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This New Year Take Care Of Your Nails And Protect Them From Diseases

Nail diseases and disorders are more common than you would think. Our body acts as a host to numerous microorganisms. While some of these are beneficial, most of them can cause diseases. The best way to prevent these diseases is by nipping them in the bud; that is, by treating the harmful bacteria and fungi before it causes some major harm.

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If, however, your nail disease or disorder has already reached an advanced stage, then precautionary and preventive measures will not come in handy. You will have to seek proper medical advice for your physician or a dermatologist.

In today’s post, we offer you a list of the most common nail disorders and diseases, their symptoms, causes, and ways in which you can treat the conditions.

Suggested read: The Latest Nail Art Trends Of 2018 So You Can Sit With The Cool Kids

Most common nail diseases and disorders

1. Paronychia infection

Paronychia infection_New_Love_Times

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The paronychia infection occurs at the nail folds, and is caused by bacteria, fungi as well as some viruses. The nail folds, both the proximal and the lateral folds, serve as a barrier between our nail plates and the tissue surrounding it. When a break occurs in the folds, microorganisms can easily enter and cause paronychia infection.

The symptoms of paronychia infection include,

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

People who need to use water or have their hands in water for long periods of time, run the risk of developing this infection. Be cautious, this condition is highly contagious.

2. Pseudomonas bacterial infection

When pseudomonas bacterium is trapped between our nail plate and the nail bed, we develop the pseudomonas bacterial infection or “the Greenies”. The green color is a by-product of the infection and is primarily caused by iron compounds.

The pseudomonas bacteria thrive in damp and moist places. Dead tissues of the nail plate are food to these bacteria.

The symptoms of the pseudomonas bacterial infection include,

  • Discoloration of the nail
  • Softening of the nail plate
  • Softening of the nail bed

3. Tinea Unguis or “Ring Worm of the Nails”

Tinea Unguis_New_Love_Times

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The symptoms of tinea unguis include,

  • scaling under the nail, also known as subungual hyperkeratosis
  • white or yellow streaks on the nail, medically the condition is called lateral onychomycosis
  • a crumbling corner or tip of the nail, medically the condition is called distal onychomycosis
  • flaking white areas on the nail’s surface, which may include pits in the nail
  • the appearance of yellow spots at the bottom of the nail, medically the condition is called proximal onychomycosis
  • loss of the nail

The risk factors include,

  • People who have diabetes
  • People who have a disease that causes poor circulation
  • People who are over age 65
  • People who wear artificial nails
  • People who swim in a public swimming pool
  • People who have a nail injury
  • People who have a skin injury around the nail
  • People who have moist fingers or toes for an extended time
  • People who have a weakened immune system
  • People who wear closed-toe shoes, such as tennis shoes or boots

4. Onychatrophia or nail atrophy

The causes of nail atrophy include,

  • Skin diseases
  • Bacterial nail infection
  • Psoriasis
  • Lichen planus
  • Epidermolysisbullosadystrophica
  • Fungal nail infection

The symptoms of nail atrophy include,

  • Discoloration
  • Nail detachment
  • Shrinkage of the nail
  • Formation of pus
  • Distorted shape of the nail

5. Ingrown toenail

The most common causes associated with ingrown toenails are,

  • Wearing shoes that crowd your toenails
  • Cutting your toenails too short or not straight across
  • Injuring your toenail
  • Having unusually curved toenails

The symptoms of ingrown toenail include,

  • Pain and tenderness in your toe along one or both sides of the nail
  • Redness around your toenail
  • Swelling of your toe around the nail
  • Infection of the tissue around your toenail

The best way to prevent this condition is by clipping your toenails straight across and not in a curve to match the shape of your toe. Also, wear shoes that fit you properly to ensure you don’t develop this painful nail condition.

6. Fungal infections of the nail

pitting nails_New_Love_Times

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Here are some common symptoms linked with fungal infections of the nail,

  • Thickened
  • Whitish to yellow-brown discoloration
  • Brittle, crumbly or ragged
  • Distorted in shape
  • A dark color, caused by debris building up under your nail
  • Smelling slightly foul

According to the Mayo Clinic, the risk factors of these infections are,

  • Being older, owing to reduced blood flow, more years of exposure to fungi and slower growing nails
  • Sweating heavily
  • Having a history of athlete’s foot
  • Walking barefoot in damp communal areas, such as swimming pools, gyms and shower rooms
  • Having a minor skin or nail injury or a skin condition, such as psoriasis
  • Having diabetes, circulation problems or a weakened immune system

Suggested read: How To Wear Mirror Nail Polish Like A Boss

7. Psoriasis of nail

According to Medical News Today,

“The condition starts beneath the skin, although it tends to be seen as a skin condition.

Normal functioning skin cells reproduce every 28 to 30 days. In a person who has plaque psoriasis, an overactive immune system causes the skin cells to reproduce every 3 to 4 days. As a result, the visible skin appears thick and red, and it feels itchy.

Nail psoriasis often occurs with psoriasis because nails are part of the skin. They grow from the nail root, which is under the cuticle. The psoriasis forms in the nail root.”

You should consult a doctor in case,

  • It causes you discomfort
  • It causes you pain
  • It makes it difficult for you to carry out your normal routine
  • It makes your nails look unpresentable
  • It causes joint problems
  • It swells

8. Brittle nails

home remedies for brittle nails_New_Love_Times

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Weak nails are more likely to crack and become brittle. They get chipped, and therefore, look very ugly. The three common factors that contribute to brittle nails are aging, frequent exposure of the nails to water, and long-term use of nail polish and lacquers.

Certain diseases also cause brittle nails. Most common of these include, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, lichen planus, alopecia areata, anemia, fungal infection, psoriasis, lung conditions, and disorders in the endocrine.

Frequent use of astringent, nail polish removers, dehydration, nutritional deficiencies and an extreme cold and dry environment can also cause brittle nails. Traumas and shocks can also result in nails cracking and becoming weak.

Other health conditions that might have brittle nails as a primary symptom are hepatitis, jaundice, lupus or heart disease.

9. Onychorrhexis

Onychorrhexis is a vertical split in the nail plate that can be caused by

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Bulimia
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Anemia
  • Nail polishes
  • Nail polish removers
  • Psoriasis
  • Cold exposure
  • Trauma
  • Malnutrition

If you develop onychorrhexis, then your nails will break easily since the keratin layers break down. Your nails might also peel back in layers, especially toward the cuticles. As a result of onychorrhexis, your nails might develop ridges that run from the cuticle to your nail edge. Your nails might also split.

To prevent nail diseases and disorders, there are a few precautionary steps that you can take.

Make sure you always wear gloves, especially when you are handling soaps or detergents. Also wear gloves while using harsh chemicals. If you hand-wash your clothes, then be sure to wear a pair of plastic gloves. This will help you avoid long period of exposure to water, which as you now know can cause a number of infections, fungal and bacterial.

Keep the nails short. This will provide lesser surface area to the water and chemicals, and thus, less of them will be absorbed by the nails. Use biotin to improve nail health and growth. Nails usually replace themselves in six months’ time, and so it is advised by experts that you take biotin supplements at least for four months to see if it works. It is also advised that you visit a doctor and get the right dosage for you, instead of self-medicating.

Stay away from alcohol-based hand sanitizers always. These harsh sanitizers are drying. Instead of these, go for a moisturizing soap which not only cleanses your hands, but also helps soften it at the same time.

Suggested read: The All-Round Guide For Choosing The Best Nail Strengthener

That is all we have on nail infections and disorders. Did you find this guide helpful? Which of these remedies will you be trying out to strengthen your nails? Do you have any remedies that you would like to share with us? I know, so many questions! Well, that’s because we love hearing from you! The comments section is all yours!

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Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License 

Article Name
9 Most Common Nail Diseases And Disorders
In today’s post, we offer you a list of the most common nail diseases and disorders, their symptoms, causes, and ways in which you can treat the conditions.
Ruth Russell

Ruth Russell

‘To be or not to be’ if that’s the question, I would always want to be who I am – a lover, who binges on ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ every Christmas; that is, if she decides not to wallow in bed with ‘Wuthering Heights’! The other thing that I absolutely love is weddings! Well, who doesn’t like being in a room full of love stories, eh?!