Touchpad / Fingers Hurt

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by magicjames92, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. magicjames92 macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2007
    I have a macbook as my main computer. I use it at least 2-3 hours a day. Latley my fingers have been hurting, like a burning feel or something, when using the touch pad "mouse". Is this from overuse? Should I use a real mouse when possible?
  2. webgoat macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2007
    Austin, TX
    do you have really sensitive skin or something? try using a mouse as you suggested for a while and see if the problem persists
  3. DukeofAnkh macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2007
    Are your fingers feeling dry? You could try using some hand-cream/moisturiser.
  4. danskal macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2008


    I have noticed the same thing... I get pain directly after touching my macbook. I have researched a bit on the net, and I think it might be because of the Nickel coating of the macbook pros... but I am still looking for confirmation of this.

    Nickel is used on a lot of electronics, including mobile phones, and people have been known to get serious allergies from their phones, causing a disfiguring (but not permanent) rash on their cheeks.


    My mum is allergic to cheap jewellery, which often contains nickel, so I figure it might be the same for me.

    My other theory is that it may be an electrical thing. I have noticed that, when the mpb is plugged in, but not with the extension cord to a properly earthed socket, the surface of the mbp is a bit "live" (if you gently rub your dry fingertips across it, it seems to vibrate slightly). This isn't noticeable when using battery.

    Perhaps it is a combination of the two - the electrical effect might cause nickel atoms/molecules to be transported into the skin.

    I have looked into coverings (these don't cover the keys, of course), and there is a good one, but unfortunately it is made of some nanomaterial, which personally I would be careful with, as these materials haven't been tested for long term use - so they could be very toxic in the long term.
  5. Rainika macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2007
    Great to find you I have the same thing

    I have exactly the same problem and as I have just switched to Mac from Pc am really disappointed. My fingers hurt/tingle and are really uncomfortable. It happens really quickly after touching the notepad. And Its only from the notepad. If anyone has a remedy would love to know.
  6. sercasti macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2008
    use a protective skin, same happens to me. Im allergic to nickel and my macbook is not really friendly with my hands, so I´m buying a marware protection pack
  7. sw0160 macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2008
    just hold your macbook underwater for 5-10 seconds . should solve all problems
  8. Benguitar Guest


    Jan 30, 2009
    lol :D

    Like others have suggested, try using a standard mouse and see if the problem stops, if so then you have found your problem. You are allergic to trackpads. ;)

    I hope everything works out for you!
  9. pinoyplaya macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2009
    I would avoid using Lotion or any hand moisturizer while using your mac. You dont want all that gunk sticking on the keyboard and the touchpad ;)

    I would get an external mouse and/or keyboard. :)
  10. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    If it's an electrical issue, try using the grounded plug.
  11. ravenmaven macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2009
    Me too!!!

    I'm having the same problem!! After 4 years with a PC lappy and great scroll pad, I'm now sad to say that a year into my MB (which I love otherwise) my finger tips started to hurt. A lot. They become extremely sensitive/painful from scrolling on the touchpad. It usually happens after I've been online a bit, but not long. And I've found this to be the case when running either on battery or on current.

    Admittedly I have worn off some of the finish of the touchpad with daily use. Is a protector film of some sort the answer here? And is it the nickel that's causing the trouble or are there any other ideas?

  12. Esger macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2011
    Hurting fingertips

    As soon as i start using my iPad or Magic Mouse, my fingertips start to hurt a little with this kind of tingling feeling.
    Does this have to do something with electricity which obviously is needed to detect the position of your fingers?
  13. ravenmaven macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2009
    Possible Solution

    @Egser: I ended up buying a pack of 3 iPhone screen protector films and simply stuck one over the touch pad. It works great. No more tingly, painful fingertips.
  14. mikelebp1 macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2009
    I know this is old

    But I have been having this problem for the longest time. I am a law student and after studying for 10 hours scrolling through and outline my fingers were killing me. (My Fingers hurt ala Happy Gilmore). I am going to try the screen cover deal.
  15. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I missed this thread before, and I'm glad to see that it's not just me that has sensitive skin.

    In my case, the problem is at least exacerbated by very smooth trackpads--I think the smoother surface has a higher coefficient of kinetic friction with my fingertip, which causes either heating on the top layer of skin or just irritation due to mechanical rubbing. I noticed in the past that when the matte finish wore down on my pre-glass-trackpad MPB it got much worse.

    The glass trackpads seem to be somewhat better about wearing down, and I noticed that while HP's laptops have super-shiny touchpads Lenovo seems to be going in the far opposite direction (maybe TOO far) with these very textured, bumpy trackpads--kind of like a low-profile Lego block.

    I'll have to try a screen protector, but I have the feeling if it's just slick, and not slick enough, it'll actually make the problem worse.

    What someone needs to do is make a teflon trackpad cover...
  16. bmcgonag macrumors 65816


    Mar 20, 2007
    to most, I imagine you have some level of allergy, the protective skin sounds like a good solution.

    To the law student...uhhh 10 hours man. That makes my fingers hurt just to think about scrolling that much, my eyes too.

    To the rest, don't push so's touch, not tackle my friends.

    Seriously though, I hope you will all find a solution to help you enjoy your computing more.
  17. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I should add that while some may have a material allergy--my skin doesn't like standard surgical tape, for example--my touchpad pain is 100% due to physical friction irritation. I can say this because it doesn't affect less-used fingers (I switch to my left hand sometimes), and doesn't start to bother my regular fingers until I've used one for several days straight at several hours a day. My iPod Touch can do the same thing if I'm playing a lot of games that require a lot of physical contact with the screen and dragging.

    It's entirely possible that it's just not going to be possible for me (and people like me) to avoid this with that much use on otherwise-uncallused hands. I can even feel that the skin on my index finger is somewhat stiffer than on my ring finger (not a full-on callus, but halfway there). It's not really that much different from carpal tunnel syndrome with a mouse after heavy use.
  18. -tWv- macrumors 68000


    May 11, 2009
    I really hope no one actually does this, you would feel bad then wouldn't you? :p
  19. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    Actually, if I were the poster, I wouldn't feel bad.

    Anyone so lacking in good sense {**cough**dumb**cough**} has much bigger problems than their computer. :rolleyes: :p
  20. dalestiles, Jun 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012

    dalestiles macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2012
    I don't think sensitive skin is the issue, I think that skin becomes sensitive due to heat and kinetic friction. My fingers hurt with a burning irritation after overuse of my Windows Phone or my iPhone or my HP Windows 7 laptop or my MacBook Pro.

    I don't think it is allergy or nickel or any of those things, just plain ol' friction coupled with heat from the device and overuse. Apple now has an external trackpad and Magic Mouse for the iMac machines. I wonder if they become irritating after a while as well. Does anyone have any feedback on these devices? I do find that using an old school two button mouse with scroll wheel for a few days brings relief.

    I think I'm going to try one of those screen protectors. Maybe one that isn't as "slick" but has a mild texture. I wonder how much the trackpad's feedback would suffer from this decision. I guess I won't know till I try.

    One other note, once my fingers are irritated, the keys on my HP Windows 7 laptop also irritate it and they aren't backlit. The keys on my MacBook Pro are backlit but somehow are slightly less irritating than the HP but I can still feel some mild irritation from the keys by just laying my fingers across the home row.

    I think the biggest thing to try is external keyboard and mouse for both laptops to get further away from the heat source and find a way to reduce friction.

    Wish me luck. :) :D

  21. Raptor123 macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2012
    Makosuke may well be right regarding carpel tunnel syndrome. I use the trackpad all the time I find it is less traumatic on my ageing hands. However, I do have the track pad sitting on a hard surface with a wrist support. My fingers dance happily with the lightest of touches across the track pad and no more pain in the wrist or fingers from mouse use.
    May work for you may not. ;)
  22. hannahisabrooks macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2013
    Similar symptoms

    Hello! I was once a loyal pc user until my father bought me a mac. Immediately, from the moment my fingers touched the track pad I felt a burning, painful sensation. The longer I use the trackpad the greater the pain. I ignored it and thought nothing of it. That next day I had a paper due and I didn't have time to run and buy a mouse so I used the trackpad for three hours. By the end of the three hours the only finger functioning was my left pinky. I had used every other finger on the track pad and every other finger had become so painful I couldn't use it anymore.

    Now I just use a mouse. I know some people think we are crazy, but I promise, I'm not making this up. It is very, very painful.
  23. hannahisabrooks macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2013
    What to do?

    So after more research this is all I could find to do to solve this problem. Again, I am not the only one that has experienced this. Apple support even has a thread about this.

    Try to....
    1. Use a mouse
    2. Use touchscreen gloves
    3. Cover the trackpad with a cellphone film cover
  24. SarahMoeding macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2013
    It's not the nickel. It's not the electricity. It's not anything in the construct of the computer or emitted from the computer. It's the act itself of brushing something lightly over and over. It's NERVE DAMAGE.

    Mine comes and goes, it seems worse when I'm stressed, but that might be coincidental. There is no cure, nothing that can be done other than to stop touching your darned computer.
  25. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Old thread, but the problem never really went away for me (although the new glass trackpads and coating on modern iDevice screens have drastically reduced it for me), and I just noticed the reply from a couple of months ago with that interesting Wikipedia link, which puts a nice clinical name to it.

    Technically, as explained in the link you gave, it isn't necessarily nerve damage as such--there are a number of nerve-related conditions or disorders that have nothing at all to do with nerve damage that can cause the condition. It may or may not be damage, in any particular case of people suffering from "trackpad finger" (or whatever you want to call it), but it's just as likely to be a hypersensitization to stimulus that shouldn't cause pain due to some other root cause.

    I mostly found that link interesting because they mentioned both neuropathy (of course--it's a disorder resulting in nerve pain without any real cause) and migraine as possible causes. Interesting because I suffer from atypical migraines, and (more pertinently) have a family history of severe peripheral neuropathy.

    Circumstantial, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if I was prone to getting my fingertips hypersensitized by heat or friction from a trackpad.

    I also like the touchscreen glove suggestion. Haven't tried it, but certainly seems like it would work, unless the main trigger for a particular person turns out to be heat.

Share This Page