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February 14, 2006


Question from Glen Burnie, Maryland, USA:

My granddaughter has a habit of picking at her fingers and any sore or pimple which may show up. A couple of months ago, she was at the Emergency Room being diagnosed with the flu. While there, she kept picking at a red area around her fingernail on the middle finger on left hand. She picked until she had it bleeding. We took her to her pediatrician, who told us to use Bacitracin on the finger. It took a while, but finally healed. About two or three weeks ago, the fingernail had separated from the "root" of the nail. It seems to be loose on top of a new nail which is growing. But the loose nail is still attached at the sides. We are still using the cream and keeping it wrapped with a band aid to prevent it being knocked off, as per her doctor's instructions. The loose nail on the top seems to have a white area on it now. Could this get infected with a fungus and cause further problems? Her endocrinologist told us to take her to her pediatrician. I was surprised when they did not want to see her. Do you have any suggestions to calm our fears that this could do further damage?


The wound needs to be evaluated by your pediatrician to determine the best course of treatment.