What Causes Hands to Peel?

Peeling hands can be caused by hand dermatitis, psoriasis, exfoliative keratolysis and dyshidrotic eczema. Mayo Clinic explains that peeling skin commonly results from exposure to environmental elements, such as sun, wind, heat, dryness or excessive humidity. Allergic reactions to irritants such as certain fabrics, latex, detergents, foods or cosmetics can cause hands to peel. Infections, immune system disorders and certain types of cancer also cause peeling.

Hand dermatitis affects the backs of the hands, the palms or both areas, according to DermNet New Zealand Trust. The skin advances from initial signs of redness and dryness to itchy bumps, fluid-filled blisters, scaling, cracking, secretion and swelling. Exfoliative keratolysis begins as air-filled blisters on the fingers or palms. The blisters eventually burst and begin to scale and peel. DermNet notes that they are usually not itchy.

According to Mayo Clinic, psoriasis is a common condition accompanied by red patches of skin covered with silvery scales, small scaling spots, dry, cracked skin that may bleed, itching, burning or soreness, pitted or ridged nails and swollen, stiff joints. Dyshidrotic eczema is characterized by small fluid-filled blisters that usually appear along the sides of the fingers. The National Eczema Association explains that the blisters can result in scaly patches of skin that flake or become red, cracked and painful.