Pulpitis sicca

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Classification according to ICD-10
L20.8 Other atopic [endogenous] eczema
ICD-10 online (WHO version 2019)

The pulpitis sicca (Synonyms: dermatitis hiemalis from Latin pulpa , "meat" and Latin siccus , "dry"; coll too. Atopic winterfoot called) is a dry eczema , which leads to painful tears of the fingertips or toes. It is regarded as a special or minimal form of neurodermatitis ( atopic eczema ).


As a subtype of atopic eczema (neurodermatitis), pulpitis sicca is probably also based on the current state of research, with particular changes on several chromosomes that lead to symptoms of hypersensitivity in the skin. Their fat content ( ceramides ) and their ability to bind water are disturbed. Atopy is associated with a generally reduced reaction threshold to environmental stimuli of any kind.


Usually the skin tears at particularly stressed areas, e.g. B. on the thumb, index or middle fingers. Triggers are often external influences, especially if they lead to the skin drying out; for example through long contact with water, alkaline substances such as detergents, soap or cement and through cold. Therefore, there is often a deterioration in winter (hence also "winter foot"). The skin can tear down to its lower layers, which can be very painful.


Gloves prevent the skin from drying out due to lack of perspiration in winter. It is also sensible to use rubber gloves when working with water, to avoid soap if possible or to use pH- neutral products, to always dry yourself carefully after contact with water and to care for dry skin with appropriate creams.


Care with moisturizing, urea or corticosteroid creams; in severe cases under air- and water-impermeable film bandages , in order to both facilitate the penetration of the active ingredients through the accumulation of moisture and to counteract severe dehydration. Therapy is difficult because treatment measures themselves can become triggers again (e.g. through mechanical irritation or in the event of latex hypersensitivity).

Healing prospects

The conditioning and control mechanism that presumably underlies these skin phenomena remains lifelong, so the course is i. d. R. chronic. Depending on the age, there are different symptoms: In children, manifestations are more likely to be found on the feet, which is less common in adults. The tears occur in batches, with improvement or complete healing often occurring during the summer.

Individual evidence

  1. a b Pulpitis sicca: Dry skin and painful cracks on the fingertips on the website of the German Green Cross . Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  2. Dyshidrosis, hand eczema - current picture - accident insurance medical assessment Dissertation by Nadine Krunke, Medical Faculty of the Ruhr University Bochum, 2001. Accessed on August 2, 2016.
  3. Dermatitis hiemalis on the website "The online encyclopedia of dermatology, venereology, allergology and environmental medicine" by Peter Altmeyer , University Dermatology Clinic Bochum. Retrieved August 2, 2016.

Web links

  • Cracked fingertips on the website "dr-gumpert.de" by Nicolas Gumpert, Orthopedicum Frankfurt