Mar 18 2017

Treatment Options for Nail Disorders and Abnormalities

Treatment for Nail Disorders - Mystic, CT

A woman smiling with her hands by her faceWe can often take our fingernails and toenails for granted when it comes to overall appearance, especially our toenails. Yet we tend to notice them most when they haven't been cut or there's something noticeably wrong with them. The team at our Mystic cosmetic and medical dermatology practice have plenty of experience addressing nail disorders and abnormalities of different kinds.

We'd like to look at some of the most common nail problems people experience and then go over some treatment options for these conditions.

Fungal Nail Infections (Onychomycosis)

Nearly one-half of nail disorders are related to fungal infections of the nails. The unsightly infection tends to originate around the growing portion of the nail, eventually spreading to the finger and the nail bed. We can work with patients to promote better hygiene and suggest at-home remedies. In the case of serious infections, part of the nail may need to be professionally removed.

Bacterial Nail Infections (Paronychia)

Bacterial nail infections involve inflammation of part of the finger that spreads to the nail plate and often occur when a person's hands are often exposed to moisture. These kinds of infections can also be caused by the herpes virus, and can be complicated by a concurrent fungal infection. To address these issues, a cosmetic dermatologist may puncture and drain the infected area and prescribe topical medications or antibiotics.

Beau's Lines

Beau's lines are the proper name for those horizontal lines that form along the nail and interrupt the smooth surface. The Beau's lines tend to be paler in color than the rest of the nail and are often the result of trauma or infection of the nail. Beau's lines will typically resolve on their own as a nail grows, though recurring Beau's lines ought to be checked out by a professional. They could be signs of a serious nail disorder or a systemic condition.

Issues from Other Skin Problems

Skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and so forth can result in problems that affect the fingernails and toenails. Should this occur, the ideal treatment for the condition will typically involve addressing the root skin condition why trying to offer relief for the nails.

Nail Lifting (Onycholysis)

Nail lifting refers to the separation of the nail from the nail bed. When this occurs, the nail itself will appear paler since it is not connected to the nail bed. With an increased amount of space, the risk for infection and other serious problems increases. Since nail lifting is linked to other skin conditions, your cosmetic dermatologist will often attempt to treat the root cause of the problem to address this issue.

Nail Splitting (Onychoschizia and Onychorrhexis)

Nail splitting involves splits in the fingernails or toenails. Horizontal splits are referred to as onychoschizia while vertical/lengthwise splits are referred to as onychorrhexis. While this can occur due to physical trauma, the condition may also be the result of brittle nails that are the result of various systemic conditions such as glandular diseases, tuberculosis, and malnutrition. Professional treatments tend to involve addressing the root cause and the use of medications to improve nail strength.

Pitted Nails

When nails have small depressions in them as if punctures with tiny picks, this can be quite off-putting. For many people who suffer from psoriasis or connective tissue disorders, this pitting of the nails is a sign of the condition. To remedy pitted nails, cosmetic dermatologists should consider addressing the patient's underlying medical problem as the root cause.

Contact Coastal Dermatology

For more information about addressing nail disorders and how we can help you look your very best, be sure to contact our advanced cosmetic dermatology center today. The team at Coastal Dermatology will develop a skin care treatment plan tailored just for you.

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Coastal Dermatology: Daniella Duke, MD

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