The most common cause of nail complaints is nail fungal infection, a rather benign condition in which the nails become thickened, oddly shaped, with debris under the nail fold. If there is no pain or the nail is not lifting from the nail bed, treatment is entirely aesthetic. But other nail defects can underlie more serious illnesses.
Examples of nail changes that you should bring to your doctor or podiatrist:
- Nail pitting – along with skin changes may indicate psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis
- Nail spooning – notably associated with iron deficiency anemia
- White lines across the nail – at least send a photograph to your doctor as it may be indicative of arsenic posioning
- A black or brown stripe from the end of the nail into the cuticle – SEE YOUR DOCTOR as this is a sign of melanoma
- Swelling of the tissue under the nail – indicative of lung disease
- Whitish nails with a pink end – can be a sign for liver disease, heart failure, kidney failure or diabetes
- Grooves across the nail – associated with zinc deficiency, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, scarlet fever, measles, mumps and pneumonia
- Lifting of the nail from the nail bed – can be a sign of psoriasis or thyroid disease
- Yellow nails – respiratory diseases and lymphedema
Each of these signs of disease can be confirmed by additional symptoms. See your doctor to identify any underlying problems if you notice any changes in your body or energy level. Many of these signs are early changes and can help prevent disease progression.
Please visit our website for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with us at our Columbus, Gahanna or Dublin, OH office.