Nail Disorders

Just like hair and skin, nails are unique structures made up of keratin. Nail problems differ in etiology and morphology. 

The function of the fingernails and toenails is to protect the skin of your fingers and toes. So, if one observes any change in color, texture or shape of nails, they must take measures to treat it. Nail problems may range from mild to severe and need the right treatment at the right time.

Types Of Nails Problems:

a. Nail Infections

b. Nail Diseases 

c. Ingrown Nails

Nail Infections

The major reason behind nail infection is fungi. Let's understand it in detail.

 

1. White Superficial Onychomycosis (WSO) 

As the name suggests, white spots occur on the surface of the nail and eventually nail becomes whitish and crumbly. The nail neither gets thicker nor does it detach from the skin. 

 

2. Yeast Infection or Candida Onychomycosis

In yeast infected nails, you find depigmentation. Also, the nail may get separated from the nail bed. Needless to say, the condition is quite painful. 

 

3. Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis (PSO)

Survivors of HIV usually suffer from such type of nail infection. The nail becomes thicker and eventually separates from the nail bed.

 

4. Distal Subungual Onychomycosis (DSO)

This is one of the most common types of infection. Here, the nail bed is infected and a part of the nail turns yellowish. Unwanted cells build under the bed. Usually, the toenail is infected with DSO due to ill-fitted shoes and dampness.

 

Dr. Satish Titoria is an experienced doctor who can suggest the best topical therapy and oral medication for treating all types of nail infections.

Nail Diseases

While a few nail conditions are harmless, some can be alarming too.

 

1. Nail Discoloration

There are a number of reasons for nail discoloration like smoking, liver infection, using hair color/dyes, nail bed injury, and using chemotherapy drugs. In a few cases like silver toxicity, quinacrine toxicity, and Wilson’s disease, the nail becomes bluish-black in color. 

 

2. Bacterial Paronychia

In bacterial paronychia, the tissues adjacent (nail folds) to nails are infected due to bacteria. People who bite their nails, have moist hands or use incorrect products and tools for a manicure to develop such a condition.

 

3. Chronic Paronychia

This disease causes redness, tenderness, and swelling of the fingernail or toenail. Excessive irritation and allergy may lead to further fungal infection, discoloration and distortion of nails.

 

4. Onycholysis

Nails can be lifted from their bed due to trauma, infection or certain skin and health conditions like psoriasis, bronchiectasis, thyroid or anemia. Formation of pus under the nail plate may also lift your nail, causing onycholysis.

 

5. Nail Thickening

While the age factor is the major reason behind mild thickness, abnormal thickening can be due to injury, fungal infection, arthritis, abnormal gait, psoriasis or wearing tight shoes.

 

6. Nail Ridges

Observing longitudinal ridges on your nails? This is chiefly due to malnutrition, anemia, aging, trauma, eczema, arthritis, peripheral vascular disease or lichen planus.

 

7. Splitting Of Nails

Applying nail polish and removing it constantly may result in flaking of nails. Also, regular contact of hands with water may split the nails.

 

8. Nail Deformities

Trauma or fungal infections can deform the nails. Allergic or autoimmune conditions may also alter the shape of nails. Some abnormal nail shapes include:

  • Pincer Nails - Where the nail bed and underlying dermis get compressed and look like a pincer.
  • Dolichonychia - Abnormally long and narrow nails. 
  • Brachyonychia - Short and narrow nails.
  • Parrot beak nails - Shape as the name suggests.
9. Rare Conditions

In the nail-patella syndrome, nails are deformed or absent. Skin cancer may also affect the nail bed.

Ingrown Nails

This condition occurs when the nail itself grows into the skin or when the skin near nails grows over the nail edges. It usually affects the toenail and is quite painful accompanied by swelling and redness.

It is equally important to maintain nail hygiene along with the skin and hair. The nail diseases can be prevented if you do so. If you are already struggling with some kind of nail disorders, book a consultation with Dr. Satish Titoria. He can provide you with the best care and treatment options.