Nail Disorders

Nail Disorders

Nail Disorders
A fungal infection, typically on the toenails, is the most common nail disorder. People with diabetes, those who wear tight-fitting shoes and those who get a lot of manicures or pedicures are most susceptible. An infected nail will be painful and discolored, with a brownish-black band. The nail also might show scars, pits, ridges or lesions. Anti-fungal medication can treat the nail. To avoid infection, keep toenails short, discard old footwear and don't go barefoot around public showers and pools.

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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    What Causes Nail Clubbing?
    If the tip of your fingers look like drumsticks, you have club nails, says Dr. Oz. In this video he explains that club nails are caused by swelling underneath the nails, but can actually be an indication of other issues.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered

    Most minor nail injuries heal on their own, but they might be unsightly for a while because the nail is like a kid's science experiment - it takes a heck of a long time to grow. Other than more serious fungal infections and psoriatic nails, here are four common, minor (well, typically minor) nail-related issues.
    White Spots: These small, semi-circular spots result from injury to the base (matrix) of the nail, where nail cells are produced. They'll eventually grow out.
    Splinter Hemorrhages: A disruption of blood vessels in the nail bed can cause fine, splinter-like vertical lines to appear under the nail plate. Caused by injury and some drugs, splinter hemorrhages resolve spontaneously. However, since an infection in your heart can also cause these, call a doc to make sure, especially if you feel under the weather and have a fever.
    Ingrown Toenails: Improper nail trimming, tight shoes, or poor posture can cause a corner of the nail to curve downward into the skin. Ingrown nails can be painful and sometimes even lead to infection. To avoid infection, see a doctor, rather than attempting to saw away the nail yourself. Your doctor will numb the toe and trim the ingrown nail. To prevent the nail from regrowing. An 80 percent phenol solution can destroy the nail growing cells on the side that is growing in. Or you could pay $800 more per nail than the phenol if you want it removed by the laser that is no more effective.
    Finger Cracks: Second only to a toe stub, a pesky hangnail (or a finger crack, technically) wins the award for the smallest, most annoying pain in our lives. How do we get them: When humidity is low, your fingertips and cuticles can crack. Best prevention: Use a moisturizer routinely to keep your skin from drying up. If you do crack up, try Johnson & Johnson's Liquid Bandage (like Crazy Glue for your skin) to seal the cracks and eliminate the pain within a few seconds.

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    Nail disorders are caused by infection, trauma, diseases, improper growth, and medication. Certain infections of the nail are caused by bacteria, fungi, and viral warts. These cause deformation and discoloration of the nail. If the infection of the skin, nail, or nail bed is really bad, your nail may even fall off. Infections in other areas of your body, like your heart, may also cause the nail or nail bed to have red streaks or change color.

    Trauma such as crushing the nail, constantly wearing nail polish, or wearing tight shoes can cause your nail to have ridges, become brittle, peel, or be permanently deformed. Diseases that affect how your body processes vitamins, nutrients, or waste, and those that affect hormone production may impact nail growth, color, and shape.

    Medications and poisons may also cause nail disorders. Arsenic is a poison that can cause white lines and ridges to appear on top of the nail. Some medications can cause splinter hemorrhage, which is broken blood vessels in the nail bed.

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    Nail disorders are conditions that affect the color, size, shape, thickness, and texture of toe- or fingernails. Infection, trauma, diseases, improper growth, and medication can all cause nail disorders. The older you get, the more likely you are to be affected by a nail disorder. Nail disorders can often be symptoms of underlying illnesses.

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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Symptoms of nail disorders include slow-growing nails, nail ridges, nail spooning, brittle nails, unusually thick nails that separate easily from the nail bed and look yellow or green, and discolorations in the nails that include white spots, black spots, red streaks, or a whitish color. If symptoms appear in only one nail, the cause is likely due to an injury to the nail. If symptoms appear in all fingernails and toenails, the symptoms may be due to a medical problem that needs treatment by a doctor.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Nail disorders can cause pain and discomfort in the area around the nail and can lead to complications that affect other parts of the body. For example, fungal infections in the nails can spread to the skin, and bacterial infections from ingrown toenails can spread to the bone. If you have a nail disorder, it's best to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan from your doctor. 
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    Your risk of nail disorders increases with age. As we age, our nails become thicker and more brittle, and more likely to have infections caused by fungus. We also are more susceptible to illness and use more medication, as we get older.

    If you have a condition that affects your body's ability to absorb nutrients, process waste or balance your hormones you are at a greater risk for nail disorders. Conditions such as kidney disease, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, iron deficiencies, and cirrhosis of the liver all increase your likelihood of having a nail disorder.

    Working in occupations that cause your hands or feet to be in water on a daily basis, such as dishwashers or window washers, can cause additional irritation that leaves your fingers and nails more susceptible to nail disorders. The frequent use of nail polish and nail polish remover are also thought by some to increase your risk of nail disorders because they increase the likelihood of nails to peel and break. Nail biting will heighten your risk of nail disorders because it is known to spread warts and other infection from one nail to another and create tears and breaches in the skin where infection can creep in.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered

    Nail disorders such as infections, tumors, ingrown nails, and warts are diagnosed by physical exam. A doctor will inspect the nails and test for fungus. After scraping debris from under the nail, the doctor will analyze the debris to find the cause of an infection. Yeast and bacteria can cause infections and disorders. Once a cause is determined, a treatment plan can be developed. Good hygiene and maintenance can help prevent nail disorders. Keep nails clean and dry. Clip your nails but do not remove the cuticle. Consult a dermatologist for more information.

     

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    Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of a nail disorder including, pain or discomfort related to your nail. Some of the symptoms that require medical attention are:
     
    -  White or blue nails
    -  Clubbed or distorted nails
    -  Pale/white or black lines
    -  Pain or swelling around a nail
    -  Horizontal ridges or dents
     
    Changes in your nail can relate to other conditions that affect your organs. Kidney disease, lung disease, and liver disease are just a few of the diseases that create nail disorders as a symptom of a larger underlying issue. If you have splinter hemorrhages (red lines in the bed of the nail), you should see you doctor right away. These are caused by heart valve infections.
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    Many nail disorders will resolve without treatment when the nail grows out, the trauma heals, or the use of medication causing the nail disorder is discontinued. However, if your doctor feels that your disorder requires treatment, options will be limited by what is causing the nail disorder.

    Nail disorders caused by infection will require regular trimming of the nail, topical medication may be applied by soaking the finger in a solution. Or medication can be put on in the form of an antifungal or steroid ointment and secured by a bandage. In some cases antibiotics will also be necessary.

    If a wart is causing your nail disorder, your doctor may try to treat the wart by injecting it with medication or freezing it off. Clear nail polish with strengthening properties or bitter taste may be recommended to help nail growth or deter biting of the nails. When treating an ingrown toenail, your doctor may prescribe antibiotic ointment for any infection that may have occurred. Sometimes all you will need to do is change your shoes or socks to reduce tightness and the exposure to moist areas that are causing the nail disorder.

    Treatment of nail disorders may be a slow process given the leisurely pace at which nails grow. Depending on the thickness of the nail, topical treatments may take awhile to penetrate the layers and begin treating the problem.