Weird new problem?

Hello all. I am experiencing a weird new problem with my palms and inside of my fingers blistering and peeling. It seems to get worse anytime my hands get wet, which is making showering, doing dishes, etc. difficult. They also itch sometimes. There is one area on my palm that blistered, then peeled, and now it seems to be a hardened patch.
I started taking gabapentin three months ago but stopped a few days ago because it is making me too foggy. I also take Humira and methotrexate for my PsA. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this and what might be causing it.
As always, any input is greatly appreciated. Hugs and wishes for healthy, pain-free days to all!! :slight_smile:

Hi Sue,

I also have fibro and PsA, though I have never had Psoriasis. Though I have joint damage and all of the other things that go with PsA, the final diagnosis came about by my pitted fingernails.

My first med for PsA was Sulfasalazine, it gave me a stomach ulcer. My second med was Methotrexate, my entire mouth, inside and out were covered in blisters, I looked like a monster, and it had not helped the arthritis. I went to my GP immediately he told me it was the MX, told me to stop. He gave me a med used for Shingles. I had an appointment the following week with my Rheumatologist, he agreed it was the MX. At this point I was put on Enbrel.

Sue, it could very well that your blisters could be caused by something else, but I would call and talk to the prescribing Doctor, or get in to see him if you can.

I am so very sorry that you are going through this! Hope you get some answers FAST!

BTW, how is the Humira working for you?

Hi SK-thanks for the reply. I have been on methotrexate for the last couple of years and every once in awhile I get some mouth ulcers also. It really does a number on my stomach too, but I feel the benefits have outweighed the side effects. I never had this problem with my hands though. I did have psoriasis prior to starting biologics and it definitely isn’t that. I’m going to make an appointment to see my rheumy so we can figure out what is going on.
I was also on enbrel for about a year, but found that while it worked great for my psoriasis, it wasn’t helping with my joint inflammation. We decided to switch to Humira and what’s funny with that is that it works much better for my joints, but not my psoriasis. Go figure-I guess I just can’t win :slight_smile:
I’ve been having a lot of problems with my knees lately too. When I try to get up sometimes it feels like something is almost dislocating. I’m praying TKR is not in the near future! How are your joints doing on the enbrel?

You are taking folic acid, right? Phenergan is great for nausea and stomach distress. I make certain I eat something every time I take any med, stomach ulcers is NOT something I want to repeat!

I started with the 50 mg autoshot weekly, but was having more and more trouble with the 'drag' feeling that the med was out of my system. The Rheum told me that was EXACTLY what was happening, he told me that this was the method first used as the med only stays in the system for 3 days. So for the past few months, I have used this method. This is the powder, where you have to mix it and build this entire contraption! My husband was a BIG help with this!

This is the hardest summer I have had yet. Usually my improvement in summer is pronounced, however not this year. There has been discussions of switching me to Humira, he even asked if I thought I'd be better without it! That struck real fear into my heart, believe me!

I have the Spondylitis type, which means it targets the spinal cord, but it affects every joint, well it affects every cell of our body. My SI joints are the very worst, and my most recent MRIs were remarkably worse. I also have central canal stenosis in the lumbar that is not good. L5 S1 is pretty bad. My neck is not good, collapsed discs either on one side or the other, which has made my neck unstable. My knees are worse all of the time! They get so hot and painful, but the ankles, ball of my feet are all 'hot spots'!

My heart goes out to you, this is a wicked one to fight. I hope you do not have to go through a TKR, but if it helps, why not? I posted a link to the NEW knee, just out a little while now, on the arthritis group here, do you belong to that? I try to keep up with all new treatments, meds, surgeries, for all types of arthritis. I think it's called 'the get around knee', for the first time, they are using a totally round joint, it is most like our body. I also posted the types that are recalled, and in litigation, so if you have to go this route, the first time you see an Osteo, ask what brand name they are currently using, ask if the get around is available.

Sue, I'm here nearly all of the time, please don't hesitate to contact me, it's very nice to meet you, and have you as part of our group!

Love and hugs,


I do take folic acid, but in all honesty I don’t think it helps much. I’ve also had the bleeding ulcers, but I take Prilosec twice a day now and so far so good. The nice thing about Humira is that I take it every two weeks instead of once a week with enbrel. I get the pre filled syringes because I HATE those auto shots. I like to be able to control how fast the injection goes in.
I’m so sorry to hear about your spondylitis. So far I’ve dodged that bullet, but I have family members with AS. It’s horribly painful when the discs are fusing. I am having a bad summer too as far as the inflammation goes-makes me worry what winter will be like.
It’s so nice to be able to talk with someone in the same boat. My brother, who also has PsA, always says “healthy” people will never understand what we suffer with on a daily basis. I count myself so lucky to have a wonderful, supportive husband to help me on the bad days and two kids to keep me busy on the good.
I hope you start to feel better soon. Maybe switching to Humira will help you like it did me. I think it’s definitely worth a try and you can always go back to enbrel if it doesn’t.
Big Hugs!!

p.s.-I am a member on the PsA group, but I thought maybe the hand problem might have been related to the gabapentin for the fibro. I should maybe post the question there as well. :slight_smile:

Hi Sue

From an Ex Nurses point of view (I have a Diploma in Dermatology from Guys Hospital London) I have seen hands like you describe that can be caused by a virus but also ?? dermatitis which may respond well to a steroid cream for no more than 7 days, might be worth seeing a Dr.

Hope that helps.

Lucy x

I have this happen occasionally and have been told its eczema (more specifically hypohydrosis sp?) check with a dermatologist. They gave me elocon cream for it and it clears it up. Make sure when you keep your hands dried thoroughly after washing. Good luck!


I don’t think it is a fibro problem. I guess its the PsA. Best to see the doctor. They will know if its s side affect of meds that could aggravate the PsA more. Or if its something else?

I hope you find relief soon.

Hi Sue,

I have this problem as well and am following the replies here but not finding a great answer. I not sure if its the fibro or not, but I'm not on any new meds and keep my hands EXTREMELY clean since we have such terrible immune systems and catch everything going around. My doc said it was from not washing enuf and that's just crazy so I'm still putting up with it, ti seems to come and go and drives me nuts itching at times/hurting at others! I'm hoping for an answer here and will be watching and hoping for both of us some good input.

Also, I'm having issues with my knees and it feels like my kneecap might turn at times and pain goes around knees and down leg! I'm scared I'm going to have to use a cane again, UGH! I'm currently on neurontin and starting lyrica next week. Will the lyrica help with the joint pain too? Or do I need to ask for something else?

Hugs to all who help us!! xoxox

It could be a fungal infection. Easy enough to catch. Easy to treat. Lots of over the counter creams, the pharmacist can help you find one. The creams for fungal infection usually end in “zole” . Maybe try a cream and see of it works.

Hi All,

Just wanted to update you all on what the diagnosis was. I would have wrote sooner but I have been fighting one heck of a chest virus for the last few weeks. According to my GP, it is an allergic reaction due to my immune system being so compromised from the meds. She told me to wear gloves as much as possible (like that's so simple), and not to touch or eat lettuce, avocados or bananas. Don't get me wrong, I'm not actually allergic to any of these things, but she said they had something to do with ragweed which would cause my allergies to flare and the reaction on my hands. The weird thing was, after I saw her my feet started doing the same thing. I happen to have a medicine chest full of topical steroid creams(thanks to the wonderful world of psoriasis) so I just started trying different ones out and the blistering started to get better. So I guess what I'm saying is, I have no idea if my GP was right or not. I guess it could be allergies or it could be a virus that's working it's way out of my system. Or I guess it could be a myriad of other things also. I'm just happy it's getting better and not worse. I know some other people have experienced the same problem, so I just wanted to update in case it helps anyone else out.

Thanks everyone for your replies. Your expert advice is always appreciated. Hugs to all!!!!

Hi Sue,

I have a difficult time with bath soap, hand soap/dish soap, I use either Seventh Generation free and clear or Full Circle Free and clear for dishes and as hand soap, using the regular soaps just literally tear my hands up.

I have never heard of those foods associated with ragweed exposure! Thanks for the heads up there! I was sure it was ragweed that plagued me with terrible allergies all of these years, tests were done, not ragweed at all, but instead indoor and outdoor mold!

Glad the creams are working, but maybe try gentler soaps too! Hang in there girl!

Hi EstesParkLioness,

I'm so sorry-I didn't see your reply until now. I would have answered you sooner. Although this may be a moot point since I'm so late replying, I also started Lyrica about 4 weeks ago. I couldn't take the fogginess with the neurontin and was starting to feel like my I.Q dropped about 100 points. Although I'm still foggy with the Lyrica, it's not as bad. My knee pain isn't helped by the Lyrica though.

I told my rheumatologist about my knee shifting a couple weeks ago. He just kind of nodded his head and kept writing in my chart. Apparently he wasn't surprised. He asked me if I was able to get around ok. I just kind of laughed at that. I don't know what they expect us to say. Is it ok that it takes me ten minutes to get upstairs, or downstairs for that matter? Is it ok that I can't take my kids to the park, because I don't know if I can make the walk back? Sorry-had a little bit of a bitter moment there :)

I don't know what to tell you as far as the meds go. I am on a lot of meds for psoriatic arthritis, but I'm not sure if you have that (I really hope you don't!!) I know you have Fibro, but the pain and dysfunction with my knee is related to psoriatic arthritis, although I'm sure the Fibro brings in an extra punch of pain there just for good measure.

I hope you are feeling better and that the Lyrica is helping you. Let me know how you are doing.

Big Hugs!!!