Keeping your nails healthy means they’ll always look good – but sometimes the reason why your nails weaken, change color or texture is because of an underlying nail disease or disorder. Usually these will be caused by bacterial infection following trauma to the nail and can be easily treated. But changes to your nails could also signal other diseases such as diabetes or an over or under active thyroid, in which case it is important to always consult with your physician.
Here are 3 nail diseases and disorders that are more common than you think:
1) Nail Paronychia
Nail paronychia is a common infection that affects the skin around the finger or toenail. It is usually caused by trauma or cuts to the skin surrounding the nail that lets bacteria in. Most often it will start from the bottom of the nail and work itself up. Symptoms include swelling, inflammation, abscesses and pain/discomfort. This condition is often categorised into acute or chronic depending on how fast it develops (a matter of days vs weeks). Treatment may involve antibiotics or anti-fungal medication, depending on the severity of the condition. To be on the safe side, always call your Doctor especially if the condition spreads on your finger.
2) Chloronychia or ‘Green Nail Syndrome’
So-called “Green nail syndrome” is a common occurrence especially as we get older. This disease involves a green discoloration of the nail (also including yellow/brown/black hues). It is caused by a pseudomas bacterial infection that can be caught in warm and moist environments. It’s therefore most common for people who regularly expose their hands or toes to water. Treatment can take a little longer than other conditions, the most effective way is to take antibiotics and to apply 2% sodium hypochlorite solution to the nail and to protect the nail using gloves. To get the best treatment, consult with your physician.
3) Nail Fungal Infections
Nail fungus is the most common out of all nail diseases and will affect the majority of us at some point in our lives. Fortunately, this is a disease that is easy to treat. There are many possible causes, but usually it will be a case of microscopic fungi in the nails that overgrow. Symptoms include discoloration, changes to the nail texture and nails that come off the nail bed. Treatments include over the counter anti fungal medications, topical creams and antibiotics. By taking simple steps to care for your finger and toenails, contracting nail fungus can be prevented. You can find out more in this article on nail fungus treatment.
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