Every day your fingernails can do a number of different things for you. Whether it is scratching an itch, strumming a guitar, or peeling an orange, we use the fingernails every day for many things. But with too much use or misuse, this can lead to a number of problems ranging from getting brittle or broken nails to fungal infections.
Common Nail Problems
- Brittle Nails
One of the most common nail problems that dermatologists hear about is brittle and prone to breakage fingernails. There are two things that can cause nails to become brittle. If they are too dry they can easily crack and if they are too moist they soften and become prone to tearing. Did you know that dry hands can also cause your nails to become brittle? To prevent dry hands, check our article here.
- Nail Trauma
When a nail gets injured for example from getting whacked by a hammer, this injury is referred to by doctors as nail trauma. If your nail starts bruising from underneath the nail plate, pressure can start building up and a doctor may need to relieve the pressure.
- Nail Fungal Infections
When your nails get injured, you can become prone to getting infections especially nail fungal infections. Although fungal infections usually affect the toenails, your fingernails can get them too and the consequences are not pleasant. A fungal infection can cause your nail plate to become chalky white, yellowish, brownish, or even turn green. The nail fold can also start looking red and irritated. If you think you have a nail infection, it is best to consult your doctor.
Can psoriasis affect your nails too? The answer is yes. Although psoriasis is a skin condition, this autoimmune disease can start showing up on your nails too. It can affect both the fingernails and toenails. Psoriatic nail disease causes a number of different changes to happen on the nails. They can include the following:
- Nail pitting – The surface of the nail can start having small pits. A nail can either have one or many pits in its surface.
- Onycholysis – This is the term for the nail separating from the skin underneath it. At its onset, it will look like a white or a yellow patch at the nail tip. Then the patch starts getting bigger and in time gets to the base of the nail. The space between the nail and the skin underneath it can get infected and start changing color.
- Subungual hyperkeratosis – Underneath the nail, a chalk-like material starts building up. This in turn causes the nails to become raised and oftentimes tender.
- Change in color – Psoriatic nail disease can also cause the nails to start turning yellow-brown.
- Fungal Nail Infections – A fungal infection can happen with psoriatic nail disease. A fungal infection can cause your nails to thicken.
A number of things can go wrong with your nails if you don’t take care of them properly. Most of these nail problems can be avoided. With proper nail care you can avoid dealing with most of these problems.
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