Healthy nails are easy to recognize: they are typically smooth, uniformly colored, and have a consistent texture. While toenails and fingernails mainly serve to protect your appendages, they can also be dead giveaways of larger health problems. Specific nail changes can be signs of heart, kidney, lung problems, as well as liver diseases like diabetes and anemia. Below are a number of finger and toenail abnormalities, and the diseases that typically cause them.
Located in Windermere FL, Dermatology and Skin Care Center is committed to providing patients with diagnostic and preventative dermatological care. If you suspect that you may have a nail disease, contact us and schedule a consultation appointment today.
Nail Diseases and Their Associated Symptoms
- Paronychia. Paronychia is an infection of the nail fold. This infection is caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses entering the nail through a break in the nail folds. If you are someone who has their hands in water for extended periods of time, you might be at risk of developing this condition. Once the infection has infiltrated the nail, it becomes highly contagious.
- Pseudomonas. This is a bacterial infection that develops between the nail plate and the nail bed. This infection manifests itself as a green discoloration that resembles mold. The darkening of this green color indicates the progression of the bacteria into more layers of the nail. Pseudomonas bacteria thrive in moist places and are particularly well suited to eat the dead tissue and bacteria that are in the nail bed.
- Fungal and Yeast Infections (Onychomycosis). These infections usually travel into the nails through tears in the nail folds. As this infection progresses, the nail begins to separate from the nail plate. Yellow or white debris will be visible, and differences in the texture of the nail can develop over time.
- Onychatrophia. In onychatrophia, the nail plate wastes away or loses its luster. It can become smaller or shed itself entirely. This can be the result of injury or disease.
- Onychauxis. In onychauxis, the nail plate over-thickens. It is the result of an internal disorder.
What Should I do if I Suspect I Have a Nail Disease?
If you suspect that you have a nail disease, seek the help of a medical professional. At Dermatology Skin Cancer Center, we have both the facilities and dedicated medical staff to diagnose and begin treatment on your nail disorder. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.