Nail affections affect people of all ages and most often do not have a serious cause for concern, responding well to existing treatment methods.
Dr. Laurenţiu Vlădau, a dermatologist specialist at the Hebra Dermatology Clinic, explained the most common of them, why they appear and how they can be treated.
It's normal for nails to show some changes over time. These can become thicker or more fragile as we grow older; during pregnancy they may become stronger, milder or more severe, but return within 6 months of their birth or, as a result of a trauma, they may change color or even fall, and will increase back within 6 months. Other problems may occur as a result of infections or use of incorrect care techniques. Here are the most common situations and how they can be managed:
Perhaps one of the most common and disturbing problems that arise in the nail, nail bed and nail envelope is the incarnated nail. "In most cases this problem is caused by an incorrect nail cutting technique, which are cut too short and round at the corners. In these cases the nail can grow in the navel bag causing pain, discomfort, repeated infections. Diagnosis is clinical. In mild cases, manually shifting the nail blade to the nail blade manually and cutting the nail in a square shape with loose edges can lead to healing. Otherwise, correction can be done surgically and requires partial removal of the nail and the destruction of a small portion of the nail matrix, "explains Dr. Laurenţiu Vlădău.
Another common problem that may occur in nails is onychomycosis or nail fungus. The discomfort is more common in the toenails, which is favored by moisture and occlusive footwear.
"In the case of onychomycosis, the nail appears detached from the nail bed and shows shedding, or sometimes it is destroyed or yellowed. As the fungal infection becomes deeper, the nail discoloration, thickening and rupture at the corners can also be observed. Treatment can be difficult, and in the first step the nail should be cut short and applied antifungal creams or varnishes. Unfortunately, this type of treatment can be disappointing and many of those affected need oral treatment for 12-16 weeks, "explains the dermatologist.
Loose nails are also common. Often these are the result of frequent use of soaps and frequent washing, handling of detergents, cleaning solutions. Patients suffering from thyroid disease or anemia are more likely to face this problem.
"It is recommended to use mild soaps, frequently hydrating creams, wearing gloves when using detergents and washing solutions. Nails should be cut short. Food supplements for strengthening mints and lakes of the same category can help but clear medical evidence is lacking, "says Dr. Laurenţiu Vlădău.
Verucias or warts on nails are also not rare. They most often appear in the navel and then extend to the nail bed, destroying the nail.
"In such cases, strong hydroxyacids or long-lasting virucidal substances are often needed to address the problem. They can also be treated by the application of liquid nitrogen, but surgical removal under local anesthesia remains one of the most effective treatment methods, "explains the dermatologist.
Children and adolescents are most likely to develop this condition, especially if they get their nails, as well as those with a weakened immune system or those who are atopic dermatitis.