Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do I get so many hangnails?"
I don't think I uses my fingers or hands more than a normal person but I get all of these hangnails! there is also other kinds of irritated skin around my nails. Why do I get this and how do I do something about it?
It sounds like this situation with your hands and nails is becoming quite problematic. As you indicated, people who sometimes have trouble with their nails include those who use their hands often, where microtrauma can sometimes cause scrapes, bruises, or irritated skin. However, it sounds like this is not the case for you. Intrinsic weakness in fingernails can sometimes reflect underlying vitamin or mineral deficiencies, and this could be the case for you. In addition, there are some inherited connective tissue disorders that can make your skin more flexible and elastic than it is supposed to be. This could also be part of what is causing your symptoms. However, if you did have a connective tissue disorder, it is very likely that you would have had other symptoms prior to this point. At present, it sounds like the best thing for you to do is see your primary care physician to first discuss your overall health and any other changes you may have noted (to make sure that this issue with your skin and nails isn't part of a larger health concern) and then consider a referral to a dermatologist. Hopefully a thorough history and exam will reveal some possible etiologies for your symptoms as well as treatment options.
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