Nails are often mistaken for parts of the body that are not likely to be affected by disease. But the reality is not the case. Some nail diseases can even be symptoms of a serious illness.
As you age, your nails will become more easily brittle. These natural changes are generally harmless and do not need special handling. But there are certain changes that turn out to indicate more serious conditions.
Common Diseases of the Nail
Below are the two most common nail diseases:
Ingrown toenails or ingrown toenails
- Inappropriate nail trimming such as cutting too deep or not using nail clippers.
- Often wear shoes that are too small, so that the tips of the toes are pressing against each other.
- Repeated injuries to the toe due to daily activities.
- Heredity factors where nails tend to grow into flesh.
Fungal-infected nails (Onychomycosis)
Under normal circumstances, toenails and hands grow straight. However, there are times when the edge of a nail grows into the flesh and injures the soft tissue. This can cause swelling, pain, and redness. Cutaneous is the most common nail disorder and the big toe is the most commonly affected.
What are the causes of this ingrown toenail?
If you have an infection caused by ingrown toenails, one way to deal with it is to soak your feet in warm water mixed with vinegar or Epsom salt (British salt), then put on a band-aid and antiseptic in the affected area. Lie with your feet higher, to reduce swelling. Avoid trimming the tip of the nail unless you can see the tip of the nail easily. You may need to see a doctor for more appropriate treatment.
While in people with diabetes or leg vein disorders, you should not treat this disorder yourself and see a doctor immediately.
Generally the doctor will cut the part of the nail that goes inside and prescribe an ointment or oral medication to deal with the infection. If the condition repeats itself, the doctor will apply a procedure to cut the edge of the nail along with some of the nail meat, so that it does not happen again.
This nail disease is characterized by changes in the color of the toenails which will get worse over time, resulting in nails becoming dull and looking bad. This condition is caused by a yeast infection under the nails, which makes the toenails darker in color and smells bad. If left unchecked, the infection can spread to the skin to the entire finger.
Many people with nail fungus infections leave it untreated, because it doesn’t cause pain for years. Although this infection does not cause direct pain, this infection can cause the nails to thicken so it is difficult to cut, and cause foot pain when wearing shoes.
Nail fungus infections often occur in public places, where people often walk barefoot, such as swimming pools and bathrooms, especially when there are injuries to the nails. Patients with certain diseases such as diabetes, immune disorders, and vascular disease are also more at risk of this nail disease.
Nail Disease as a Symptoms of Serious Disease
In addition to diseases that specifically attack the nails, some changes to the nails can be a sign of other diseases. Here are some nail diseases that can be symptoms of serious illness.
Yellow Nail Syndrome
This condition causes the nails to become thicker and not grow as fast as usual. In some cases, the nails may lack cuticles and may even come off the fingers. This condition can be caused by the malignancy of organs in the body, swollen lymph nodes, rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory disorders such as sinusitis and chronic bronchitis, as well as the presence of fluid between the lung sheaths (pleural effusion).
The condition when the finger nails harden and round around the tip of the finger, so it resembles a stick. This disease can generally occur due to low levels of oxygen in the blood for a long time, which is usually associated with conditions such as heart problems, liver or lung, and inflammatory bowel disease and HIV / AIDS.
This condition is characterized by the presence of transverse white lines on the nails, which are generally a sign of arsenic poisoning. To be sure, the doctor will usually take a sample of hair or other body tissue for examination.
It is a condition when the nails become curved outwards to form like a spoon. Nail disease can be a symptom of several other diseases such as: heart problems, lupus, iron deficiency anemia, and hypothyroidism.
Irregular white lines or dots on the nails that are generally caused by collisions. This is not dangerous.
Angled nails are generally found in people with psoriasis. Psoriasis is a disease that causes the skin to become dry, red, and irritated.
This nail disease occurs when the tips of each nail turn dark. Apart from aging, this condition can be caused by certain diseases, such as liver disorders, diabetes, and heart disease.
Experiencing one of the above nail disease does not necessarily indicate that you must have a serious illness. However, it’s good to see a doctor if there are changes in color, shape, or thickness of the nail. Beware if the nails become brittle or hollow, bleeding, swelling, pain around the nails; or nails that are detached from the skin.
Maintaining Nail Health
Meanwhile, to maintain nail health, there are many things that can be done, such as:
- Avoid biting or pulling the tip of the nail without nail clippers.
- Regularly cut nails and maintain nail cleanliness.
- Use sharp nail clippers. It is recommended to cut the nails after bathing, when the nails are soft.
- If your nails are fragile, avoid lengthening your nails. Apply lotion to your nails to keep it moist.
- For toenails, regularly wash your feet with soap and dry them. As much as possible wear footwear when outside the home. In addition, keep your footwear clean, including socks, and change regularly.
As one of the most visible parts of the body, it’s a good idea to spend some time alone caring for nail hygiene and health. Aside from beautifying yourself, this treatment is useful to protect yourself from the risk of nail disease.