Nail It With The Doctor - What Your Nails Say About Your Health

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Most of us pay more attention on trimming, shaping, buffing and painting our nails. Unfortunately, we probably don’t spend much time looking at them bare. Which means we may be missing spots, stripes and odd colours that could be an indication that there is something wrong.
Some nail problems need professional treatment either by a doctor or a dermatologist, while others respond to simple self-help techniques and minor lifestyle changes. When in doubt, seek medical advice.

To help us understand our nails even more, we have compiled
7 Common Nail Problems that should never be ignored.


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1. Nail Discoloration


Nail discoloration, including yellow, brown, green, red and black nails can result from a variety of causes and condition of the skin. The healthy nail plate is pink, and the nails look white as it grows off the nail bed.
 

Symptoms

Visible discoloration of the nails from healthy pink to yellowish, white bluish brown or even black.

Causes
  • Nail Polish
  • Nicotine from cigarette smoking
  • Hair-colouring agents
  • Injury to the nail bed
  • Some medications
  • Certain infections 

Treatment and Prevention
  • Wear gloves to protect your hand whenever necessary
  • Lifestyle change (Quit smoking)
  • Avoid nail polish products that contain strong chemicals
  • Consult your dermatologist for infection related cause
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2.Lifted Nail Plate


If tips of your nails (fingers or toes) lift off the bed.
Lifted nails will allow dirt and debris from the nail’s protein (keratin) to accumulate under the nails. That makes it easy to collect water under the nails, which can cause the areas to become infected.
 
Symptoms

Once the nail separates from the bed, it will fill with keratin, which will show as a white or yellow discoloration or the nail will become cloudy.

Causes
  • Nail injury
  • Overzealous cleaning under the finfernails
  • Nail products that contain strong chemicals
  • Rough removal of artificial nails.
  • Psoriasis
  • Fungal infection 

Treatment and Prevention
  • Clip the nails short once a week
  • Use nail products that does not contain harsh chemicals
  • Avoid contact irritants and too much moisture. Wear globes if working in wet areas.
  • Apply anti-fungal ointments. (Consult dermatologist first)
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3. Splitting Nails


Splitting nails is a condition where the nail plate splits or layers as it grows off the nail bed.
Symptoms
Nails are dry and have lost moisture
The surface of the nail especially the ends, become brittle
Visible splitting or cracking
 
Causes
  • Trauma or injury on the nail
  • Prolonged exposure to water or moisture
  • Using nail products with harsh chemicals
  • Low levels of Vitamin C, Folic Acid
  • Psoriasis
 
Treatment and Prevention
  • Do not overexpose your nails to water. Wear globes when necessary.
  • Carefully and regularly trim your nails
  • Avoid harsh nail care products
  • Healthy, well balanced diet
  • Repair splits or tears with nail glue or clear polish to keep the problem from getting worse
  • Nutritional supplements Biotin might help strengthen weak or brittle fingernails.
  • Consult your doctor.
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4. Ridged Nails


Ridged fingernails refer to the presence of tiny raised lines or ridges that run either up and down the length of the nail (vertical ridges) or less commonly across the nail (horizontal ridges).



Symptoms
Visible appearance of tiny raised lines or ridges that run either up or down the length of nail.
 
Causes
  • Lack of moisture
  • Trauma to the nail matrix
  • Overzealous attention to the cuticles
  • Eczema
  • Age-related changes
 
Treatment and Prevention
  • Keep your nails trimmed and neat to avoid tearing or snagging.
  • Wash your hands and clean under the nails to prevent nail fungus from growing.
  • Moisturize using lotion or hand cream on a regular basis
  • Practice a healthy lifestyle
  • Daily nutritional supplement is essential for optimum support 
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5. Thickened Nails


This condition affects the toenails more than the fingernails. Older people are at greater risk.





Symptoms
  • Nail discoloration (becomes yellowish)
  • Hardening of the nail
  • Excessive thickening of the nail
Causes
  • Fungal Infection
  • Neglect
  • Injury
  • Poor Circulation
  • Arthritis in the toes
  • Ill-fitting shoes
  • Psoriasis
 
Treatment and Prevention
  • Careful and regular trimming and filling of affected nails
  • Wear comfortable footwear
  • If the thickening is due to a fungal infection, topical or oral anti-fungal medicine can be prescribed. (Consult your doctor)
  • If the thickening is due to injury or age, your doctor may first employ conservative treatments,
 

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6. Bacterial Infection of the Nail


The infection takes hold in the fold of the skin at the base of the nail (proximal nail fold) It has to be treated as soon as possible as the infection can worsen, leading to inflammation and pus.

 
Symptoms
  • Inflammation
  • Redness/Swelling around the infected area
  • Presence of pus
 
Causes
  • Prolonged exposure to water or moisture
  • Overzealous attention to the cuticles
  • Severe Nail Biting
  • Eczema around the fingernails
 
Treatment and Prevention
  • Do not overexpose your nails to water. Wear globes when necessary.
  • Avoid manicure and pedicure while on treatment.
  • Seek your doctor’s advice for topical ointment and oral medications.
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7. Ingrown Toenail


Ingrown toenails result when nail grows into the nail fold. This condition is quite common but can be painful.





Symptoms
  • Pain and discomfort when walking
  • Redness/swelling around the infected area
Causes
  • Incorrect trimming technique
  • Trauma (such as stubbing your toe)
  • Nails that naturally curve sharply on the sides and dig into the skin
  • Wearing tight shoes
Treatment and Prevention
  • Wear wider-toe shoes
  • Avoid trauma or repeated injury to the nails
  • Protect toes during sports
  • Keep toenails trim and clean
  • Seek the doctor for ingrown pain reliever and antibiotic ointments for infected toenails.
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Ways to reduce the risk of nail problems


Practice good personal hygiene
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Wear protective gloves for jobs like washing the dishes
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  • Avoid products that contain harsh chemicals
  • Avoid or limit the handling of chemicals such as hair dyes
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Take care with the use of nail products such as nail polish
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Do not bite or tear off hangnails nor bite your nails- use nail clippers
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Remove artificial nails carefully and according to the manufacturer's instructions
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Moisturise your hands, particularly after washing them
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Treat any sign of infection on your hands promptly
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To protect yourself from fungal infection, do not share towels.
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Make sure your shoes are well-fitting and have plenty of room for air movement.






Thanks for stopping by! 

Have a sensation-nail rest of the day. 
Cheers, 
Jo, Jeanne and Jen 
The Hollywood Beauty Team xXx
 
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