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The 6 Most Common Nail Abnormalities and How to Treat Them

We love to take care of our nails. Manicures, pedicures, and safe and natural nail polish abound. We clip and file them and do whatever it takes to keep them healthy. But what happens when certain conditions or abnormalities appear on our nails? Here’s a list of the most common nail conditions and how they are treated.

1) Beau’s Lines

Beau’s lines are a nail condition that appears as deep indentations that go across the entire nail horizontally. Some experts believe that Beau’s lines are caused by an infection taking place just under the cuticle. This can be due to some sort of trauma and possibly even certain diseases. Since Beau’s lines are usually a sign of an underlying issue, physicians usually focus on the cause rather than the condition itself. Therefore, Beau’s lines don’t require treatment. However, treatment of the underlying cause can help reduce the appearance of Beau’s lines until they eventually fade completely.

2) Nail Clubbing

Nail clubbing is a symptomatic condition and occurs when the tip of the nail expands and eventually curves over the fingertip. Nail clubbing is usually the result of heart and lung conditions like lung cancer, mesothelioma, and chronic hypoxia. It can also be caused by inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, and possibly even AIDS. Like Beau’s lines, there is no treatment for the nail condition. However, it may be reversed if the cause is treated.

3) Koilonychia (Spoon nails)

Koilonychia, popularly known as spoon nails, is a condition in which the nail curves upward along the edges to create a scoop-like depression that could be deep enough to hold a drop of water. Spoon nails are caused by either iron deficiency or the over-consumption of too much iron. It may even be a symptom of heart disease. Treatment for spoon nails is the treatment of the underlying disease.

4) Nail Pitting

Nail pitting is a condition in which the nail plate has pin-prick depressions. It is most often a symptom of psoriasis that is accompanied by other psoriasis symptoms like red, itchy, dry or cracked skin and swollen joints. Treatment for nail pitting is no easy task. Unlike the other nail conditions, the cause of nail pitting, psoriasis, has no cure. Therefore, pitting needs to be treated specifically. Corticosteroid injections may be the first choice in treatment and must be injected directly into the nail bed. Phototherapy is another treatment option as well as immunosuppressant medications as typically prescribed in treatment or psoriasis symptoms.

5) Terry’s Nails

Terry’s nails are a condition that causes the nails to appear bright white with the exception of a thin strip toward the tip of the nail. This condition is often a sign of serious organ failure like liver failure, kidney failure, and congestive heart failure. There is no treatment for Terry’s nails as it will eventually disappear with the improvement of the underlying disease.

6) Leukonychia

Leukonychia, commonly known as milk spots, is a typically harmless condition in which a white spot appears on the nail. It is usually caused by minor injury to the nail including nail-biting during its growth. There is no treatment needed as it will eventually go away on its own. There are some severe causes of white spots and hint at a hidden disease, though it’s rare.

If you believe that you may have any of these nail abnormalities and you are in Cincinnati, Ohio or a surrounding city, our experts at The Dermatology Group can help. With advice, resources, and treatment, we are here to help. Give us a call today.

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