This rare atrophic affection usually occurs upon the hands and is characterized by one or more tapering, smooth, tense, hairless fingers, glossy like a highly polished scar, and pink, ruddy or blotched as with chilblains. The nail invariably curve inward and sometimes drop off, while the skin under the free edge is frequently thickened, excoriated and fissured. Usually severe burning pains and other local sensations are present.
Etiology and Pathology. – This condition is a trophoneurosis and results from any influence, traumatic or systemic, which may cause a disease or injury of the nerves supplying the fingers. hence neuritis is often present. Impaired circulations and exposure to cold may be underlying causes and it has been noted in chronic myelitis, leprosy, gout and rheumatism.
Prognosis and Treatment. – A duration varying from weeks to years usually leads to spontaneous recovery. Removal of the cause is the first essential, followed by protection from cold and other irritations, gentle massage and stimulation with the high-frequency currents. The indicated remedy is the most important and varies with the symptoms presented by the causative disease. See Ledum, Rhodo, and Rhus tox.