wrist and maintain them straight with a splint or brace..
  • Avoid squeezing the wrist with the thumb when moving it from side to side.
  • Putting ice on the injured region.

Cause 2: Dactylitis

Dactylitis is the medical name for extreme swelling in your fingers or toes. Because it gives your digits a spherical, puffed-up shape, it’s commonly called “sausage fingers.” 


Image Source: Getty Images


  • The medical name for extreme swelling in your fingers or toes is dactylitis.  Because it gives your digits a spherical, puffed-up shape, it’s commonly called “sausage fingers.” 
  • NSAIDs are frequently followed with corticosteroid injections (cortisone shots). They deliver potent medication right into the injured joints, which reduces pain and swelling. To guide the needle, your doctor could employ fluoroscopy or ultrasound technology.

Read More: Can You Take Robitussin and NyQuil?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Why Does Skin Next to My Thumb Hurts?

The symptoms of basal joint arthritis (BJA) at the base of the thumb joint can include pain, stiffness, or swelling. Skin can become red or painful close to the thumb joint.  Rest and activity changes that reduce grasping or excessive thumb use can assist in improving this problem. Dr. Steven J. Lee (NY Orthopedics)claims  Anti-inflammatory drugs and injections with cortisone or platelet-rich plasma may be helpful.

  • Why is The Skin Between My Fingers So Sensitive?

Our bodies’ receptors are not evenly distributed throughout. Our fingers and lips have more touch receptors than our backs or other body areas. That’s one of the reasons our faces and fingers are more responsive to touch than our backs.

  • Why Does My Finger Skin Hurt When I Touch It?

Tendon issues, arthritis, ganglion cysts, and infections are potential reasons for finger pain. Injuries to the hand, such as cuts in the finger,  broken fingernails, or fractured fingers, may also be the reason.

  • What is The Lump Between Index Finger And Thumb?

Tendon issues, arthritis, ganglion cysts, and infections are potential reasons for finger pain. Injuries to the hand, such as a cut, a broken fingernail, or fractured fingers, may be the reason.

  • How Do You Treat Tendonities Between Finger And Thumb?

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine’s research, it is possible to cure tendonitis by changing your daily activities and putting a splint on the injured part to prevent further movement. It is possible to minimize discomfort by putting ice on the area. Furthermore, steroid injections & nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can reduce inflammation & pain.


An essential part of the hand used frequently for holding objects is the skin between the thumb and index finger. You can simply take care of it by keeping the skin in this area hydrated and avoiding actions that can irritate or harm it. To avoid any long-term harm, it is advised to seek medical assistance if you encounter chronic pain or discomfort. By caring for this important area of our bodies, we may continue to function comfortably and efficiently throughout the day.

Samira Dilshad

Samira Dilshad

Samira Dilshad here. I'm passionate about health and believe that leading a healthy lifestyle is the key to living a balanced life. By imparting the knowledge I have amassed over the years and greatly profited from by putting things into practice on a daily basis, I hope to help others. Food and nutrition have long played a significant role in leading a healthy life. I make an effort to connect through my articles with like-minded individuals who are looking for simple yet beneficial ideas to better their life.