Nails are always an indicator of our health and they show early symptoms of any diseases that we may have. Although nails changes are some attributes of many conditions, these occurrences are rarely considered as the first sign.
Nail thickness, concavity of the nails and pitted nails are some of the signs one often look out for to identify our health problems. More specifically, nails can indicate problems in one’s liver, lungs, and heart.
Traditionally, nails can be treated with oral medication or by applying topical creams but sometimes there may be cases whereby partial or the entire nail need to be removed. Any color changes or infections of the nail should quickly be examined to know the cause and find methods to treat it.
If one is concerned with the nail’s appearance, it’s best to see a personal doctor or dermatologist. When it comes to infections like nail fungus, some podiatrists offer a nail fungus treatment in clinics in Singapore. One of which is the Physio & Sole Clinic.
Different Types of Nail Problems
A very common nail ailment would be white spots that are caused by small ordeals such as being thumped or hit. This happens to those who use their hands a lot during work and people get white spots time and again. But white spots also run in the family and for this disorder, no treatment is needed.
Pitting of the nails too can be run in the family or can be caused by trauma. Even certain diseases such as psoriasis, arthritis and eczema can be origins of pitting of nails. Although the discolouration of the nail is common, the skin under the nail appears as reddish-brown. The best way to treat this type of nail problem is to cure the health condition although removing the pitting can help at times.
Nail thickening are caused from fungal infections and skin conditions and hence, once these health issues are solved, the nail generally turns back to normal although it is not warranted. However, traumas and aging may also initiate nail thickening as well.
There is another ailment whereby the nail separates itself from the nail bed and this condition is caused by psoriasis or frequent contact with detergents. Sometimes when nails are caught onto something, this will accidentally cause the nail to be disconnected from the nail bed. Keyboard typing over a period of time may also set off such nail separation.
Vertical splits on the other hand are caused when one ages or when one’s hands are in water for a long period of time. The nails when soaked into water make nails softer and produce vertical splits that can extend all the way to the cuticle. To keep nails strong, one should consume a healthy diet full of iron and zinc or treat the nails to almond oil massages to protect the nails.
Sometimes there are black nails which are caused from trauma such as jamming or hammering of a nail or toe. These bruises cause the nails to be black in color and they will go away in time. But at times, the nail will fall off because of the acute damage but it will grow back in time.
Pale nails, for instance, can sometimes indicate serious illnesses, such as anemia, liver disease, congestive heart failure, and malnutrition.
If you see white nails with darker rims near it, it could be indicative of liver problems, such as hepatitis. It may also be noticed that the fingers are jaundiced, which is another sign for liver trouble.
Yellow nails are often caused by a fungal infection. As the fungal infection worsens, the nail bed may retract, while the nails may become thicker and may crumble. In some rare instances, yellow nails may also indicate more serious health conditions such as severe thyroid disease, lung disease, psoriasis, or diabetes.
Blue-coloured nails would mean that the body is not getting enough oxygen. It may also be an indication of a lung problem, and perhaps even some heart problems.
Dry, brittle nails that frequently cracks or splits are linked to thyroid disease. Other cases that combine this nail condition with a yellowish hue is more likely a result of fungal infection.
Proper Nail Care
Nails should have a proper routine to keep its hygiene and the usual cycle would be to clean and dry our hands and toes.
For toenails, shoes should be of the correct size and good materials that allow the feet to breathe. Shoes and socks should be washed and changed frequently and pedicure tools should be disinfected.
As for fingernails, one should not pick and bite their nails but to have proper manicure and file the edges smoothly. The nails should be protected with rubber gloves when in contact with detergent and water for a long period of time.
Overall, a good diet of iron and zinc is important to keep fingernails and toe nails strong.
Nail Surgery and Treatment
However in some cases, surgical treatments are needed and removal of the infected nail should be done to apply antifungal topical cream. If the nail is removed, it will eradicate pain from the fungal infection and deformed nails will not be shaped.
When it comes to nail surgery, an ingrown toenail is the most popular case among patients. An ingrown toenail is commonly characterized by the corners of the toenail growing into the soft flesh on the sides. This leads to a very painful, swelling, infection and redness that usually affects the big toe. Concerning this, Singapore offers some of the best clinics for ingrown toenail treatment.
A: When applied properly, acrylic nails are safe; however, note that most artificial nails are made using acrylic, so it may be dangerous when ingested. The danger lies when the skin is not applied properly or when there is repeated exposure, especially on the skin.
A: Although nail fungus cannot be treated, doctors should be able to recognize this problem. Fungus organisms often infest on wide and open spaces, and this usually occurs in toenails than in fingernails. Keeping nails trimmed will prevent this occurrence, and it also helps to reduce trauma.
A: Cold weather leads to a decreased circulation to the fingers and toes, and this may lead to one nail condition known as Raynaud's Phenomenon. Cold weather may cause finger discolouration, wherein colour alternates from white to blue to red, which may be very painful.