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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Medical Doctor
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 5120
Experience:  20 Years in Internal Medicine, Neurology and Sports Medicine
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My cuticles have receded on almost all my fingers over the

Customer Question

My cuticles have receded on almost all my fingers over the course of a couple years. What might be the cause for this?
JA: Have you seen a doctor about this yet? What medications are you taking?
Customer: Haven't seen an MD & am sort of hoping not to since the expense for visit is great & for any condition I've presented with I've always been prescribed some pricey pharmaceutical. This course of action seems geared to symptom treatment without any attempt to identify a cause(s).
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: I'm thinking this may be some deficiency or combination of such in my diet. Wait a minute. $5 plus what amount for an answer. I've never used this service before so I need a little more info
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dermatology
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 months ago.

Hi there. Is there any redness or rash on your fingertips? Are you taking any supplements?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I'm not taking any supplements right now & haven't been for about 2 weeks. I do have inflammation currently on 2 of my fingers & it has been suggested to me the this could be caused by gluten & dairy intolerance.
These are 2 food types I've eaten most every day of my almost 65 years. When I've managed not to eat them for an extended period, I have actually noticed a decrease in inflammation, but with no discernible change in my cuticles.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I can keep typing...I'm just not very fast
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Still there?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Has my session ended? Let me know please
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 months ago.

Do your fingertips itch? Do you have any history of eczema?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Not my finger tips so much as the surface of the last joint/same joint the nail is on. I've never had eczema, not until about 4 years ago when this started. I was living in Jackson Hole WY & it was initially diagnosed as 'dry skin'. Whether it's eczema or psoriasis, my understanding is that both of these are inflammatory reactions probably in response to some 'auto-immune' condition. I was prescribed methotrexate which a took a small dose of for about 6 weeks. When I read it's intended result is suppression of an apparently already compromised immune system, that didn't make any sense to me. I'm looking for a likely cause(s) vs symptom treatment. The only symptom treatment that worked was Prednisone, which I have to say I loved, but since I have been diagnosed with 'severe osteoporosis', I dare not take it. I recognize too, that it, however effective, is also a symptom treatment & does not get to the root cause(s).
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Whoops - answer to itching question is 'yes' & sometimes it is really a torment
Usually a Benadryl cream helps
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 months ago.

Several things can cause the cuticles to recede. If you had a vitamin deficiency or anemia, you would need blood tests to document it and provide a rationale for treatment. Otherwise, it can be caused by eczema. This typically responds well to the cream form of prednisone, such as hydrocortisone (which is available over the counter), though this can take several weeks to see improvement. It is important with eczema to avoid hot water and drying soaps as well. Another consideration would be a fungal infection which should improve with clotrimazole or miconazole cream used twice daily. These creams also may take several weeks to help. so patience is a key ingredient. :-)

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I got a phone text that you had responded to my online answer...but I'm not seeing it...
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I'm in Central time & getting ready to tuck in for the night. Don't think we got to any answer from you for me at this point in time. My phone number is:(###) ###-#### Perhaps we can continue texting tomorrow...anytime
Thanks so far. Looking forward to some thoughts, suggestions, advice...
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Whoops again. I thought I'd sent that off 45 minutes ago! I was waiting for your response & when I checked noticed mine hadn't sent; so sorry
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thanks.
I have tried all the creams to no avail. Cordran tape works really well but is no longer available. It was spectacularly expensive but did work.
I haven't had specific blood tests & would like to know what the names of those tests are, please.
You made no comment about a dietary connection. Is that because you don't think there is one, or you're not sure?
I appreciate your help. Blessings!
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 months ago.

Hi. Do you eat a balanced diet...fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, some meat? If so, you should be getting all the nutrients you need, and your diet should not be a factor. That said, there are some not too common conditions such as pernicious anemia or pancreatic insufficiency or celiac disease, etc that can affect one's ability to absorb nutrients even in the presence of a normal diet. Your GP can test for these things (eg. B12 level, MMA, intrinsic factor antibodies, parietal cell antibodies, lipase, amylase, antigliadin antibodies). He or she might also want to check your cell counts (CBC), your vitamin D levels and your inflammatory markers (ESR, CRP). If he or she cannot determine the cause and is concerned for any reason, a dermatology evaluation can be arranged. They are the experts in this area.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Perfect! Many thanks
My diet probably is not as balanced as it should be
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 months ago.

You're welcome. Work on balancing out your diet and see if this helps. Consider taking a multivitamin with iron daily just to make sure you are getting the minimum of vitamins and minerals. Then see your doctor if things do not improve.

Hope all works out for the best for you!