Fingernail Disorders can be very unsightly. Nowadays, nails are considered to be of importance especially in relation to fashion since it is where you put your nail colors to you love or to match your favorite dress. But do you know that your fingernails can tell a lot about your health?
Firstly, let’s tackle a little about your nail first and its purpose.
Your fingernail is made up of a protein called “keratin” and it covers the outer part of the fingers. The main purpose of your fingernails is for protection.
Typically, a fingernail consists of:
- Nail matrix
- It is responsible in the production of cells to make a nail plate.
- Lunula (the whitish, half moon shape on the thumb), is the only visible part of the matrix.
- Nail Plate
- the tough but flexible part of the fingernail
- Nail Bed
- refers to the skin underneath the plate that contains living tissues
However, there are also disorders affecting your fingernails. And it’s not only one but quite numerous. Some are common and some are unusual. So, check out if you or someone you know has one:
Disorders of the Fingernails:
- Nail Pitting
- Commonly seen in people suffering from psoriasis, nail pitting is characterized with small depressions in the fingernails. The presence of the said disorder can be related to Reiter’s syndrome and alopecia.
- Nail Clubbing
- Yellow Nail
- Terry’s Nail
- Red Lunula
- Lindsay’s nails
- Beau’s lines
- Muehrcke’s Nails
- Splinter hemorrhages
- nails peeling from nail bed
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- onychomadesis nail disease
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- Associated with CVD, AIDS, diseases related to the liver, IBD as well as types of lung problems and decrease blood oxygenation, clubbing of the nails is detected when fingertips are enlarge and curving of the nails around it occurs.
- A yellowish discoloration of the fingernails caused by thickening of the nails and decrease progression of growth. It can be associated with lymphedema or chronic respiratory diseases.
- The presence of a pinkish discoloration/dark at the tip of the nails while other areas of the nail plate are uniformly white. This type of disorder is mostly associated with liver diseases.
- The supposedly whitish, crescent shaped is turned red. And such manifestation is mostly related to collagen vascular diseases and alopecia areata. Also, it can be seen people with COPD, psoriasis and cardiac failure among others.
- Also know as Half and Half nails. Typically, the nail plate remains normal but the nail beds are white while the distal part is pink. This is because of the edema that is affecting the network of capillaries in the nails. It can be seen in people suffering from HIV and renal disease with association of azotemia.
- Nail plate is proximally separated from the nail bed commonly caused by trauma to the fingernails. However, drug allergies and poor nutrition can also be a cause of onychomadesis. And its presence can also be associated with Kawasaki disease and pemphigus vulgaris.
- Nail plates are depressed crosswise due to temporary stop on the growth which can be caused by trauma, drug sensitivity, and poor nutrition as well high fever.
- Parallel to the lunula, transverse whitish bands in pairs that cover across the whole nail can be noted. It is one of uncommon disorders of the fingernails. Patients with liver disease, nephrotic syndrome, glomerulonephritis and hypoalnuminemia may have the said fingernail disorder. So does patients who have been in chemotherapy and suffering from malnutrition and Peutz – Jeghers syndrome.
- Blood escapes to surrounding tissues from the nail bed’s longitudinal vessels causing the formation of nail plate-dermis and it commonly seen in geriatric patients. It is caused by trauma, psoriasis and infection by fungus. It can also be associated with bacterial encocarditis, mitral stenosis, vasculitis, cirrhosis, scurvy and Darier’s disease. But, it is not considered as a single sign alone. It should be come with other signs and symptoms before a systemic disease is concluded.
Usually, a systemic disease affects more than 1 or if not, all of the fingernails and it has been discovered that fingernails are more accurate in providing health data rather than the toes. You see, toes are more prone to traumatic activities than the fingers.
You see, fingernails can do a lot in your overall health status. It’s not just for coloring, polishing and styling but it has its vital function in your body. Since fingernails can tell a lot about your health, checking out your nails daily can save your life. Also, don’t forget properly take care of your fingernails and report unusually observations.