Skin behind nail receding, revealing where nails come from. Help!
July 3, 2009 3:45 PM   Subscribe

The cuticle of only one of my fingers has disappeared. It seems to be receding backwards. I've noticed this over time, but today I looked down and I can actually see the back end of my fingernail. What is going on?

OK, I have not had any injuries to this nail at all. The skin behind the nail is not irritated or painful in anyway. It WOULD look like a regular old finger, if the skin just wasn't so far back on the nail.

About a week or so ago I looked at it and was a little disturbed by the fact that I didn't have a cuticle, and the skin was unusually far back, but then I forgot about it. But now it's freakishly far back.

This is only on one nail. All the rest have fine looking cuticles.

Here's a picture (it's not as gruesome as it sounds, just kinda scary looking)

Anyone have any idea what this is? My Google-Fu must be weak, as everything I can find doesn't describe this, or it's from after an injury.
posted by toekneebullard to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
I get this sometimes, but not as bad as you. With me, it's related to excema. I'm sorry I can't offer you anything more than "it's not just you".
posted by Solomon at 3:55 PM on July 3, 2009

Is it possible that this is a fungal infection? I know that this is usually associated with toenails, but I suppose it is a possibility.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 4:09 PM on July 3, 2009

I also get it on occasion, and it is also related to eczema (pompholyx) in my case. It usually stays that way for about 2 weeks (after the eczema goes away), then it grows back to normal.
posted by BiffSlamkovich at 4:31 PM on July 3, 2009

This seems to happen to me most often when I'm under-hydrated, often to the point of cracked, painful skin and a gap between skin and nail.
posted by zerokey at 4:31 PM on July 3, 2009

Do you guys find that it's just one nail? I do have issues with Eczema, however, it's normally only a few very small patches on my legs during the dry winters.
posted by toekneebullard at 4:47 PM on July 3, 2009

Any chance it could be psoriasis? The little ridge and dent combo you see down at the bottom may be what they call "pitting," which, for me, has spread north on my nails, warping and denting them bottom to top. Might be worth checking into.
posted by GamblingBlues at 4:52 PM on July 3, 2009

This also happens to me sometimes (though not quite as bad - generally the cuticle becomes detached from the nail, but doesn't really recede much), and I suffer from bouts of eczema and psoriasis sometimes too. And yeah, it usually only affects one or two fingernails. They grow back on their own if you don't bother them, for me at least.
posted by ubersturm at 5:00 PM on July 3, 2009

I've had a toenail and a fingernail do this when they were growing back after they were crushed and fell off. They've grown back fine and, in fact, I tip big after a mani-pedi because my cuticles act like the want to grow over the entire nail.

You'd probably mention it if you nail had turned black and fell off recently, and this was a new nail.. but just in case.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 6:01 PM on July 3, 2009

do you wash your hands excessively?
might be from poor nutrition - this is what causes most nail conditions... keep an eye on it since that opening is prone to develop a paronychial inflammation i.e. an infection in the nail fold
posted by idaniboy at 7:10 PM on July 3, 2009

Yes, I usually find it's just one nail (at a time, not always the same one).

Another thing you'll probably see and shouldn't be too alarmed about: that nail will probably be a little bit bumpy for a short period of time up to and after the cuticle grows back. The cuticle seems to help smooth out the nail as it's made, and without it, it doesn't grow quite as neatly.
posted by BiffSlamkovich at 8:31 PM on July 3, 2009

« Older Creating a small library for a non-profit   |   What combinations of clear, non-toxic chemicals... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.