Does working with wires make your skin peel?

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,329
I've been having these bouts of peeling skin on the fingertips and unable to explain why. At first I thought it was from getting Varsol on my hands so I intentionally stayed clear of it for months but it kept coming back. I think I can now correlate it with working with wire. It's happened during/shortly after several electrical panels I've built. I get all my wire from the same supplier. Maybe it all has some chemical that my hands don't like? I'm thinking about getting wire from a different supplier/manufacturer. Curious if anyone else has experienced this. Everything I've thought to Google, only returns wire stripping solutions.
 

Travm

Joined Aug 16, 2016
321
Have you been doing lots of work with your fingers? More than before?

Varsol could definately be a factor, even months later in not sure I would rule it out. But could it be calloused skin from the abuse?

I know my fingers do that when I beat them up. Grew up on a farm and since I left and got a desk job any time I "come home" the skin falls off my hands, and not always blisters, often just peels off.

Oh and a thought, what about copper allergy? Or some kind of reaction to the copper? Shot in the dark.
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,329
Have you been doing lots of work with your fingers? More than before?

Varsol could definately be a factor, even months later in not sure I would rule it out. But could it be calloused skin from the abuse?

I know my fingers do that when I beat them up. Grew up on a farm and since I left and got a desk job any time I "come home" the skin falls off my hands, and not always blisters, often just peels off.

Oh and a thought, what about copper allergy? Or some kind of reaction to the copper? Shot in the dark.
I have been following Mike Rowe's advice to work with your head AND your hands since before it was cool. I would say that my hands experience an average distribution of 40% keyboards, 40% dusty/greasy hand tools, 10% handrails/door knobs/steering wheels, and 10% "extra curricular activities" (interpret that however is most entertaining to you). My hands stay roughed up right in the middle between a couch potato and a blacksmith. I don't get blisters, even hoeing a large garden, but I don't really have callouses either; at least not the thick pads I would consider legit callouses.

These panel builds represent not only an increased tactile exposure to wire, but a shift in the ratio of use, more towards the blacksmith's exposure to hand work. So maybe it is just a result of increased wear. But I'm not very convinced. I'll try a different wire and if the issue persists then I'll be more inclined to believe it.

Copper allergy, never heard of it. I'll look it up. Maybe make myself a temporary wedding band of type K pipe and see if my finger falls off.
 
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