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What are Nail Diseases? How to recognize them?


Nails are considered an indicator of our health and can be influenced by many factors. Healthy nails are usually the result of a balanced lifestyle and diet. However, various problems can occur in the nails for various reasons. Nail diseases include various disorders of the nail plate, the surrounding skin tissues and the nail bed. Any changes in the nails can give important clues about the general state of health. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a health care professional when any changes are noticed. Changes in the nails may indicate various dermatological disorders. Changes in the shape, color or surface of the nails should be taken into consideration. Nail care is part of personal hygiene and is important to maintain the nail health of our hands and feet, which spend most of the day in closed shoes. Problems with the toenails in particular can be symptoms of other underlying diseases. Diabetes, neurological and rheumatic diseases can often show symptoms on the feet. Many skin diseases such as eczema, calluses, fungus and psoriasis can also cause nail problems.


What are the Symptoms of Nail Diseases?


Some changes in the nails can be a sign of serious medical conditions. If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your doctor immediately: Color Changes: Yellowing, white spots, dark streaks or discoloration of the nails. Shape Changes: Nails may have abnormal shape changes such as curling, bending, collapsing or bunching. Thickness Changes: Abnormal thickening or thinning of the nails may occur. Fragility: Nails may break or split easily. Flaking or Flaking: Flaking or flaking may occur on the nail surface. Pain or Discomfort: Pain, tenderness or discomfort may be felt around the nail. Changes in the Nail Bed: Swelling, redness or other abnormal changes in the nail bed may occur. Signs of Infection: There may be signs of infection around the nail, such as inflammation, abscess formation, foul odor or discharge.

What are the Common Nail Diseases?

Nail Fungus Nail fungus, which develops in hot and humid environments, is a common nail disease. Nails with fungal infections usually appear distorted, white, yellow or brown in color. Nail fungus (Tinea Unguium) is especially common in people with weak immune systems and diabetes. A nail fungal infection can cause the nail to detach from the nail bed. Fungal infections can often be transmitted in public areas such as swimming pools, saunas, gyms and changing rooms. If a family member has nail fungus, it can easily spread to other family members. The most common treatment for nail fungus is medication, but your doctor may also recommend laser treatment if necessary. Club Toe Club toe occurs when the skin around the nail becomes swollen and raised, usually due to a problem in the nail bed. Clubbing can occur as a result of inflammation or trauma to the nail bed. Clubbing is associated with increased pressure in the nail bed and is often characterized by swelling and tenderness at the corner of the nail. Clubbing is characterized by an increase in the curvature of the nail and thickening or enlargement of the surrounding soft tissue.

The nail takes on an hour-glass-like shape and becomes more prominent than usual. Causes of clubbing are usually associated with chronic lung diseases, but it can also occur in other systemic diseases such as heart, liver or thyroid. If clubbing occurs on the hands and feet at the same time, this should suggest congenital heart disease. However, unilateral clubbing can be a sign of neurological or vascular diseases. Therefore, it is important for people with symptoms of clubbing to consult a healthcare professional. Spoon Nail (Koilonychia) Spoon finger is characterized by a spoon-shaped nail plate. It has the opposite appearance of the clubbing nail deformity. This condition is especially common in the big toe nail in children and usually returns to normal spontaneously within a few years. However, in adults, the thumbs are the most commonly affected areas. Causes of spoon nails include iron deficiency anemia, fungal infections, diabetes, lupus and thyroid diseases. Occupational contact with mineral oils or perm solutions used in hairdressers are also causes of this condition. Nail psoriasis Nail psoriasis is a condition caused by psoriasis. Psoriasis develops as a result of the body's immune system malfunctioning and skin cells are produced faster than normal. This rapid cell production leads to the formation of red and scaly lesions on the skin. Nail psoriasis is a nail disease that becomes evident on the nails as a result of this process. Symptoms of nail psoriasis include pinhead-like punctate pits on the nail surface, thickening and emptying of the nail. The nails take on a yellowish and oily appearance. Medication is usually recommended for the treatment of nail psoriasis and ointments and creams are applied depending on the diagnosis. Nail Eczema Nail eczema can cause discoloration and thickening of the nails. It is important to be examined by a specialist dermatologist for a correct diagnosis. Special eczema medications, special soaps and moisturizers can be used to treat nail eczema. ​

Ingrown Nail

Ingrown toenails are often caused by incorrect nail cutting. Nail cutting should be done on the surface, not in depth. The cut should be straight, not curved. The most important step in the treatment of ingrown toenails is to cut the nail correctly. Wearing shoes with narrow and pointed toes, cutting the nails too short and improper pedicure practices can also be the causes of ingrown nails. If the lateral edges of the nail sink into the skin, redness may occur around it. Persistent ingrown toenails can lead to infections and cause pain when walking. Any active infection should be treated before treating an ingrown toenail. ​ In mild cases of ingrown toenails, surgical intervention is usually not necessary. Treatment focuses on curing the infection. It can be treated with antibiotics and drainage if an abscess has formed. Rapid relief can be achieved with tape or wire treatment. However, if the ingrown nail is advanced, surgical intervention may be necessary. In this case, the tissue around the edge of the nail may need to be removed and sometimes part of the nail may need to be removed. Entanglement (paronychia) Paronychia, or entanglement, is a condition caused by an infection in the skin around the nails or in the nail bed. This infection is usually caused by nail biting, manicures or trauma to the nail bed. Ingrown nails are usually characterized by pain and swelling and are triggered by bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus. When the infection progresses, an abscess can develop and cause severe pain. Symptoms of an ingrown toe include swelling, skin discoloration and changes in the shape and texture of the nail. ​ Paronychia can occur at any age and in any type of person. Acute paronychia is usually caused by bacteria in people who have a habit of biting their nails or after improper manicures. Chronic paronychia, on the other hand, is more common in certain professions or in people who are involved in cleaning. The treatment of entanglement depends on whether the infection is acute or chronic. In the case of acute entanglement, antibiotics and, if necessary, drainage are applied to the infected area. In the case of chronic paronychia, the causes of the infection are first addressed and appropriate treatment is planned. During the treatment process, it is important to pay attention to the hygiene and care of the nails. Surgical intervention may be considered in advanced cases and in cases that do not respond to treatment. Lichen Lichen is a skin disease like eczema and can cause thinning of the nails and the formation of longitudinal lines. There may also be a wing-like growth of tissue from the base to the top of the nail. Diagnosis is made after examining the symptoms and making a differential diagnosis. A customized treatment plan is then created depending on the individual's needs and condition. This treatment plan may vary depending on the severity, prevalence and other factors. ​



In Nail Pincer Nail disease, there is an increased tendency for the nail to become more transverse and this tendency becomes more pronounced as it moves towards the tip of the nail. At the tip, the edges of the nail become embedded in soft tissue, creating a pincer-shaped appearance. Clinically, pincer nail is a very painful nail disorder and can make daily activities such as cutting nails and wearing shoes difficult. Several factors can cause pincer nail, including psoriasis, soft tissue tumors, bone tumors and beta-blocker medications. It can also cause recurrent infections.​


Nail Breakage


Nail breakage is a common problem that manifests itself when healthy nails lose their characteristics. Factors such as physical trauma, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, psoriasis can cause nail breakage. Aging can increase the risk of breakage as nails become thinner. Using appropriate products for nail care can strengthen nails. It is also important to cut and moisturize nails regularly. Psoriasis can cause symptoms such as white spots or thickening of the nails. Anemia can also lead to nail breakage, in which case iron supplements may be needed. Thyroid problems can cause symptoms such as thinning nails and nail breakage. Fungal infections can also weaken nails and may require various treatments. Biotin deficiency can also be one of the causes of nail breakage. In this case, taking biotin supplements or paying attention to diet may be helpful. ​ To prevent nail breakage, it is important not to leave nails damp and to cut and protect them properly. It can also be helpful to wear gloves and use strengthening care products.

Nail Wart Nail warts, which occur on the edges and under the nail, are one of the nail problems that require long and patient treatment. It is important to use the medications recommended by the doctor regularly during the nail wart treatment process. One of the most preferred methods in the treatment of nail warts is cryotherapy. In this process, warts are frozen with liquid nitrogen and healing is provided. Drug-related nail anomalies are also common. They may manifest themselves with symptoms such as streaking, thickening, detachment from the bed, soft tissue redness and bleeding. Some cancer drugs and blood thinners can also cause nail warts. When faced with symptoms of nail warts, it is important to consult a doctor and receive appropriate treatment.

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