Separation of thumbnail and skin at tip of finger

Patient

Q: Every year around this time of year (starting in Sept. and going through the winter until about March), my thumbnails separate from the skin at the tips of my fingernails. It happens sometimes on my other fingers but always on my thumbs. It gets very painful and the skin under the nail gets very dry and thick, so i pull it out. This has been happening for about 25 years. I would appreciate any advice you could give me.

Doctor

A:   Splitting of the nail beds may be a sign of psoriasis, or dietary deficiencies of Vit. C , protein or folic acid. You may have to see a dermatologist to determine the cause and treat accordingly. Wearing gloves while washing dishes and clipping nails in a straight line may also help.

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