Every time I wear nail polish, the skin around the nail becomes reddened. Is it possible that I may be allergic to nail polish? Also my nails peel badly after application even though I use a nail hardener.

It maybe that you are sensitive to formaldehyde, which is commonly used in nail polishes and nail strengtheners. This chemical is both an irritant and a sensitizer. Reactions to such preparations include discoloration, dryness, layers of keratin lifting or loosening or even loss of the nail. The surrounding skin can also be affected. For some, the products have been helpful but the potential user should realize that a risk is involved.

There are nail polishes, nail hardeners and conditioners that do not contain formaldehyde. Consult a cosmetician, esthetician or nail specialist. Formaldehyde-free products also list the ingredients on the bottle.

I have some little bumps on top of and between my toes. They do not have a core like corns. What treatment would you recommend for them?

If the growths between the toes are whitened and very soft and spongy, they are sometimes called soft corns. They occur commonly between the fourth and fifth toes.

They are usually the result of overriding toes and friction pressure between a prominent bump of a joint on one toe and a comparable bump on an adjacent toe. Pressure may be due to or aggravated by the narrowness of today’s fashion shoes so that the toes cramp or overlap.

Soft corns can be prevented by drying the affected web spaces with pads, the use of rubbing alcohol on the area or by using drying powders (foot or corn starch powders). However, professional care should be a consideration in treating the corn, in addition to treating the cause.

The skin on the back of my upper arms and the tops of my thighs has a lot little bumps. Also my skin is very dry and is cracking at the corners of my mouth and my tongue is tender. My dentist informed me that I may have a nutritional deficiency. Do you know anything about this and how can I correct it?

These symptoms may indicate that you have a Vitamin B deficiency. The vitamin B family is active in maintaining the skin, eyes and mouth, and is vital in the metabolism of fats and protein. Good sources are whole grains, cereals, organ meats, brewers yeast, poultry, blackstrap molasses, egg yolks, etc. But do check with your doctor or a nutritionist. To remove the rough bumps on the upper arms and thighs, you could try using a loofah every other day for at least two to three weeks. Afterwards, apply a cream to the area while the skin is still slightly damp.