Nail Abnormalities

Learn More About Nail Abnormalities

Our nails play an interesting role in our day-to-day lives. We use them more often than we think, even though most of us think of them as decorative at best. We probably pay the most attention to them when they’re being unsightly, and this is good as they may have a lot to say. In addition to opening cans, scratching pets and being decorative, they’re also capable of telling us some things about our health. Unsightly nail abnormalities can indicate a mineral deficiency, the presence of dangerous elements or illness. Dr. Bolante and the team at Parasol Dermatology are here to help interpret what these abnormalities mean and how to address them.

Understanding Nail Abnormalities and How We Can Help

First, let’s talk a little about your fingernail. Your fingernails are formed of the same material as your hair, keratin. They grow from a hidden matrix that lay beneath your cuticle. Your cuticle is the fleshy covering where your nail meets the skin of your finger. The lunula is the pale half-moon shape between your cuticle and your nail plate (the rest of your nail). The nail bed supports the entire nail, and the nail folds at the three remaining edges.

These are some nail health concerns that we see here at Parasol Dermatology. These include:

  • Beau’s lines: When depressions form across your nail, they are called Beau’s lines. They often appear due to illness, nail injury, poor nutrition or chemotherapy.
  • Brittle nails: Many people will discover their nails getting brittle as they get older. Brittle nails can also occur due to various diseases and conditions.
  • Koilonychia: When the nail edges are thin and curved inward, it’s known as koilonychia. This is a disorder commonly associated with iron deficiency anemia.
  • Leukonychia: This is when white spots or streaks form in the nail.
  • Pitting: Pitting is when small depressions form across the nail’s surface or when the nail is crumbling. This can be severe enough that the nail loosens and falls off.
  • Ridges: These are thin raised lines that appear from cuticle to tip or across the nail.

These are just symptoms of an underlying concern, however. These symptoms can be brought on by an injury, such as crushing the nail bed or base. Persistently rubbing or picking the skin near the base of the nail can result in median nail dystrophy. This can make the nail appear ridged or split. Moisture exposure or extended wear of nail polish can result in the nails becoming brittle and peeling. Viruses, bacteria and fungus can all affect the nail’s appearance as well.

Come See Us For Your Nail Health Needs

If you’ve noticed abnormalities in your nails and want to get them healthy and beautiful again, call us today. Many people don’t know that nails are an aspect of care handled by a dermatologist. Dr. Bolante provides nail health support and dermatological care, so call today!