Finger nails separating from base up to 1/3 of area, cuticle ragged with hang nails, and with some of them the skin is red and sore around the attached area at bottom of finger nail and up the sides. Not all nails affected, and no toes show this affliction. Lasts for many weeks, then slowly returns to normal for weeks, and then repeats cycle (has been ongoing for several years). Nails have always been pliable and easily torn. I keep them out of water if possible, and use a good moisturizer. Lately have used a nail fortifier but no polish. This seems to help against tearing but only during the "good" part of the cycle. Have normal curvature and no fungal infection. Normal diet. Some arthritis. Frequently have one or two finger tips taped because of soreness. I have been told that nails can tell a lot about one's health, and have read as much as possible on nails but this doesn't seem to fit any possibilities found in my readings.
I would appreciate any suggestions on possible causes or solutions that I may follow with future research in hopes of finding a cure or a cause.
Basically, you need to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. Your description most closely matches paronychia, an infection generally caused by yeasts which get under the cuticle and inflame the tissue around the nail (what "paronychia" means.) Treatment involves minimizing water exposure and applying a topical anti-yeast cream. Do you ever pick at or rub the nails? If so, please stop.
Most likely, you are correct in your surmise that this condition dos not imply any systemic involvement. Ask a doctor, to be sure.
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