A woman looks at a patch of eczema on her pinky finger with confusion.

Eczema on My Pinky? Really!?

Eczema is so...WEIRD and complex. And I say that from a space of humor and bemusement. Over the years, I’ve experienced eczema in such unique locations on my body, leaving me in utter surprise and puzzlement.

Now, I understand eczema being in the nooks and crooks where sweat would normally accumulate. But when it’s outside of those areas--like my elbows, back of the knees, armpits, etc. -- I’m like, “What? WHY!? HOW?!”

Pinky inflammation

That’s what I’m currently experiencing with my left-hand pinky. Its inflammation has been ongoing for about 5 months and counting now. It’s the only finger on both hands that is rough in texture and semi-swollen. This pinky will have its good days, where I don’t feel any itchiness and it’s fairly “smooth.” And then it will have its not-so-good days, where it is red, unbearably itchy, and bumpy with small-like pimples.

Experiencing eczema on just this ONE finger, especially for this long, has brought me such bewilderment.

TSW and elephant skin

The last time I really experienced anything close to hand eczema was during topical steroid withdrawal (TSW) in 2014 through 2016.

The difference between now and then is that ALL of my fingers were inflamed versus just one of them. Anything and everything would irritate my hands, including a time when I was chopping up garlic or the time I was cutting a cantaloupe.

I would experience, what the TSW community calls, “elephant skin,” where the skin is thick and overlaps at each fold making it appear as though you have the same texture equivalent to elephant skin. This is what I am currently experiencing with my left-hand pinky.

Here’s how I’ve been coping with this dry, whittle finger:

LET GO!

I’ve let go and surrendered to “why” or “what” is causing my pinky to flare up. (This was driving me crazy). And instead, I’ve accepted it and have altered my questions to “What can I do now and moving forward?” This important question allows me to release any resentment, frustration, or anger I have towards my body and shifts me into a space of curiosity and endless possibilities to heal.

Have my moisturizer on deck

Between the washing of the hands and applying hand sanitizer during this pandemic, my hands have definitely felt the brunt of having to remain “clean” and germ-free. That’s why it’s important that I have a moisturizer always on hand! From one in my car to the one I have at work, I am always prepared to moisturize this dry whittle finger.

Show it some love

I know this may sound weird to some people, but I am always showing love to my pinky (and any other area that experiences eczema). Whether it’s giving it positive affirmations like “you’re beautiful” and “you’re healing” or rubbing it gently with my other hand -- I am always showing it attention. This practice brings me peace, especially when it’s super inflamed and itchy.

Go deeper

I’m very big on understanding what my flare-ups are trying to tell me about me. What is it trying to show me or pay attention to? So I am always curious and asking my pinky finger, “What are you trying to tell me?” And although I don't always get a clear answer, it's letting my skin know that "I see her" and I'm willing to give her the attention it needs to heal.

QUESTION: What weird areas have you experienced eczema?

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