How do other illnesses affect nail disorders?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Many illnesses can cause symptoms in your nails, which is why experts recommend discussing any changes in your nail health with your doctor or dermatologist. Some of the conditions that can affect the appearance, growth, or shape of your nails include:
  • psoriasis
  • melanoma (skin cancer)
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • thyroid disease
  • endocarditis (inflammation in the lining of the heart)
  • lupus
In addition, chronic illnesses can make it more difficult to recover from nail disorders such as ingrown toenails. If you have diabetes or nerve damage or poor circulation in your feet, it is especially important that you bring any nail changes to your doctor's attention for diagnosis and treatment. 
Other illnesses can affect you by causing nail disorders and can continue to weaken and damage your body when nail disorders are left untreated. Illnesses like diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, heart conditions, skin conditions, and autoimmune disease can affect the body by creating a nail disorder as a symptom of the underlying illness.

Illnesses that affect your body's ability to process certain materials, like kidney disease, increase the build up of certain chemicals in your body that affect the nails. Skin conditions like psoriasis and certain rashes affect the skin surrounding the nail and can create lesions on the nail.

Continue Learning about 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 wil...

l 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.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.