Q: Hello Dr Ketch, please I want to know how to get rid of washer man’s finger. It’s really spoilt 6 out of my 10 finger nails. Thanks so much.
A: So sorry you are experiencing this. I can just imagine what you may be going through. From the description of your symptoms, it’s rather difficult to say exactly what is going on with your finger nails/ hand. The term washerman’s finger, which you used may have beclouded what you really wanted us to address. Then mentioning your fingernails being spoilt, gives it the picture of a fungal nail infection. There are quite a number of conditions that can affect the hands, fingers and the nails, some of which can be a bit challenging to diagnose and even treat. I would advise you see a doctor, who would be able to have a look at your hands, fingers and nails; examine them and then advice you on what to do.
Washerman’s hand is a skin condition in which the skin of the hands or feet loses its elasticity and tugor. There is wrinkling of the fingers and feet and they become white, like no blood is flowing in them. It is more pronounced after the hands or feet have been immersed in water for a long period of time.
Fungal infections are quite difficult to treat and can be very disturbing especially those affecting the nails. It can affect one or more finger or toe nails, more often the big toe or little toenail. It may cause white or yellow patches on the nail; the end of the nail may lift up, and there may be complete destruction of the nail. This will require antifungal tablets for months.
If any of these is what you describe, I would advise you avoid immersing your hands in water for long periods. If however, the nature of your job does not allow this, then getting a waterproof pair of gloves may be of some help. You can also moisturize the hands frequently with a moisturizing cream like coconut oil and keep them dry most of the time. Hope this helps!
****This post was contributed by a guest doctor blogger.
Have a great night, beautiful people