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Nail diseases: causes and what to do

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The presence of alterations in the nails can occur due to a process of natural aging or some injury such as strokes, but it can also be a sign of some health problems, such as vitamin deficiency, hormonal alterations, yeast infections, diabetes, heart diseases and lungs, and even cancer.

This is because most serious health problems can affect oxygenation and change the nail growth and development process, causing changes such as changes in color, shine, shape and texture, requiring attention and medical care .

Healthy nails generally have a transparent white appearance with a pink base, so when changes arise in the nails that have not been caused by injuries, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist or a general practitioner to carry out an exploration, request examinations, diagnose the cause and start the most appropriate treatment.



1. Brittle and dry nails

The brittle and dry nails are those that break down or wash off easily, which are usually related to natural aging, but they can also be a consequence of allergies to products such as nail polishes, detergents, soaps or cleaning products, for example, as well as excess of manicure or removal of gel nails.

This alteration can also be a signal of deficiency, folic acid, vitamins A, B12 or C, as they are responsible for producing a protein that gives strength to the nails, or in diseases such as psoriasis, mycosis, hyperthyroidism or anemia.

What to do: You should avoid products that can cause allergies, give your nails a break and avoid doing a manicure for around 2 weeks. If the alteration still persists, it is important to consult a dermatologist to evaluate if there is any vitamin deficiency or another illness so that he can recommend the appropriate treatment.

2. White spots on the nails

The white spots on the nails, also called leukonychia, usually arise due to some local trauma, such as blows, being caught with a wall or hurting the finger with a door. However, this type of spots can also appear with hormonal variations throughout the menstrual cycle.



Generally, these spots do not indicate a health problem, but they can arise with the use of some antibiotics or diseases such as vitiligo or leprosy, for example.

What to do: one must leave it to grow naturally until the white spots disappear. However, if the stain remains the same for several weeks, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist.

3. Yellowish nails

Yellow nails are common among third-year people and not in all cases indicate a health problem. This type of staining can also be observed with the use of some medicines such as antibiotics, cleaning products or cigarette humus. In addition, the excessive intake of zanahoria, calabaza or camote, can also be dejar las uñas amarillas.

In addition, yellow nails can also arise from fungal infections in the nails or from diseases such as diabetes, psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis, liver diseases such as cirrhosis or hepatitis, pulmonary problems such as bronchitis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

What to do: it is advisable to consult a dermatologist to assess the presence of fungal infection or psoriasis in the nail and start the appropriate treatment. In case of doubts about other illnesses, you should consult a general practitioner, who can carry out an initial evaluation and refer to other specialists such as a gastroenterologist or a neurologist, depending on the type of illness that is causing the yellow nails.

4. Blueish nails

Blue nails can be caused by a low level or lack of oxygen in the blood, causing the skin to have a purple color. This condition is known as cyanosis and is usually a common symptom if you are in a cold environment, for example. However, if the bluish color appears at other times, it may indicate circulatory problems, such as Raynaud’s disease, respiratory changes such as emphysema, asthma, pneumonia or heart disease, such as heart failure.

What to do: You must use heat or heat in the environment, in case your nails are caused by cold environments. However, in case the problem appears frequently, late in disappearing or with other symptoms such as shortness of breath or excessive fatigue, you should consult a general physician or a cardiologist for the most appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Know what are the symptoms that could indicate problems in the heart.

5. Red nails

Red nails, especially on the edges, can be caused by a condition called paronychia, caused by inflammation due to infection with bacteria, viruses or yeast, due to trauma such as cuticle removal, bruises or by a red nail, for example. In some cases, there may be formation of pus on the edges of the nails.

However, some health problems can turn the nails completely red, such as diseases of the heart or lungs, high blood pressure or stroke, for example.

what to do: you should consult a dermatologist if the nail is reddened on the edges so that treatment with antibiotics or pus drainage can be carried out. However, in the event that the nails turn completely red, you should immediately consult a doctor or go to the nearest emergency department so that the cause is treated as soon as possible.

6. Green nails

Green nails are caused by an infection that gives the nails a bluish or dark green appearance and is caused by bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

This condition can arise in the nails of the hands or the feet and generally in the pain, without embargo, the skin around the uña can swell, cause pain or be reddened.

what to do: you must consult a dermatologist to start the treatment that must be carried out with antibiotics to fight the bacteria.

7. Nails with dark or black lines

The dark lines are caused by an alteration scientifically known as melanonychia, which is more common in people with dark skin, but it can also appear suddenly due to the use of some drugs such as antibiotics or zidovudine, a drug used in the treatment of HIV.

These dark lines can present coffee, gray or black coloration, which go from the base of the nail to the upper edge, and develop on the nails of the hands or the pies. When these lines are observed over a long period of time, it may be a sign of an increase in the production of melanin, which is a pigment that gives color to the skin, which may be one of the first symptoms of melanoma, a type of skin cancer skin.

However, some situations such as giving a blow to the finger, using tight shoes if the finger gets stuck in some object, can cause the nail to turn completely black, due to which bleeding occurs in the region and so that The misma becomes dark, which in some cases can be accompanied by pain and inflammation.

what to do: you should consult a dermatologist to evaluate the cause of the appearance of the oscura line in the nails. If the stain is caused by a medication, the doctor can evaluate the change in the drug. However, if the stain developed over time, changing color, size or shape, the doctor must carry out tests to diagnose melanoma and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Find out more about skin cancer.

However, if the black nail is due to trauma, it is not necessary to carry out any treatment, as the blood there is naturally absorbed as the nail grows.

8. Wavy nails

Wavy or rough nails can present themselves as a natural aging process, being common in people of the third age, but it can also occur for skin diseases that cause dry nails, such as psoriasis, lichen planus, atopic dermatitis, alopecia areata lupus, for example.

what to do: you should consult a dermatologist who should indicate the most appropriate treatment to deal with the cause. Find out more about how the treatment of psoriasis in the nail is carried out.

9. Rounded nails

The rounded nails and the curved fingertips can start slowly over the years without the person having the account, and can get worse with the time, being generally felt when they hinchan and if they have painful pressure.

This condition can be a consequence of low blood oxygenation due to cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases, but it can also arise in liver diseases, inflammatory bowel disease or HIV infection.

what to do: you should consult a general practitioner for an initial evaluation and examination. Depending on the underlying illness, the physician may refer the person to a cardiologist, gastroenterologist, neurologist or infectious disease specialist for proper treatment.

10. Curved nails from the top

The curved nails at the top, also called coiloniquia, are a condition in which the nails project towards the edge and take on a cuchara aspect. Generally, this condition is a sign that the blood circulation does not reach the nail center correctly, which could be a symptom of lack of blood, heart problems or hypothyroidism, for example.

What to do: you should consult a dermatologist or a general practitioner to perform blood analysis and identify if there is a lack of hierro or if there is a disorder in the thyroid or the heart. See the rich foods online.

11. Detachment of the nail

The detachment of the nail is a condition called onycholisis, characterized by the total or partial separation of the nail of the hands or feet and can be caused by the use of tight shoes, excessive cleaning of the nails or allergies to cleaning products , for example.

This condition can also be caused by fungal infections, diseases such as psoriasis or hyperthyroidism, or the use of certain medications such as Captopril or retinoids.

what to do: you should avoid using tight shoes or cleaning under the nails constantly, in addition to using gloves to avoid contact with cleaning products that can cause allergies. If the loosening of the nail does not improve, you should consult a dermatologist to diagnose the cause and recommend the most appropriate treatment.

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Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

Content for educational purposes only

The translator user relied on the following text:

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Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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