One cause of the skin on the palms and hands peeling is psoriasis, according to WebMD. Another explanation is Kawasaki Disease, Mayo Clinic states.
Although psoriasis is more likely to cause peeling and flaking skin around the elbows and knees, some people experience skin cracking and peeling on the hands. Alongside this, their nails become discolored and they may separate from the nail bed. In some cases, psoriasis also produces stiff and painful joints. Depending on the nature of the condition, a doctor can prescribe topical medications, and sometimes oral. Individuals who want to decrease their risk at home can stop smoking, reduce stress and avoid hand injuries.
A less common cause of skin peeling is Kawasaki disease. Unlike psoriasis, this is an acute condition, and it is more likely to occur in children than adults. Prior to the skin peeling phase, the child experiences a high fever, red eyes, cracked lips and strawberry tongue, a generalized rash and swollen lymph nodes. While these symptoms comprise the first phase, the second phase features peeling skin on the palms of the hands and feet, diarrhea and vomiting, joint pain and abdominal pain. Parents who suspect their child has Kawasaki disease should see a doctor for a full diagnosis.