Nail Care 

The Importance of Nail Care

Nails aren’t just for painting to look pretty. They are functional as they protect the fingertips but also any issues with finger or toenails can be an indicator of an underlying health condition.

Common Nail Problems:

• Lack of growth

• Brittleness or hardness (onychoschizia)

• Softness or weakness

• Peeling

• Ridges

• Discolouration

• Black lines

• White spots

• No lunular (half-moon at base of nail)

• Fungal infection (onychomycosis)

Any of these can be due to an internal issue or otherwise the treatment to which you subject your hands and feet.

Fingernails and toenails need to be looked after as much as any other part of the body. They are easy to injure and will react to external factors and internal problems.

Common Causes of Nail Problems

• Hyperthyroidism

• Iron or other mineral deficiency

• B vitamin deficiency

• Diabetes

• Nail melanoma

• Fungal infection

• Malnutrition

• Anaemia

• Allergic reaction

• Psoriasis

• Lichen planus

• Poor diet

As you can see, there’s quite a range of issues associated with fingernail and toenail health. Some can be cured by over-the-counter preparations or a change of care routine. Supplements like biotin may also improve nail health. Sometimes, however, the problem needs expert attention.

Nail Care

In the medical profession, nail health is the province of dermatologists.

Healthy nails are smooth without discolouration so if you have any of the issues outlined above, contact a specialist dermatologist. A course of treatment will be advised after the cause has been established. Diagnosis may require a blood test or a fungal culture.

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