Musculoskeletal system

Wrinkled fingertips or Pruney fingers-12 Causes, Symptoms, 8 Home Remedies

Wrinkled fingertips are also known as Pruney fingers. Many people must have experienced wrinkled fingertips after submerging or immersing their fingers in water for a prolonged period of time. It may be during taking a shower, washing clothes, washing dishes, immersing yourself in a swimming pool, etc.

There are also times when you must experience pruney fingers or wrinkled fingertips without water immersion. These causes can be related hormone disorders like Thyroid problems, vitamin deficiency, Diabetes, exposure to cold, etc. Let’s discuss all the causes of pruney fingers in this article.

Symptoms of Pruney fingers or wrinkled fingertips:

wrinkled fingertips
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Before discussing the causes of wrinkled fingertips, let us talk about the symptoms of pruney fingers first.


The skin of our fingertips is very delicate and it can get affected due to any changes in the environment, any changes in the body, etc. The skin on the fingertips starts developing wrinkles or folds and appears like a wrinkled prune.


As the skin of fingertips is very sensitive or delicate, when we touch the area of the pruney finger, it feels painful.


The tender fingertips which have developed wrinkles are very painful by themselves. Also, when you try to touch these fingertips, the pain aggravates.


The skin of the wrinkled fingertips changes in response to the environment. The skin of pruney fingers becomes reddish in color or develops erythema.

Scaling of skin:

The skin over the wrinkled fingertips can start scaling or peeling off slowly. There can be the development of infection of the fingertips if exposed to dirt or dust, etc.

Wrinkled fingertips or Pruney fingers causes:

There are many causes for the development of Pruney fingers. Let us discuss them below.

Water immersion:

The uppermost layer of your skin is made of keratin cells. These cells have the ability to absorb water and swell. When we immerse our fingertips in water or a prolonged period of time, the keratinized cells absorb water and swell.

But the cells of the skin layer attached to this upper layer don’t swell. The area of the fingertips is limited. But the uppermost keratin layer has swollen. In order to adjust to the limited area of the finger, the uppermost keratinized layer of the skin shrinks or develops folds.

Also, the nervous system supplying the skin sends a signal to the blood vessels supplying the fingertips to constrict when immersed in water for prolonged periods of time. As the blood vessels constrict, the skin which it supplies at the fingertips also shrink and the grooves of the skin on finger appear prominent. This leads to the formation of wrinkled fingertips or pruney fingers.

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Thyroid problem:

Thyroid issues, mainly hypothyroidism or low levels of thyroid hormones in the blood leads to wrinkled fingertips. This is because the thyroid hormone regulates the body metabolism and heat production. When the levels of thyroid hormone in the body are low, the heat production reduces and the skin starts feeling cold.

When the skin starts feeling cold, the nerves send a message to the blood vessels supplying the fingertips to constrict. This constriction of the blood vessels facilitates the prevention of escape of the heat through the skin. Along with constriction of the blood vessels, there is also shrinking of the skin, leading to the formation of pruney fingers.


We need to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water every day for maintaining a healthy body. We also need adequate water intake every day for maintaining the elastic nature of the skin. If we don’t consume sufficient water, the skin loses its elasticity and starts shrinking. This develops symptoms like wrinkled fingertips.

Pruney fingers can also occur in people who are dehydrated due to living in dry, hot environment, having old age, having diarrhea or vomiting leading to dehydration. So, ensure you drink sufficient water always.


When a person has Diabetes, there are high levels of blood glucose in his blood or he has hyperglycemia. When a person has hyperglycemia, his urination is increased in order to eliminate this excess blood glucose. This leads to dehydration.

This, in turn, leads to shrinking of the skin over fingertips and drying. Also, there is damage to the nerves supplying the sweat glands in Diabetic people due to increased blood glucose levels. As a result of this damage to the nerve supplying sweat gland, there is decreased sweating. This ultimately leads to dryness and wrinkled fingertips or pruney fingers.

Deficiency of vitamins:

We need vitamins in our daily diet to maintain our bodily functions. Many vitamins play a major role in maintaining the proper development and functioning of the skin. For instance, vitamin C is essential for the development of the collagen in the skin. There are also other vitamins like vitamin D and many subtypes of vitamin B which aid in the proper functioning of the skin. Deficiency of any of these vitamins can lead to the formation of wrinkled fingertips or pruney fingers.

Systemic lupus erythematosus:

This condition is also known as lupus or SLE. It is an autoimmune disease, in which our immune system attacks our own body by producing antibodies. Due to this, there can be the development of wrinkled fingertips or pruney fingers. There is also inflammation or swelling, redness, and peeling of the fingertips in lupus patients.

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Liver disorders:

The liver plays a vital role in eliminating the toxins that accumulate in the body. If there is impairment of the functioning of the liver due to any sort of liver disorder, the toxins get accumulated in the body. This leads to the formation of pruney fingers due to the effect of the toxins on the skin tissues of the fingertips.

Several liver disorders do not present symptoms until the later stages of the illness; therefore monitoring liver health is of great importance. There are several diagnostic methods, one of them being a liver diagnosis test, which will indicate whether you are experiencing liver conditions such as NAFLD, or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Disorders of the Autonomic nervous system:

Parasympathetic nervous system and Sympathetic nervous system are part of the autonomic nervous system of the body. They regulate the functioning of all the internal organs and glands including the sweat gland. Any problem or disorder of the Autonomic nervous system can damage the sweat gland leading to reduced sweating. This can lead to dryness of the skin of fingertips leading to the formation of wrinkled fingertips or pruney fingers.


There is a system called lymphatic system in our body through which a fluid called lymph flows. This fluid and lymphatic system protect us from various infections. The cells of the immune system are present in this lymphatic system. The accumulation of lymph fluid in the skin of the fingertips due to any disorder can also lead to the formation of wrinkled fingertips or pruney fingers.

Connective tissue disorders:

There are several connective tissue disorders which can lead to wrinkled fingertips. Scleroderma is one such connective tissue disorder which can lead to the development of pruney fingers.

Cold temperature or weather:

Exposure to cold weather can constrict the blood vessels supplying the fingertips. This can lead to shrinking of the fingertips skin and development of wrinkled fingertips or pruney fingers.

Acanthosis Nigricans:

Acanthosis Nigricans is a condition which can also lead to wrinkled fingertips or pruney fingers. It is more common in people with obesity and insulin resistance. The people with this condition can develop thick skin which is brown colored. The skin of the fingertips also develops grooves and ridges which are deep, leading to the appearance of pruney fingers.

Wrinkled fingertips or Pruney fingers Treatment and Home remedies:

There are many treatment options and home remedies for wrinkled fingertips. Let us discuss them.

Treat the cause:

We need to go to a physician and try to find out the cause of wrinkled fingertips. If the pruney fingers are being caused due to any disorder, for example, Diabetes, Thyroid, connective tissue disorder, etc, the pruney fingers will disappear once the cause is identified and treated.

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We need to keep our body adequately hydrated always for the proper functioning of all the body parts, and also to prevent pruney fingers. We need to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. If you feel like drinking water is boring, you can drink buttermilk, coconut water, etc. But avoid drinking aerated drinks or sugary drinks instead of water as they won’t help you. If the weather is hot and dry, you need to drink even more glasses of water.

Apply Moisturizer:

We need to keep our fingers properly moisturized to cure wrinkled fingertips. Try to apply moisturizer at least 3 to 4 times a day. Apply moisturizer after washing your hands and cleaning them properly. If the skin of the fingers is properly moisturized, then scaling, dryness of the skin will reduce.

Aloe vera gel:

Aloe vera is an excellent natural moisturizer. After washing your hands and patting them dry, apply aloe vera gel to your fingers and hands. Massage the gel well over the fingers. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes and then wash your hands and pat dry.

Try to use Aloe vera gel made from fresh Aloe vera plant. If it is not available, then try to use Aloe vera gel of a reputed brand without preservatives. If you use this remedy regularly twice a day for few days, you will see a noticeable improvement in your wrinkled fingertips or pruney fingers.

Fenugreek seeds:

You can soak 2 tablespoons of Fenugreek seeds or Methi seeds in water for few hours. Then make a paste of the seeds by grinding. Then apply this paste to the fingertips and massage well. Then leave it on for 30 minutes and then gently wash off the paste while slowly rubbing. This will help with pruney fingers by reducing the wrinkles.

Petroleum jelly:

We all know that Petroleum jelly is a very good moisturizer. Just apply a generous amount of Petroleum jelly over the wrinkled fingertips or pruney fingers, and massage well. Then cover your hands with a glove or plastic bag so that the petroleum jelly remains over the fingers. Leave it overnight.

Then wash your hands in the morning and pat dry. You will have improvement in the wrinkly fingers for sure. Your hands and fingers will also become smooth, soft and supple.

Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking:

Alcohol and smoking have many ill effects on our body. They aggravate the aging process, which can also affect the skin of the fingertips. So, avoid these 2 things to have healthy skin.

Have adequate sleep:

In order to have a healthy body, mind, and glowing skin, we need to sleep at least 7 to 8 hours every day. Good sleep will make you have a glowing skin and healthy body.

You can try the home remedies first to get rid of wrinkled fingertips or pruney fingers. If there is no improvement in the wrinkly fingers even after trying the home remedies for few days, then visit a dermatologist or physician who can diagnose your condition and suggest appropriate treatment.

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