Did you know that Podiatrists can tell a lot about your general health just by assessing your nails? Nails can change in colour, shape and strength based on your overall health and wellbeing.
Taking care of your nails is not just a regular cut and file but can involve a more holistic approach. Here are some common nail conditions that we see regularly:
1. Nail Clubbing
Nail clubbing occurs as the end portion of the nail raises up and rounds out. This occurs gradually over time. As a result, the tip of the finger or toe appears swollen and rounded. The bed beneath the nail may not support the nail as firmly, causing the nail to be looser and to spring almost like a sponge when pressed.
Nail clubbing can be a sign of:
- Pulmonary Disease
- Cardiac Disease
- Systemic Disorder
Hangnails are more common in fingernails than toenails and occur when the skin along the edge of the nail tears or is otherwise damaged. Sometimes this causes bleeding and can cause persistent, low-grade pain. This needs to be addressed to reduce further pain and reduce the risk of infection.
3. Ingrown Toenail
This is more common in the toenails than the fingernails. An ingrown nail can occur for many reasons the most common being picking or tearing the nail or poor cutting technique. This leaves a spike on the side of the nail which then ingrown into the soft tissue causing infection and pain. Ingrown toenails can also occur due to some medications and some medical conditions.
4. Splitting or Peeling nails
Split or peeling nails occur when the nails are too dry and brittle. This can be caused by a vast array of issues including:
- Immersing and then drying hands frequently
- Waterless handwash
- Nail Polish and acetone-based removers
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Medical conditions
5. Nail Psoriasis
Caused by an overactive immune system, psoriasis can affect your nails and create changes in the colour, thickness, and surface of your nails. You may notice pitting or depressions in your nails.
6. Yellow Discoloured Nails
More common in the toenails, discolouration that appears to be yellow is generally the result of an underlying medical condition. There are many treatments for yellowed nail issues since they are quite common.
Yellow nails can be caused by:
- Leaving nail polish on too long
- Fungal infections
- Weakened Immune System
- Circulation Problems
7. Beau’s Lines
Beau’s lines are linear depressions in the nails that run horizontally and move up from the base of the nail as it grows outward. You can measure how long the lines have been there based on how far up the nail they are.
Common underlying disorders for Beau’s lines include:
- Liver Disease
- Heart Attack
- Poorly Managed Metabolic Process (like Diabetes)
8. Nail Fungus
Many people have nail fungus at least once in their lifetime. Fungus is naturally found in our body and requires the optimum environment for it to become an infection. Fungus loves dark and damp environments for it to thrive.
Nail Fungi are very resistant and difficult to resolve. Depending on the amount of nail involvement it can take 6-12 months to resolve. Like bacteria, there are many different types of fungus and therefore not one treatment will work for every infection. There are many treatment options available including topical, oral, and laser therapies. A Podiatrist is qualified to assess the infection and advise on the appropriate treatment for your specific infection.
Onycholysis is when the nail separates from the nail bed, raising itself up away from the toe or finger. This can occur for a variety of reasons:
- High chemical nail polish
- Fungal infection
10. Nails beds with a blue tinge
Any discolouration of the nail is a hint that something isn’t quite right. Nails begin to appear bluish when there are issues in the blood or in the circulatory system. Your ProMed Podiatrist is highly skilled and trained to not only assess the nail issue but can perform a thorough vascular assessment to diagnose circulation issues of the foot.
Our highly skilled Podiatrists can provide a holistic assessment of your nail concerns as well as provide a tailored treatment plan to assist your nail health but more importantly your overall health and wellbeing.
Call our friendly ProMed team today to book your appointment on 55221230 or book online.