Dermatologists will point out that many nail disorders can result from poor nail care
Take a close look at your nails – if you see any of the following nail appearance, it could indicate a possible serious condition:
- White nails – liver diseases
- Half of nail is pink, half is white – kidney diseases
- Nail bed is red – heart conditions
- Yellowing and thickening of the nail with slowed down growth rate – lung diseases
- Pale nail beds – anemia
- Yellowish nails, with a slight blush at the base – diabetes
There are other signs and symptoms on our finger nails
A bacterial infection – it can lead to redness, swelling and pain of the skin folds around the nails. This may be due in the first place to injury to the nail or surrounding skin. Frequent exposure to water and chemicals is often the culprit while sometimes a green discoloration of the nail occurs.
Tumors and warts – these may be found in any portion of the nail and can even cause the nail plate to change shape. When a growing tumor or wart interferes with nail growth, it can destroy the nail. Warts are viral infections that affect the skin surrounding or underneath the nail. As they can be painful and even spread, it is best to treat them early on. If a wart or tumor extends into the nail folds or is located under the nail plate, it can be more difficult to treat.
Mucinous cysts – these look like clear, jelly filled papules at the base of the nail and can become painful and may even damage or deform the nail. Treatment means removing the cyst.
Dark spots or streaks – if a dark spot or streak appears on any nail, and it is not the result of an injury, it must be examined by a dermatologist. This is because it could be melanoma which is the most lethal form of skin cancer.
Psoriatic nails - Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes red, scaly patches. Many people who suffer from psoriasis or psoriasis arthritis will also have nail problems especially with their fingernails. H-Psoriasis treatment will help those with psoriasis. The most common signs include pitting, rippling and discoloration of the nail. The skin beneath the nail may also develop a reddish-brown discoloration. The nail may separate from the nail bed, crumble, and even split. Swelling and redness of the skin surrounding the base of the nail are also common.
Onychomycosis – this is a fungal infection that causes thickening of the nails and this infection may well be present at the same time as the nail psoriasis. Because psoriasis affects the nail when it is actually being formed, it is difficult to treat but if left untreated, severe psoriatic nail disease can lead to functional and social impairments.
Nail fungus – this infection occurs when fungus infects one or more of your nails. A nail fungal infection may begin as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the nail fungus spreads deeper into your nail, it may cause discoloration, thickening and crumbling edges which is an unsightly and potentially painful problem. Treatment for nail fungus should be carried out as quickly as possible. Diet is also very important in helping to treat nail fungus. You should include more probiotics – that is good bacteria – in your diet which can be in the form of yogurt and kefir as well as the more unusual Olive leaf extract. At the same time, reduce your intake of refined carbs like sugar, dairy produce and vinegar.
Fungus thrives in warm most areas
When you have a problem with your nails, you should take special care of them and here are some tips:
- Keep your nails as short as possible by trimming back carefully to the point of firm attachment with manicure scissors. If you have loose nails, it is important to protect them from damage because trauma will often trigger or worsen any nail condition. Try to wear gloves when you are working with your hands.
- Nails should be kept clean and dry.
- Avoid vigorous cleaning and scraping under the nails as this may break the skin where the nail is attached. Handle your nails very gently.
- Use 3 capfuls of tar bath oil in a bowl of warm water to soak your nails for at least 20 minutes. Then rub moisturizer into each nail.
- Try to avoid applying any nail hardener or artificial nails until your nail condition has cleared up.
Our nails are very important to our general well being
Take note of any change in their condition and treat accordingly or get advice from a medical practitioner. Our nails are often on show and we want to be proud of them. I started the habit of biting my nails in my teens and it took me years and years to stop but now it is great to have nails of which I am no longer ashamed.