Monday, April 23, 2012

Bye Bye Fingernails

Remember when everyone in the family except me had hand, foot and mouth disease? I've read that you can lose your nails after a bout of HFMD. I really thought Secora was going to go through this because she had a couple of blisters form up under the edge of her toenails. But aside from being a little bit ragged, her nails held out just fine.

Then at Easter, I noticed Sedona's fingernails looked weird. I couldn't figure out what was going on. It looked like the top layer of the nail was peeling off, but it was from the bottom up and the cuticle looked fine. I did some googling and it appears THIS is what they mean by losing nails after HFMD. I never would've guessed. She's not a complainer, so it's hard to know for sure, but the only time she told me they hurt was if she hit them or something like that. I'm assuming what was painful was having such a thin, non-protective nail, not the actual peeling.

Here's what it looked like (please ignore the "been digging a hole in the backyard" dirt under the nails!)

Pretty weird, huh? It wasn't a big deal and the nails look normal, if a bit thin, now that they've finished peeling. Seems like they will be back to normal before long. So if your kid gets hand, foot and mouth disease and then their nails start looking a little funky, chances are it's nothing to worry about!


22 comments:

Anonymous said...

They actually had a deal on TV down here about HFMD. And they were talking about the nails peeling. They said it is more rare that the nails will peel back from the base, but some do. They said there is alot of it going around all over right now. Forgot to tell you about that.

Anonymous said...

I just got this in May and 3 weeks after 2 nails started to peel that had a red area under the cuticle when I had the blisters. Then a third nail started to peel that didn't have any issues when I had the blisters. They are peeling downward, from the cuticle. I think doctors don't know enough about this disease because they told me it wouldn't be bad and it was awful. I lost almost all the skin on all my fingers. And I am still healing a month later.

The Hills said...

I have gotten A LOT of hits on this post from people searching for information about hand foot and mouth and peeling fingernails. It seems to be a very common question people have. The timeline was rather stretched out for us, it was about 5 weeks after HFM that her fingernails peeled. Even later, after I wrote this post, and probably about 10 weeks after the initial infection, her toenails ended up peeling in the exact same way. She didn't have any problems with the skin around her nails.

The initial infection is rough though. Very very painful, very high fevers, and nothing much to do about any of it except wait it out.

Anonymous said...

Just left the doctor with my 8 yr old son. I was told he had HFMD. I took him in because he's loosing ALL of his finger and toenails. They are literaly lifting off the nailbed at the cuticle. I was told there wasn't anything I could do. Now, here I am just tying to understand what's going on. I just can't believe I never even heard of this until now. I hope this is the end of what seems to be a reoccurring storm...

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for this post. I, like others came because we had HFMD and my youngest started to have peeling nails. I suspected it had something to do with the HFMD even though it was several weeks ago. Glad to find this post :)

Beth said...

Glad to see other people are and have gone through the same thing my family has. My 22 month old got HFMD and gave it to me 2 months ago. We got over it (so we thought) but now some of our nails are peeling off from the base upwards. Not painful but not pretty and frankly scary if you don't know what is happening. Thanks for your post...gives me a little piece of mind.

Anonymous said...

my little girl had this hfmd and nearly 4 _5 weeks later almost ALL of her fingernails are peeling from the cuticle up... and not to mention almost all the skin has been peeling off of her feet and hands... it was really freaking me out but i am glad to find similar posts for reassurance of this problem... this mess is crazy and i feel terrible for my 4 yr old....

Sonia Spooner said...

Thanks for posting this. Everyone in our house (but me) had HFMD the last week of August and now it's the first week of Oct and everyone's finger and toe nails are starting to peel, even my one case that had no hand blisters. Odd sickness and very frustrating... and long. Good to know it's not gonna be a bit deal.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. I was doing a search to figure out why my 4 year old and 6 year old had weird nails. Looks just like your daughters and they had hand foot mouth over a month ago. Made me feel better and not worry they had a bigger problem. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting. My 3 yr old daughter caught this approx 2 wks ago and all of the blisters on the hands and feet are almost done peeling (which is pretty much the the whole hands and feet). Pretty awful and super uncomfortable for her. As I was checking out her feet tonight I noticed her big toe's cuticle looked like it was totally detached from her nail I scoped out all the rest and there was one more similar. I said to myself "is she losing her toe nails?" Like many others that have been thru this, I Googled and researched and read everything (so I thought) that I possibly could on HFM. Now I know what to anticipate. Thank you for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

Finding this blog was a revelation! My (at the time) 9 month old son had HFM back in Dec 2013, which he eventually passed on to me. I lost most of the skin on my hands and feet, and had a terribly sore throat. It took a little over two weeks for the blisters to disappear and my skin to return to normal. I agree with others on the lack of attention this gets in the medical community. As an adult, I found this disease to be horribly painful and much worse than what is described on sites like the CDC and WebMD. Luckily, my son got over it in about a week with no lingering issues; however, my fingernails are also now peeling from the cuticle down to the tips. This started approximately 6 weeks after the main symptoms and 8 weeks after the initial incubation with the virus. I hope this information helps others that are going through this awful virus.

Krissy said...

Thank you for this post and for including photos!

My 2 year old started showing signs of this March 19th of this year. He was totally fine all day, then a fever suddenly hit. Horrible night not knowing what was happening then had the blisters the next morning. Then my 4 month old got it the day after, with the same symptoms, then I got it the day after my 4 month old got the blisters.

The boys handled it well and were better 4 days after the blisters appeared, respectively. It took me a good week to feel better and 2 more weeks after that for my hands to look normal again.

Then today, I noticed 6 of my nails peeling from the base (cuticle). From everything I read about HFMD, I was expecting it, but wasn't sure what it would look like.

Such a horrible viral infection to have and I wouldn't wish it on anyone!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the post! I am an adult (age 39) and was lucky enough to have had what I now believe was HFMD--the sickness that keeps on giving! First a fever, then spots on hands & feet (not much around my mouth), then MASSIVE peeling on hands and feet, and now WEEKS later, several nails are peeling from the base/cuticle. Just when I thought it was over, another symptom arrises! It wouldn't be so bad if this disease was more common or talked about and all the warnings were given. As an adult, I had NO IDEA this existed, let alone that it would affect me. Right now I'm hoping to keep my nails clean so that they don't get infected or too weak. Anyway, thanks for your post because up until now, I wasn't aware that others were having this symptom as a result of HFMD.

Anonymous said...

My 5 year old had this about 6 weeks ago. It was so much worse than the doctors told me to expect, and much worse than the cdc website described it. He has a week of a 102 fever, vomiting and 5 days of no sleep! He cried for hours because he felt his feet and hands were on fire! This was much worse than my childhood chicken pox! And now he has started to lose his nails. Fingers and toes turn white at the cuticle and then completely detatch from the cuticle and fall off. He has 4 finger nails doing this, and 2 toes... So far! This disease needs more attention and awareness. It is something that should be brought to parents attention at regular dr visits! I had no idea until my oldest came in contact with it, and gave it to her brother. She did not have rash, but did have fever, sore throat and vomiting. Good luck all! Glad to know this is common in HFMD. I was so worried!!

pamela said...

I realized I had this disease on Sept 22. The days following would be some of the worst ever. Started with sore throat and fever around 101. Then severely painful bumps in mouth, nose, ears, elbows, scalp, and all over my body, the worst being on my feet and hands, especially fingers. Inside of nose was pretty miserable too. I was totally freaked out and thought I was dying. I went to the doctor twice, once to be told I had Strep, and the second to be told they could only give me some mediocre pain meds and something to numb my throat. Things that would normally feel good on a sore throat felt miserable. I only ate applesauce and pudding for 6 days and that hurt. Its now Oct 6 and my hands are peeling like crazy. Small bumps formed together to make larger ones and parts of my hands are completely numb where the skin has died. The new skin is very red, tender, and has a strange texture. Some of the worst areas are below the tips of my nails, leaving fear that I will loose my nails. I'm freaked out by the thought of it! I'm frustrated with the lack of information from doctors and on well known medical sites. The fact that this disease is so terrible in adults should raise more awareness. More research should be done because this is one of the worst things I've ever experienced. I find comfort in finding blogs like this, because its really the only time I feel I'm not the only one. I hope everyone here and reading this is improving and recovering well.

P.S. I read on a homeopathic blog that calendula and myrrh oils would ease the pain and relieve some swelling. Willing to try anything, I found some at Whole Foods and applied it directly the the painful bumps/blisters. It seemed to ease the pain a bit. Just use it lightly, it has a strong scent.

Tim said...

I had HFMD in the beginning of August. It's now nearly November and one of my fingernails is peeling and a couple others have very slight chips. What a wacky illness this is - I mean - it's almost 3 months later and I'm still dealing with some of the after-effects. Fortunately my bout with it, while awful, wasn't nearly as bad as some of the others I have read about. It's just crazy that it can still affect your body that much later on.

Renae said...

I thought I'd add to this too given it was so helpful for me. I had HFMD at the start of July, got over it by mid-July. Fast forward to September and I noticed one of my nails had a weird white mark that didn't look like a usual white mark.. a week or so later I remembered what I'd read about peeling nails, picked at it, and sure enough it's a peeling nail. I applied top coat to it for weeks in the hope it wouldn't fall off (which did work) but on Halloween I caught it and it tore.. interestingly it wasn't the whole nail, just a layer. I have another peeling one on the other hand but it never got as bad because I didn't pick at it. They're slowly growing out, but my gosh HFMD sucks!!!

Sara said...

Yes it does totally suck! My son and I had it in October. I made an antiviral salt scrub out of coconut oil, sea salt, olive oil, tea tree oil, and essential oils of clove, lemon and jasmine. It helped exfoliate my hands and feet after the blisters were done. The nail peeling thing surprised me. I'm glad it's not fungal because that seems like it would be hard to get rid of. Unless the HFMD makes the nails vulnerable to fungus? My son has one toenail affected so far and I have two fingernails. I picked one, not knowing what it was. I'm leaving the second one alone. Nail polish is maybe a good idea? I used Tinactin with a bandaid on the first fingernail before I knew what was going on.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone, I am 28 and recently had HFM disease kindly shared by my little nephew who was staying with us for a while.

I had exactly the same thing happen to my nails with it peeling from the cuticles. It has been nearly 3 months and still awaiting for them to grow all the way out.

The bottom layer of the nail seems fine and it looks like something only time can fix.

Hope that helps any adults experiencing this also as most of the posts I have read are about kids.

Cheers

Mary said...

Thank you everyone for your information. My 20 month old daughter caught HFM from a playground on a Monday. That night, she had a fever that was off and on for a few days, averaging at 102.5. She had spots mostly on her arms, legs and on her back between her shoulders. By the time we got her to the doctor on Thursday, she had a few spots under her diaper area, on her hands and feet. The doctor also found some in her mouth. The doc said she'd be fine for school by Monday, and that adults weren't likely to catch it unless they had immune issues.
Well, that Thursday night, I had severe chills and fatigue for about 3 days off and on with ibuprofen, as well as a sore throat (soft foods only). On Friday night, my hands and feet began to itch and hurt. I could feel the burn coming like a slow mutation (must be how the X-Men would have felt ;-) ). It hurt to touch anything or walk for days. 2 weeks later, I'm peeling all over my hands and feet, and I just discovered I had spots that are now peeling on my elbows too. I can tell that my nails are going to start peeling because of all of the white spots closer to the nail tips. I found this site looking for a remedy for this skin issue. I've tried scrubs, microderm abrasion cream, filing (ouch!) and just trimming.
The following Monday, my husband started showing symptoms. He had a high fever, chills, exhaustion and a sore throat that was covered in white. He just had a spot or two on his hands & feet. 1.5 weeks later, he is starting to be able to eat soft solids, but it's still quite painful. Mild fever and coldness.
As far as what the doctors said about adults getting it, I've talked to plenty of adults who have gotten it from their kids. And for someone who has a high pain tolerance, this was so painful! Thank goodness I'm not a hand and foot model, cuz I'd be out of a job for months!

The Hills said...

I recently heard someone say their doctor had told them "parents make a bigger deal out of it than it is". I wanted to slap somebody. Clearly that doctor has never had it or spent a significant amount of time with a kid who has a bad case. Medically, no, it's not that terrible in the big scheme of things as long as you can stay hydrated, but it's VERY painful. As a society, we ignore pain in young kids far too often just because they can't adequately express it. "no big deal" my foot.

theshortness said...

Sorry for the long post... Just wanted to share my experience!

Oh my goodness, I am so glad I found this blog! I work at a daycare, and therefore, WILL catch anything the kids get. I have never heard of this in my 23 years (and probably never would have if I didn't work at the daycare). I remember a coworker telling me that a child was out one day because he had blisters on his feet and I was wondering, "how does that happen, he doesn't walk much..." A week or so later, I had this massive itchy rash on my wrist/arm that I thought was from my bracelet, and a painful spot on the ball of my foot that I thought was just a normal blister. I had another spot below that that itched like crazy and kept me up at night. I tried Cortizone and that didn't help, so I kept taking extra strength Tylenol for the pain. I thought something was biting at me in my sleep, so I changed and washed all my sheets, blankets, pillows, etc. I woke up the next day with a sore throat and feeling a little off. I went to work like that, took my temperature and was a 99. Later that night, I felt absolutely terrible, took my temperature again and it was a good ol' 102. My feet itched like CRAZY, were starting to painfully blister, and I had tiny blisters on my hands and fingers. I called in sick the following day. Google did nothing for me as to what I had. I couldn't walk, it was so painful. But I had to.

When I got back to work, there was a notice in our building about HFMD and how two cases had appeared, but that typically kids get them. I told a coworker and she told me how her mom had gotten it at an older age. I mentioned to my director how I had the same symptoms that were posted (didn't want to pass it on to the kids!) and she informed me that it was very unlikely that I had gotten it (but not that I didn't get it). She said because my fever was gone, I was no longer contagious. None of my coworkers had gotten it, lucky them; unlucky me... Sucks because I had been planning a trip to California a month ago (still went, was horribly painful to walk around.)

Fast forward 2 weeks to when the blisters went away. I picked at my finger one day and ended up peeling the skin off most of my fingertip (I thought that would weirdly affect my fingerprint ha). It was oddly addicting (ew...) and was peeling my other fingertips. Then my feet, I started picking at those too... The amount of dead skin that came off was disgustingly uncanny. Another week later, my fingertips are completely back to normal; my feet just have some peeled remains where I'll put lotion on every now and then. Another week later, I noticed my thumb nails looked like they were peeling at the cuticle. I picked at them (bad idea, but they were bothering me) and now they're bothering me even more. My left index finger and middle finger started doing the same (again, picked at them, still a bad idea). Now I know what's going on because of this blog though!

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