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What is the cause of the nail bed becoming discolored ( black and brownish) with a hole in one nail?

By November 14, 2011 - 9:46am
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Letter carrier, exposed to all forms of weather. Lately the fingernails are becoming more discolored , and with out injury pinkie nail has a hole in it. Skin on finger tips peels a lot. Have tried many moisturizers, and salves, nothing seems to be working.

thank you,

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Dyna

Thanks for your post!

There could be a couple of things going on here.

One is that the discoloration may be due to an injury to your fingernails that isn't apparent until it shows up as discoloration. I'm not sure what your job entails behind the scenes but if you are stacking, sorting or exposing your nails to some kind of hitting, tapping or any kind of pressure, you may have hematomas under your nail and the discoloration is blood. These can take months to heal and often the solution is to make a hole in the middle of the nail to take away the pressure and let the blood drain. If you have not felt anything happen to you (an injury) or if you are not in any pain, these may not be hematomas at all. 

What you may have is a fungus or bacterial infection growing in your nails.

Dyna, you need to be seen by a doctor so that you can have any kind of fungus/bacteria treated. If it's an injury caused by your work, you also need to get it seen by a doctor and report it to work. But either way, you need medical attention.

Best of luck to you and thanks for writing,


November 14, 2011 - 10:57am
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