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5 Common Nail Problems That Can Indicate a Health Issue

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You might have noticed a change in your nails’ color, shape, and texture. While this can be harmless, it can signify a skin condition or an underlying health issue. If you notice any abnormal nail changes, it would be best to see a nail problems specialist to evaluate your condition and provide effective treatment. Also, the appearance of your nails can change due to certain medications. If this happens, you can talk to a New York nail problems specialist to help you interpret these changes and possible symptoms you might have. Learn more about serious types of nail problems, their symptoms, and potential treatment options.

What Are the Common Causes of Nail Changes?

Nail changes or problems can be caused by several factors, such as trauma, skin infections, or diseases. However, a persistent color, texture, or shape change on your nails can signify an illness or a severe infection. Below are some nail abnormalities like ingrown toenail removal that could be a sign of disease and should be examined by a medical dermatologist immediately.

1. Nail Clubbing

Nail clubbing is a condition that causes your nails to thicken and curve, causing extraordinary physical changes in your fingernails or toes. It is caused by low oxygen levels in the blood and could signify serious medical conditions such as cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, liver disease, and AIDS. 

Clubbing can take several years to develop, but your condition can significantly improve with oxygen therapy, lifestyle changes, and pulmonary rehabilitation.

2. Nail Pitting

Nail pittings are depression-like holes and lines that form on the surface of your fingernails or toenails. It is mainly caused by nail psoriasis, which causes your nails to thicken, discolor or deform. 

Severe nail pitting can cause your nails to fall off or create red, scaly, cracked, dry patches on the skin. Other causes of nail pitting can be as a result of osteoarthritis, alopecia, or atopic dermatitis. Your doctor might recommend vitamin D3 supplements, light therapy, or immunosuppressant medications to improve your condition.

3. Nail Spooning 

Nail spooning is a condition that causes your nails to curve and shape like a spoon. It can indicate a serious sign of heart disease, lupus, malnutrition, diabetes, thyroid disorders, and iron deficiency anemia. 

Spoon nails may develop on one of your nails or all of them. If your nail-pitting condition results from anemia, you might experience fatigue, weakness, pale skin, and shortness of breath. Your doctor might recommend an iron-rich diet or periodic vitamin B-12 shots.

4. Yellow Nail Syndrome

Yellow nail syndrome is a condition that causes your nails to thicken, turn yellow, and stop growing as fast. This condition could be a sign of lung disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or a severe infection on your nail bed. To improve your condition, your doctor might recommend antifungal medications, oral zinc, antibiotics, and vitamin E for discoloration.

5. Dark Streaks on Nails

When your nails change color to a dark streak, it could signify melanoma, a serious skin cancer condition. If caught early by your dermatologist, it can be treated, but the more it grows, it cannot be easy to treat. Early treatment involves surgically removing the affected part of the nail and additional other therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy.

If you are worried about the appearance of your nails changing, contact Lumos Dermatology┬« to get a diagnosis and receive treatment. Some nail changes could be a serious health condition, so you should not take it lightly. Call or book an appointment online through the clinic’s website or visit their Manhattan, New York offices.

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