I've talked to several people about this problem and evidently there are a lot of folks that have experienced it. it's hard to describe the area but if you lay your hands palm down and look at where the skin on your fingers first come in contact with the fingernail ... sometimes a little rectangular piece of skin peels up and is very painful when it snags on things like reaching in your pocket. A friend said it's a hangnail but I looked that up and it isn't. Seems like it corresponds to whenever I trim my nails or when I was a kid after I bit them off.
What 'IT' is is the solehorn cuticle that is the seal between the nail plate and the nail bed. On some people, this skin grows forward with the nail plate. this condition is called Pterygium Inversum, and is usually genetic, although sometimes it is caused by an acute allergic reaction to acrylic nail products.
Keep in mind that this skin contains a nerve and blood supply. Trimming the nails too short can cause the nerve and blood supply to 'shrink' back and the skin will dry out and appear as a hard piece of dry skin.
To hlep condition this area, as well as the cuticle area and the nail plate, you might want to purchase a bottle of either Solar Oil or Botanical Oil. Both oils contain jojoba and vitamin E. The jojoba has a very tiny molecule which will penetrate the surface layer of the skin and draw the vitaim E in after it. You can get Solar OIl through fine Nail Salons or Ulta outlets nationwide. Botanical oil is available in the nail department of Sally Beauty Supply nationwide.
Apply a small amount to the surface of the nail and massage into the skin and nail plate. Apply an even tinier amount under the free edge and allow it to soak into the skin.
Do not 'push back' or otherwise try to remove this skin as it can bleed, and leave a perfect avenue for a bacterial or fungal spore to move in and set up housekeeping.
For more information on your natural nails, and to see a picture of Pterygium Inversum, please visit my website: <A HREF="http://www.hooked-on-nails.com" TARGET=_blank>www.hooked-on-nails.com</A> (approved by Moderator 1) The photo is on the Nail disorder page, and information on your natural nails is on the page of the same name.
Thanks for the reply. I checked out the link on Pterygium Inversum but that's not what I have. These are small thin pieces of skin that arise on the top of my fingers near where the skin starts to cover the top of the nail.
This part of the skin is the epony****m (the spelling may not come through correctly). This portion of skin contains a nerve and blood supply. The part that curls under where it touches the nail plate is called the proximal nail fold. There is a very thin, translucent portion of skin that grows forward with the nail plate from the proximal nail fold and is firmly attached to the plate. This translucent skin is caled the TRUE CUTICLE. When this skin becomes dry, it will peel away from the nail plate (which may be dry itself) and stick up in the air and wave at you.
Some persons seem to 'grow' more of this skin than others and it will appear thick and will actually seem to pull the epony****m forward with it. when this happens, the skin can become traumatized, split and peel away from the nail plate. Since it has pulled live tissues forward with it, the skin may break and bleed.
Soak your hands in 1 pint of water mixed with a teaspoon of Pure Virgin Olive Oil. Soak for about 3 minutes, lightly dry the hands, leaving them damp, then add a drop of the olive oil to each cuticle and massage into the skin. Use a wooden orangewood stick to lightly and gently push the skin back away from the nail plate, but do not be agressive. It will take several (or more) teatments to completely push the skin back to where it should be. Whatever portions are sticking up and waving at you can be gently clipped away using a pair of cuticlle nippers, but be sure not to cut into the live tissues.
After you have successfully pushed the skin back to a normal state, contiue to apply a good quality nail and skin oil to the cuticles at least twice daily and massage into the skin and nails. I recommend Solar Oil or Botanical oil - Solar oil is availavle in fine nail salons or in Ulta outlets nationwide. Botanical oil is in the nail department of Sally Beauty supply.