Keep a Tab on Your Nail Health

Updated at: Jun 01, 2019
Keep a Tab on Your Nail Health

Just like other parts of the body, nail diseases are equally dangerous and need to be diagnosed well on time

Written by: Onlymyhealth Staff WriterPublished at: Jun 01, 2019

One has to take proper precautions and medications to get rid of nail diseases. Dermatologist, Dr Chiranjiv Chhabra from Skin Alive Clinics said, “Your nails tell a lot about your body. Infections like white spots on the nails can result from trauma and calcium deficiency and slow growing nails can result from vitamin and protein deficiency post viral infection.” The following are some of the nail diseases. Most of the nail diseases are an outcome of poor nail hygiene and always wet nails.

Also read: Nail it: Preventing premature nail breakage

  • Ingrown nails: Onychogryphosis is a nail disease and is also known as ingrown nails. Dermatologist, Dr Ranjan Upadhyay from Desmoderm Skin Clinic said, “The nail enters inside the paronychium which leads to the occurrence of such type of a nail disorder. Many times overgrown toe skin can also be mistaken for an ingrown toenail.” Symptoms like redness, swelling and pain can be seen. It is advisable to visit a doctor immediately before it turns into an infection. This nail problem also occurs because of wearing extremely tight footwear for longer durations. 
  • Bacterial and fungal infections: This is a prevalent fungal nail disease. It happens because of wearing wet shoes or socks or nil cleanliness of nails. Redness in nails: This type of infection is caused due to viruses like bacteria and fungi. The nail folds act as a barrier between the surrounding tissues and nail plate. This disease can be characterised by redness in nails, swelling in nail folds and excruciating pain. 
  • Brittle nails: People having this nail disorder face difficulty in growing nails. The nails chip, peel or split. This indicates that there is less oil and moisture in the nails. 
  • Green Discolouration: Pseudomonas is a bacterial infection which occurs between the nail plate and nail bed where the nail shows green discolouration. People often think that if they cut the nail, then the problem will be solved. But the nail grows back in the same colour. 
  • Thick nails: Onychauxis is a disease in which nails become very thick, rises above the skin level and changes in colour. It also indicates internal disorders and can happen due to the side effects of any drugs.
  • Beau’s Line: In this, a thick line is evident in the nail which takes place because of malnutrition, trauma or any illness. It resembles a linear depression in the nail. It is essential to discover and analyse such changes in your nails and immediately get them treated. 

Dr Ranjan Upadhyay added, “It is important to keep the nails dry and clean all the time as this part of the body gets infected without anyone noticing the change. You may only come to know once the damage is done. I suggest people should eat biotin based vitamins as they help reduce the severity of the nail problems.” An indicator of another disease Dr Chhabra added, “A nail is a dead structure, but it is growing out of a living nail matrix. The nail grows about three millimetres in a month just like our hair. Healthy nails should look pink, smooth, not brittle or dry and should grow regularly. If the nails are not growing properly, are brittle, continuously get chipped, develop surface changes like pits, depressions, lines, colour changes or get infected repeatedly, it is an indication to another health issue.” 

Also read: When to wash hands? Know do's and don'ts of hand washing

The common deficiencies like Vitamin A, Vitamin B, calcium, iron and protein can be easily picked up from the nail changes. We often see that Vitamin A and calcium deficiency results in brittle nails. Vitamin D deficiencies make the nails dry, dark, curved and develop ridges. Iron deficiency results in pale looking nails and in extreme cases, the nails can become spoon-shaped. Some of the nail disorders also indicate health problems like lung disease, congestive heart failure, liver disease (cirrhosis, liver abscess) and autoimmune disorders like systemic lupus erythematosus, alopecia, areata. Our nails are a mirror to our internal health. One should be vigilant enough to diagnose such changes and visit a dermatologist immediately.

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