Inflamed Cuticles

What Causes Inflamed Skin Around Nails?

Inflamed skin around nails can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'very serious'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose inflamed skin around nails, we could:
  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "inflamed skin around nails" as a symptom.  Here are three possibilities:
  • Fungal Infection
  • Zinc Need
  • Lupus (SLE)

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
constant fatigue
sensitivity to bright light
reduced sense of taste
green/greenish fingernails
abnormal taste in mouth
regular infections
unpleasant smell sensations
history of non-vaginal candidiasis
zinc test metallic/fuzzy/sweet
yellow/yellowish fingernails
coffee consumption
calcium supplementation
... and more than 40 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of inflamed skin around nails:
Cause Probability Status
Zinc Need 91% Confirm
Fungal Infection 27% Unlikely
Lupus (SLE) 5% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Fingernail/Toenail Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about inflamed cuticles:
Do you experience inflamed/red cuticles (the skin around the edge of your nails)?
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ Slightly - Occasionally / one or two nails
→ Significantly - Regularly / a few nails
→ Severely - Usually or always / several nails
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate minor inflamed cuticles, inflamed cuticles or major inflamed cuticles, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythromatosis)

Inflammation of the nail fold (red, puffy skin around the nail) may indicate lupus or another connective tissue disorder.