Wrinkled Fingertips, Causes, Without Water, Thyroid, Liver, Lupus & Treatment

For some people, having wrinkled fingertips can turn out to be a worrying condition. Read on to find out it means, causes especially without water and more.

What are wrinkled Fingertips?

Wrinkled fingertips, also known as pruney, refers to a condition in which the tips of your fingers form a ridge, crease or a fold on the surface. Sometimes, the wrinkles appear red in color.

pruney wrinkled fingertips causes, meaning and treatment
Pruney finger

This condition may be as a result of keeping your hands in water for a long time. According to researchers, it occurs so as to help you grip objects especially during wet seasons. Although, scientists had an idea that the puckering was as a result of the outermost layer of skin absorbing water, recent studies show the nervous system controls this condition due to change in temperature.

For such a case, pruning is harmless and goes away on its own after a short time. However, when this occurs without the presence of water, it indicates a more serious case and it’s advisable you seek medical advice from a health specialist.

According to WebMD and NHS, wrinkled fingertips are as a result of ageing. Increased age leads to reduced rate of tissue repair under the skin. Eventually this causes a great loss in fat layers which results to puckering of the skin.

In addition, the ultra violet light destroys elastin in the skin. On its breakdown, the skin stretches and sags. This causes wrinkle formation on the skin surface.

What do Pruney Fingertips look like?

A pruney fingertip is a term used to describe the perception of the fingers as it appears to the eye especially when immersed in water for a certain period. The fingertips appear shriveled and form a pattern that resembles ridges and valleys.

A pruney fingertip wrinkles as a response mechanism when keratin, a protein in the skin absorbs water. However, the formation of ridge and valley like patterns on the skin may be as a result of health conditions as discussed in the article.

Pruney fingers Causes-Why are my Fingertips Wrinkled

Generally, there are several causes of wrinkled fingers as described below;

 Thyroid problems

Thyroid disease is a very common disorder that occurs due to under or over function of the thyroid glands in your body leading to destruction of either the structure or functioning of the glands. The thyroid glands are responsible for regulating body temperature and metabolic processes throughout the body.

Hypothyroidism, a condition caused by lack of enough thyroid hormone may lead to wrinkled skin of the fingertips. [1]When this happens, you may experience general body weakness, constipation, dry and rough skin, weakness and become intolerant to cold. Dry skin is at a risk of undergoing inflammation.

Eventually, this will cause Asteatotic Eczema. This condition is characterized by dry and itchy skin that splits open into wrinkles.

Liver Issues

Generally, the liver performs very important functions so as to keep your body free from toxins and harmful products through a process known as excretion. It plays a central role in metabolic processes.

The bile juice produced by liver helps get rid of waste and break down of fats during digestion. This breakdown of food substances leads to energy generation which is used in your body for various purposes. Energy generated is used in the growth of hair follicles and used by the cells in elimination of toxins, repair and regeneration.[2]

Therefore when the liver fails to function, the waste and toxins in the body are eliminated through the skin. As a result of this, excessive toxins build up in the dermis leading to inflammation of the skin and in most cases, wrinkling of your fingers.


Lupus refers to a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system of your body becomes hyperactive and attacks its own tissues and organs which are not foreign instead of destroying bacteria and viruses present on your body. This disease is characterized by inflammation of the skin especially the lupus vulgaris and lupus erythematosus.

Often, it’s diagnosed in young women between 15 and 44 years. It is difficult to recognize this infection since its symptoms are similar to those of other diseases. Despite this, there is an idea that the lupus infection has an outstanding sign that occurs on the face and looks like butterfly’s wings on both cheeks.

If you are suffering from lupus you might experience features such as swollen glands and wrinkled fingertips which appear red in color. There is no cure for lupus however; you can seek medication for treatment of the symptoms. It is highly advised that you use immunosuppressant and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

In addition to this, if you already have the lupus infection, you can avoid too many wrinkles on your fingers by using moisturizing agents such as body oils. It’s also advised that you avoid contact with water for long periods of time.

Vitamin Deficiency

Vitamins are any of the group of organic compounds which are essential for the growth of your body alongside other nutrients of food. They are required in small quantities since most of them are synthesized in your body.

Although vitamins don’t serve directly as sources of energy, they are used in many different ways in your body. For instance, they play a great role in digestion, in the immune system of your body and metabolism.

Vitamin C, commonly known as ascorbic acid, helps in the synthesis of collagen. Collagen is an important molecule of a healthy skin. Moreover, studies have shown that vitamin C may help prevent and treat ultra violet induced damages.

Similarly, lack of vitamin B-7 (Biotin) leads to skin roughness and sometimes the palm becomes dry. When the dry skin of your palm comes into contact with detergents, it becomes prone to cracking and eventually formation of wrinkles. Therefore, it’s advised that you take diets with sufficient vitamins despite them being synthesized in your body.

Other causes

There are other conditions that may cause pruney fingers and this include


Dehydration refers to a situation by which the body lacks enough fluid (water). This may be as a result of excessive sweating or failure to drink the required amounts of water. It helps in maintaining the elasticity of your skin, providing moisture and hydrating the skin.

When your body receives inadequate water, the skin loses elasticity and forms wrinkles. This occurs as a result of lack of adequate moisture in your body cells.

According to Mayo Clinic, the amount of water you should consume depends on factors such as your age, the frequency of your exercise and your residence.[3]If you are an adult, it is advised that you take six to eight glasses of water per day.

Though, other drinks which include soft drinks and tea contain water, they do not provide moisture to keep your skin hydrated. Therefore, you should not include them while measuring the amount of water intake. Dehydration may also be manifested by increased thirst and frequent headaches.


Often, diabetes is referred to as diabetes mellitus. It is a condition in which you have high blood glucose which may be as a result of inadequate production of insulin or failure of body cells to respond to the insulin. This leads to frequent urination, increased thirst and hunger.

Therefore, due to excessive water loss from the body, your fingertips and skin become wrinkled. Additionally, dry skin can be caused by the damage of your nerves which control the functioning of the sweat glands. For this case, you experience too much sweating which eventually results to a wrinkled fingertips and body skin.

Soaking of hands in water.

When you immerse your hands in water for a long time, you might develop wrinkles on your fingertips. Generally, your hands absorb water due to the presence of dead cells on the upper layer of your skin. Keratin, a protein found in the skin is responsible for the water absorption.

Water absorbed leads to the swelling of the cells of the skin on the uppermost layer. Eventually, the swollen cells force the skin to wrinkle due to the increased surface area.


This refers to a condition by which your arms and legs swell. Though, this affects one limb sometimes it can affect both limbs. This condition occurs when there is a blockage in the lymphatic system especially on removal of your lymph nodes.

Due to this blockage, the lymph fluid fails to flow therefore building up in the limbs. The swelling up of your arms caused wrinkling of the fingertips.

pictures of wrinkled fingertips

Wrinkled Fingertips without Water/Not Wet

In most cases, having pruney fingers is an indication of a long time immersion of your hands in water. However, there are cases when you might have wrinkled fingertips in the absence of water.

According to Kyriacos Kareklas and Tom Smulders your skin may shrivel on the fingertips due to the constriction of the blood vessels beneath the skin surface.

When the blood vessels constrict, they pull the skin reducing its volume, which results into wrinkled fingertips. However, when the nerves of your fingers are destroyed by cutting them, the skin will no longer wrinkle in water.

In addition, according to Nature News International Weekly Journal, the presence of wrinkles on your fingertips indicates involuntary reaction by the body’s autonomic nervous system.

This system is also responsible for breathing, the rate of heart beat and perspiration. According to research findings, the nerves cause the constriction of the blood vessels which result in patterns on the hands.

Furthermore, wrinkled fingertips without water are also indication of health problems as discussed earlier in this article.

Treatment & Home Remedies

Often, the condition of wrinkled fingertips is temporary and the wrinkles may disappear when the cause is dealt with accordingly. Depending on the cause of the condition, it advised you receive either medical advices or use the readily available remedies at home. Medical remedies include the use of drugs prescribed by a specialist whereas home remedies are simple and you can deal with them by yourself without the help of a specialist.

The remedies to be taken in case of pruney fingers include the following;

Health clinic remedies

Treating of hyperthyroidism, a thyroid disorder is done through use of anti-thyroid drugs, radioactive iodine or beta blockers. Ingestion of these drugs controls the functioning of the thyroid glands. If the condition is too harsh, it is advised that you go through surgical treatment.

The use of immunosuppressant and steroids may help you minimize the symptoms of lupus since there is no cure for lupus. Sun protection and a healthy diet play an excellent role in minimizing flare-ups.

You should consume fruits and vegetables which are great sources of vitamin C and E so as to prevent vitamin deficiency infections that lead to wrinkled skin. Additionally, you should take supplements that help regulate vitamins in your body.[4]

Home remedies.

It is advised that you use of aloe Vera on your skin to prevent wrinkles. This plant juice contains malic acid which helps in moisturizing the skin and maintaining its elasticity.[5] To use the evergreen perennial you should follow the following steps;

  1.       Obtain a fresh leaf from the plant
  2. Apply the liquid or gel that comes out of the fresh leaf on your hands
  3.    Leave it for a period of 35 minutes.
  4.   Wash it using lukewarm water.

Secondly, the use of lemon and sugar solution can also help you reduce lines and wrinkles on the skin. Generally, the lemon juice is mixed with sugar which scrubs off the dead cells of the skin.

For you to achieve an effective use of these substances, it is advised that you do the following;

  1. Squeeze lemon juice from the fruit and add a teaspoon of sugar.
  2. Stir to dissolve sugar then apply the solution on the skin using circular movements. This helps in scrubbing.
  3. Wash the remains on the skin after 15 minutes.
  4. Do this daily to achieve better results.

To minimize the wrinkles on the skin, it is also advised that you apply Vaseline on your hands before going to bed. You should also wear gloves to make the skin soft.

Wrinkles may not be healed by the use of moisturizing agents but you are advised to use them since they reduce their visibility.


[1] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20350284

[2] https://www.livestrong.com/article/75284-functions-liver/

[3] https://healthrave.org/conditions/wrinkled-fingertips-pruney-wrinkly-causes-treatment/

[4] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/195878.php

[5] https://draxe.com/aloe-vera-benefits/

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