Pulling finger barbs randomly, causing bacterial infection

After winter, because the weather began to dry, many people began to have skin cracks on the skin near the nail root of their fingers, forming upturned triangular barbs. If they scraped clothes or touched these thorns, they would feel pain. When they saw them after a break, they would unconsciously want to pull them out. But if they did pull them out, they would not only hurt, but also often make their fingers bloodstained. In serious cases, skin infection might occur.

These “barbs” are called “reverse stripping” in medicine. They refer to small long triangular epidermis that cracks from the proximal end or lateral edge of the nail fold and lifts up, sometimes painful.

The main causes of long barbs are dry skin, cracks and habitual nail biting. Nail biting is a common cause, so teenagers are more likely to have barbs, while adults also have barbs, which may be more related to dry skin. If it still does not heal for a long time, it may be related to the long-term dry skin caused by lack of vitamins or trace elements.

This kind of “barb” is only the damage of the superficial layer of the skin, which is not enough. However, people often pull out and tear the barb. Because the structure of the nail epithelium is connected downward and backward, attempting to tear it off will cause further tearing of the barb. As a result, the larger the barb is torn, the deeper it is torn, causing further damage to the deep layer of the skin, and causing bleeding and infection.

The groove at the junction of the nail and the surrounding skin is called the nail groove. Once the barb is infected, it will soon affect the nail groove and cause paronychia, causing local redness, pain and even pus; If not treated in time, it can further develop into subungual abscess and purulent fingertip inflammation. The former needs to pull out the nail, and the latter needs to cut the fingertip to drain pus before it can be cured. It can be seen how much pain small barbs will bring due to improper handling.

Therefore, if you find barbs on your fingers, you must not tear them. The correct way is to soak the hands with barbs in warm water for about 5 minutes, wait for the skin around your nails to become soft, and then cut them off at the root of the barbs with nail clippers or small scissors.

Because dry barbs may form tiny tears in the skin when they are cut, resulting in more barbs. Because there is less chance of infection when cutting off the barbs, nail clippers or small scissors should be disinfected with alcohol before cutting, and the barbs should also be coated with iodine before and after cutting off. If there is redness or suppuration around the barb, it is likely that there is an infection, and it is best to see a doctor in the hospital.

On the one hand, parents should not let their children bite their nails unconsciously. If their skin is dry, they should often apply moisturizing cream or vitamin E cream.

While moisturizing your fingers externally, you can also consider supplementing vitamins A, e, C and trace elements zinc and selenium, such as eating more carrots, cantaloupes, eggs, milk, almonds, kelp, laver, marine fish, green vegetables, etc.

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