Common Nail Problems - by Editor

Are your nails perfectly healthy? Read on to learn about some of the common nail disorders that affect people.

Your nails are not just present for cosmetic purposes. They serve an important function of protecting the delicate tips of your fingers. Therefore, having healthy nails is not only aesthetic, but also beneficial for your hands as well. Nails are subjected to a lot of wear and tear on a daily basis. Daily activities such as washing clothes and utensils tend to strip away the protective cover of your nails. This leaves the delicate nails exposed to the elements.
Nail problems usually do not appear instantly. They build up over time before they are actually noticed by the individual. Although many disorders are due to external factors, some problems may be a result of internal conditions or as a side effect of illness. Here are some of the most commonly encountered nail problems.

Discoloured Nails

This is one of the most recognisable nail problems. At some point or the other, everyone experiences this disorder. 'Discoloured' is a term given to nails that have lost their original colour. These nails may turn yellow, blue, red, green, or purple. The discolouration may be present in only part of the nail or it may be seen in the entire nail.
Discolouration of nails can occur for a variety of reasons. The most common cause is poor blood circulation. This is synonymous with heart problems, hence, people with a heart condition will often display nail discolouration. Poor blood circulation is also related to trauma. This happens when blood gets trapped between the layers of the nail, for example if the nail is caught between drawers.
For nail discolouration caused due to trauma, the discolouration grows out along with the nail. In other cases, discolouration needs to be examined, and the underlying cause determined. If discolouration is a side effect of medication, your doctor may suggest withdrawal of the medicines for a while. Physically, discolouration may be covered up by applying nail polish or using artificial nails.

Eggshell Nails

In this condition, the nails become so fragile that even slight pressure exerted on them causes damage. The nails themselves are extremely thin and fragile, which gives them their name. As the nails grow, they tend to curve over the tip of the finger, rather than grow straight ahead. This makes them more susceptible to breakage.
Eggshell nails are usually caused by a combination of stress and poor diet. This deprives the nails of their necessary vitamins and minerals. In some cases, fragile nails may be caused due to prescribed medication, which affects the supply of nutrients to the nail. Eggshell nails are usually dealt with by trimming them on a regular basis. This keeps the nails short and prevents them from growing over the fingers. Simultaneously, a change in diet or medication will also be required. This is to bring the nails back to their original healthy state.

Ingrown Nails

This condition mostly affects toenails. Ingrown nails are those that grow into the sides of the skin surrounding the nail. Thus, the nail grows sideways instead of forwards. Ingrown nails are usually caused due to improper nail-cutting and filing techniques. It may also occur due to the usage of improper footwear, which presses the nail into the foot. A third cause is due to injury to the foot, around the nail region.
Most cases of ingrown nails involve the big toe on either foot. Other nails may also be affected but this is not as common. If an ingrown nail is not treated in the early stages, it leads to more problems later on. An untreated nail continues to grow deeper into the skin, causing intense pain and suffering. Treatment of this condition is by removing the ingrown nail. In the early stages, the ingrown nail may be removed by a pedicure at a beauty parlour. If the nail has grown too deep, then it can only be extracted through surgery.

Nail problems are very common and affect most people at some point in their life. If left untreated, most problems can have painful consequences. It is important to recognise the early signs of these problems so that you can seek the appropriate treatment options.

Do you have a daily care regime for your nails? Have you ever suffered from any nail problems? Were you able to detect the disorder in its early stages? To share your tips, views, and experiences, click here.



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Comments on Article

Name: Varsha
City:   Mumbai
Comments:   I have personally suffered from ingrown toenails. When it first started, I did not really bother about it and thought that it would go away. However, it only started to get worse. When it became difficult to walk, I decided to go to the parlour. Luckily, they were able to remove the piece that had grown in.
Name: Kirti
City:   Lucknow
Comments:   I have always had some nail problems or the other. My mother told me it was because of always wearing nail polish. She said that the polish does not allow the nails to breathe. That is why my nails are very weak and are always chipping. Can someone tell me if this is true?
Name: Shivani
City:   Banglore
Comments:   I know all about discoloured nails. My son has had the misfortune to get his fingers stuck between doors and drawers on a regular basis. After he has one of his accidents, the nail which got caught develops a red and then dark blue patch on it. This patch then grows out along with the nail and is finally cut off.
Name: friend
City:   xxxxx
Comments:   hi ...... my problem is thst my nails doesnt grow..ie nail growth is less .. i had an habit of biting my nails but now i stopped.. i want my nails to grow atleast little..plz..help me
Name: AYYASAMY
City:   DEIRA DUBAI
Comments:   PLS ME ALL ITM PIRCES
Name: Gudi
City:   Noida
Comments:   My leg nails are totally in yellow color, i thought this was bcoz i had been applyin nail polish continuosly but for the last 23 mnth, i hve stopped putting nail polish, still my nail are yellow, pls tell me something, wat shud i do? how to improve my nail structure, it is very embarassing to show dem
Name: sejal
City:   aaa
Comments:   hi ...... my problem is thst my nails doesnt grow..ie nail growth is less .. i had an habit of biting my nails but now i stopped.. i want my nails to grow atleast little..plz..help me
Name: xxxx
City:   xxxx
Comments:   i hv send question but until today i nvr get any feet back fm u????
Name: samiha
City:   xxxx
Comments:   I hv very week nails.I never get 2 grow my nails longer.It´s growth is low aswell.I want 2 hv long n strong nails. Any suggetions?
Name: preethi
City:   bangalore
Comments:   My nails do grow narrow, nails get bends while grow can u suggest me what has to e done.
Name: bhanu pratap singh
City:   dakuon ka adda
Comments:   yaar meer nails bahut jaldi toot jate hain......in oder words dey r vry weak......sggst sum measures.....
Name: neha
City:   hyderabad
Comments:   I think for weak nails you can try applying olive oil n dont apply nail polish for some time.. just apply olive oil twice a day.. u´ll see the difference..
Name: Anjali
City:   patna
Comments:   My nails r not very strong it breaks after washing cloths n after being in water 4 long time what sud I do plz sugest me I am fed up with this problem.
Name: Brittany
City:   USA
Comments:   My thumbnail is a lil discolored towards the top and it peels underneath... i cant seem to get rid of it is there anything i can do to get rid of this?thank you
Name: smily
City:   jalandhar
Comments:   hi,my prblm is dat never ever had long and healthy nails,plz suggest me to prevent it from breakage and 4 its long growth in just 1 month,plz its really urgent 4 me,i dont have 2 much time 2 wait 4 its growth thank u.
Name: NIGITA
City:   delhi
Comments:   I have long nails.i want to know.how should i kept my nails neat & clean.&should look grassive.
Name: Sapandeep Kaur
City:   Chandigarh
Comments:   I have long nail but the problem is my nail is Yellowish.Tell me how can i clean my nails and also the remedies to remove yellowishness?
Name: Priya
City:   Dubai
Comments:   Hello there! My nails have become very fragile & black too. I always use nail polish & remove it frequently with the nail polish. Plz tell me how can I get rid of that?
Name: banita
City:   guwahati
Comments:   i have very weak nails,whenever i wash cloths the tips always use to peal off.plz help me through suggestions.
Name: farooq Ahmed
City:   chandigarj
Comments:   hello my nails were all ok till i was in 11th standard. In 12th i suddenly observed that my ring finger nail loosing its shape. i am in 4th year of engineering and my nail is still growing with no shape and some heaps in around. Please help me and suggest any medicine. Now also my another nail is loosing its color from it tip. Please help it is urgent.
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