Nail separating from cuticle
The side of my nail on my right index finger has separated from my cuticle.
I know - the first response will be, "go to a doctor, you may have a fungus, yeast, etc. You need to find out why this happened."
Yeah, yeah. I know this. But I also know WHY my cuticle separated. It's been like this for a few years. It's from an acute nervous tic that only happened to me for one very stressful month of my life, about two years ago. I sat at work, picking at this nail with my thumb for some reason, until the side of it was gone. I picked it all the way down to the bottom.
I haven't done anything like this before or since. It was odd.
I've seen a few threads about similar problems but didn't really see any answers.
FYI - I do NOT have health insurance, which is why I'm a little gun shy about paying out of pocket for a visit to a dermatologist, when they may not even have an answer, from what I understand. When I go to the doctor, I pay out of pocket, but I consider the decision carefully before I go.
Anyway, the skin where the cuticle separated is very thick. It doesn't hurt or affect my daily activities. When the skin gets thick enough, I try to cut it away with clippers, which sometimes leads to bleeding. And I sure don't want an infection. So, I don't do it often.
A few months ago, after dealing with this for several years and having this huge eyesore on my finger, I found some advice online that said to use a Band-Aid on it. So, I did. I cut the dead skin away, cut down the nail, used moisturizing oil, and covered it with a Band-Aid.
For a while it looked like it was healing. The cuticle started to look "alive" again and almost reattached to the nail.
I had to stop using the Band-Aids all the time because the skin under the bandage started to turn white. But a smaller Band-Aid would've fallen off my finger.
A month passed by without the Band-Aid, and my cuticle is back to it's normal, ugly, thick self.
I met a random woman at the mall a few days ago who told me she had "the very same thing" happen to her before, and she used some "hoof cream" from Sally Beauty Supply. She rubbed it on her finger every night until it healed.
I've been using something similar to the hoof cream, and it seems to be softening the cuticle. I use a Band-Aid only at night. But because the cuticle gets so dry during the day, I end up using the moisturizing cream multiple times a day.
The rest of my nails and cuticles are perfectly fine and healthy. They are not cracked or damaged or ragged, at all. They are pretty, in fact. It's just this one finger, and it's from my own picking over the course of one month a few years ago.
I've rambled enough about this. Can someone help me, please??