Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Treatment

Ainhum Overview

What is ainhum?
A person with ainhum has a rare condition that causes scars to form on the skin of the toes. The scars form a band, or ring around the toe. Over time, the bands can constrict the toe, which gradually cuts off the blood flow to the rest of the toe. This results in the death of the tissue at the end of the toe. Ainhum is most common in black people who live in tropical climates. The cause of ainhum is unknown.

What are the symptoms of ainhum?
Symptoms of ainhum include toe pain, and numbness and tingling in the toe. Additional symptoms of ainhum include skin ulcers on the tip of the toe, and loss of a portion of the toe.

How does the doctor treat ainhum?
Treatment for ainhum includes surgery, which relieves the constriction caused by the band of scarred skin.

Continue to Ainhum Treatment

Last Updated: Feb 5, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Ainhum References
  1. Browne SG: Ainhum. Int J Dermatol 1976 Jun; 15(5): 348-50. [1279064]
  2. Daccarett M, Espinosa G, Rahimi F, Eckerman CM, Wayne-Bruton S, Couture M, Rosenblum J. Ainhum (dactylolysis spontanea): a radiological survey of 6000 patients. J Foot Ankle Surg. 2002 Nov-Dec;41(6):372-8. [12500788]
  3. Dent DM, Fataar S, Rose AG: Ainhum and angiodysplasia. Lancet 1981 Aug 22; 2(8243): 396-7. [6115161]
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