Healthy Living

Toenails Health: Signs You Need To See The Doctor

Some of the abnormalities in your nails can be caused by various medical conditions, some of which would require utmost attention. However, before we proceed to discuss these abnormalities, let’s talk about the importance of nail health.

Healthy nails would always appear to have consistent coloring. These are very smooth, but aging brings about certain vertical ridges and you’ll notice how your nails are more brittle. This is completely harmless. What you should pay attention to are abnormalities, such as discoloration, nail separation, spots and more. With that in mind, here are toenail abnormalities and their meanings.

1. Beau’s Lines

Beau’s lines are often associated with depression. It is a line that runs across your fingernails. These are clear signs of malnourishment and may sometimes be caused by measles, scarlet fever, mumps, peripheral vascular disease, pneumonia and uncontrolled diabetes.

2. Terry’s Nails

You would know Terry’s nail if the tip of the toenail has a very dark band. This is caused by aging, liver disease, diabetes or congestive heart failure.

3. Koilonychia

Koilonychia, which is often referred to as spooning, happens when your nails have ridges that scoop outward. If your nails are curved too much that it can hold a drop of liquid, chances are that it is koilonychia. This may signify that you have heart disease, hemochromatosis, lupus erythematosus or iron deficiency anemia.

4. Leukonychia

You can pretty much tell leukonychia if you have non-uniform white spots or lines on your nails. These are the result of a minor trauma. Most of the time, leukonychia is harmless. It may also be associated with nutritional deficiencies or poor health.

5. Onycholysis

Onycholysis is a condition when your nail plates start to separate from the nail bed. As a result, you may notice white discoloration. This toenail condition can be caused by trauma, an infection, thyroid disease or psoriasis.

6. Pitting

Pitting can be identified on the nails as small depressions. People who have psoriasis would often notice these little pits on their toenails. Nevertheless, there are other systemic diseases that can cause pitting.

In the end, some of the best ways to care of your toenails include refraining from biting it or pulling on the hangnails, keeping them trimmed and clean and using the right clippers to maintain them.

For other abnormalities that may be the result of fungus, remedies like Zeta Clear or other over-the-counter anti-fungal creams may provide a solution

Ingrown toenail Who knew ingrown toenails could be caused by pure physics: here, the big toe's curvature has changed and is pinching the skin. Different examples of pincer nails, one of the conditions that can arise when the stresses of growth and adhesion get out of balance. (Adapted from "A Clinical Study of 35 Cases of Pincer Nails" by Lee et al., Annals of Dermatology