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Finger nail pulling away from nail bed

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Just about everytime I ski one or two of my fingernails pulls away from the nail bed at the tip of the finger. It usually happens to one or both thumbs and sometimes to an index or middle finger. I often wear very thin glove liners but am not sure if this is the cause. This doesn't happen to other people I know who wear glove liners. I know this doesn't sound like a big deal but it really hurts like heck. It's kinda like having splinters shoved under your fingernails. Just wondering if this happens to anyone else and if anyone has a solution.
post #2 of 19
I know exactly what you mean, i think it usually happens to me when my hand get really dry. I usually end up having to wrap a thin strip of tape around my fingernails to keep them from lifting.
post #3 of 19
are your gloves shortfingered and putting pressure on your fingertips?
post #4 of 19
Man, you guys gotta be kidding. Yuck! I thought bad fitting boots was all I had to worry about, and now you guys are losing nails on your hand! I don't think this is normal. Are you gripping your poles? : Two people complain, but I can't believe this is a common skier injury.
post #5 of 19

I hate when that happens

It has never happened to me before. Are you keeping your nails short, real short.

You know when parts start falling off...what's next?
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
I do keep my fingernails clipped short pretty much all the time. My gloves are definitely not short lasted. They fit properly. One of my theories is that it occurs when I'm poleing on the flats. When I pole I do grip my poles pretty tightly. In general, when I ski I probably grip my poles a bit tighter than the average person. When I'm skiing I can't tell when it happens. After the ski day I notice it has already happened and suffer through the pain for the next few days. I usually do tape up the ends of my fingers with athletic tape to help with the pain after the fact and have even do in to prevent the problem from happening. Maybe it is the glove liners. I'll try not using them next time I'm out skiing and see if it helps.

For clarification, my fingernails do not fall off. They just start pulling away from the nail bed at the very tip of the finger. It's really only a millimeter or so that pulls away but it really hurts especially the evening immediately following. Thanks for the replies and suggestions.
post #7 of 19
Take out your liners and make sure your gloves are not tight fitting. I'd make a trip to the doc to see if you're deficient in some vitamin. Pulling your nails up from using ski poles sounds insane. How far do you pole, anyway?

Learn to skate on your skis!
post #8 of 19
Try mittens without using glove liners and see if it continues to happen. Make sure the mittens are the type that do not have individual pockets for the fingers. This should help you find out what may be causing the problems.

If it still happens on the thumbs but not the fingers then I would think the culpret is the tighter fitting glove fingers.
post #9 of 19

What about your hair

Is your hair falling out? You sound like a candidate for vitamins.

Maybe you work too hard?
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonni
Take out your liners and make sure your gloves are not tight fitting. I'd make a trip to the doc to see if you're deficient in some vitamin. Pulling your nails up from using ski poles sounds insane. How far do you pole, anyway?

Learn to skate on your skis!
I do skate and relatively well at that. When I skate I also pole at the same time. It really allows you to go much faster. Also, some poleing without skating is pretty much inevitable (lift lines, single track runouts, etc). The only time I pole for any appreciable distance is when trying to get a bit off the beaten path for some "hike to" only terrain on a level traverse or short uphill section.

My hair is not falling out and this only happens when I ski. I'm pretty much my own doctor (as well as the doctor for a few hundred other patients), am in pretty good health (relatively young, exercise regularly, no other medical problems or physical complaints) and eat a very balanced diet. It's definitely not a vitamin deficiency.

Getting rid of the glove liners sounds like the 1st thing to try at this time. I'll give it a go and let you all know how it turns out. Thanks again for the suggestions.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prosper
I'm pretty much my own doctor (as well as the doctor for a few hundred other patients)
this made me chuckle. thanks.
post #12 of 19
Instead of focussing on the nail moving away, I'd think about what actions you are doing that puts stress on the pads of the thumbs. It may be that the pads of the thumbs are what are being pulled away from the stationary nail.

That would mean that tight glove liners would actually help.

Perhaps smaller diameter pole grips (eg. junior size) could help?
post #13 of 19
Three main causes of distal onycholysis: mechanical (sounds like what's happening in your case), chemical (allergic or irritant dermatitis), and biologic (usually fungal or "dermatophytic" organisms). Google search these terms for a better understanding of the three...
post #14 of 19
I have never had this problem as a result of skiing, but, has occured a few times. My remedy: run a bead of superglue around the nail. This not only keeps the nail down, but seals the sensitive area underneath the nail. Repeat every 2-3 days till healed.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doogiedoc
Three main causes of distal onycholysis: mechanical (sounds like what's happening in your case), chemical (allergic or irritant dermatitis), and biologic (usually fungal or "dermatophytic" organisms). Google search these terms for a better understanding of the three...
Doogiedoc, thanks for the info. I'm a MD so have some basic understanding of onycholysis and don't have questions about the topic in general. I was just wondering if this specifically happened to others who ski and if so whether anyone had suggestions on how to prevent it.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowpix
I have never had this problem as a result of skiing, but, has occured a few times. My remedy: run a bead of superglue around the nail. This not only keeps the nail down, but seals the sensitive area underneath the nail. Repeat every 2-3 days till healed.
I like this idea and will give it a try (on myself, not my patients) the next time it happens. Thanks!
post #17 of 19
You might try skiing without poles for a while, since you mentioned you really clutch them. Relax it's only skiing. Get used to skiing with an active lower body and a calm upper body. Just a suggestion.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

No problems

Just got back from a 4 days skiing trip to Jackson Hole. A couple of days before the trip I put a bead of superglue around the end of both thumbnails. Not sure if that helped since the superglue seemed to peel off after a day or so, but I didn't have any problems during the entire trip. I did wear liner gloves for a few hours for 2 or 3 of the days but not for an entire day. So, in conclusion, I'm still not sure what has caused the problem in the past but no worries this trip. I'll probably continue putting the bead of superglue around the end of both thumbnails in the future before a ski trip. Thanks to all for your suggestions.
post #19 of 19
This happens when I do a lot of yardwork or carpentry. The easy solution for me was to keep my nails a little longer in anticipation of the work. If they extent past the fingertip a teeny bit (not claws, generally only 1/16" or less of white nail for me) they offer a lot of protection I formerly took for granted.
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