Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nine inch nails

Voov was in the bath tonight-- got in ahead of Shmoop, as usual, because she's not old enough to sit on the potty or brush her teeth. She plays with the bath toys and starts her most recent game-- standing up and sitting down again and again. "Oh god, she's mangling her back," says Hidden B, and it's true, she is. I had sort of noticed her rubbing her lower back, but now I see it's a red mess. "I need to cut her fingernails," says Hidden B. "You have to remind me." But cutting Voov's fingernails is a frickin' circus, and I can't face it tonight. We have to cut them right back so there's hardly a micron sticking out, and Voov fidgets and flails about, and I'm required to clown around and distract her with dancing or juggling or singing. Can't face it. Put it off until tomorrow.

My fingernails have always been an issue for me. I don't chew them. They just have to be cut back to the nail bed. Always. There's one nail in particular on my right hand, I think it's the ring finger, that seems to grow faster than the others, and I'll suddenly find myself absentmindedly gouging my arm or my leg and have to go clip my nails again. Toenails too-- the feet can develop a mind of their own and scratch each other.

I'll secretly look at other people's nails. How do women deal with these painted claws that fashion demands? And some men seem not to mind having a quarter-inch or more nail growth. Guitar players in particular give me the willies, if they grow thumbnails that double as guitar picks. Yikes. If my nails looked like that I'd be mortifying my flesh and scalp like a medieval monk.

Another couple weird things about my nails. If I look closely at them I can see these little pits, like holes on a keratin golf course. I know nail pitting is associated with psoriasis, but it's kind of freaky-- I've never personally known anyone else who had it. And almost all my fingernails have these white half-moon stripes that seem to be spaced out by maybe five days' growth. According to the same paper linked to above, that's called "leukonchyia" and doesn't signify anything. Again, freaky. Once I asked my regular doctor about it and she said confidently "That's because you have eczema in your nail bed."

As if. Some doctors act like they have all the answers. When it comes to dermatology, and eczema in particular, the medical profession is far from having the answers we need.


  1. One simple supplement that could possibly help with eczema is called D-Hist by OrthoMolecular. They also make a D-Hist Jr chewable for kids. My husband takes the regular one for his allergies. He thinks it is really helping with his asthma. Our Ped recommended it for our kid, which I'm not sure if it was really helping but I'm going to try it again. The doc said it was enough to cure one child of his eczema, just happened to be what the kid's body needed. You can find it on Amazon with some reviews.

  2. Thanks, EM. I am always happy to learn about new therapies. Have personally tried Claritin and Allegra and found no benefit. Whether these drugs work certainly seems to depend on who takes them.