What Can My Nails Tell Me?

What Can My Nails Tell Me?

For many people, especially women who wear nail polish, the health of their finger or toenails is an often overlooked concern. However, nail health is an important part of Toenail Fungusyour overall health. But what is normal and what is not? Find out more with help from your Morristown, Mt. Arlington, Liberty Corner and Bridgewater, NJ doctor at Affiliated Dermatologists and Dermatologic Surgeons, P.A.

What can my nails tell me? 
Your nails can give you an insight into your body’s health. Dry or cracked nails could mean a thyroid problem. Clubbed nails could be the sign of kidney or liver disease. Nail-biting might point to cases of OCD. Pitted nails could mean psoriasis. However, some nail conditions are not the sign of an underlying condition and are easily treatable with help from your dermatologist.

What are some common nail problems?

  • Fungal Infection: A fungal infection usually develops slowly over time. Symptoms include white flaking areas of the nail, yellow spots, white or yellow streaks on the nail’s surface or crumbling areas.
  • Bacterial Infection: Bacterial infections cause the area where the nail meets the skin to swell, becoming red and irritated. Normally, only one nail is affected by a bacterial infection.
  • Nail Lifting: This condition involves the separation of the nail from the nail bed and is painless and is often caused by wearing false fingernails.
  • Ingrown Toenail: Ingrown toenails often occur due to the improper cutting of the nails. The corner of the nail grows into the skin, causing infection, pain and swelling.

How are nail problems treated? 
Your Morristown, Mt. Arlington, Liberty Corner and Bridgewater dermatologist uses medical and family history coupled with a physical examination to diagnose your nail problem. Over-the-counter medications may be enough to treat some issues. However, your doctor can prescribe a stronger medicated cream, gel or polish to treat infections. Additionally, a prescription for antibiotics helps your body beat bacterial infections. Your doctor can help you determine which course of treatment is best for your situation.

For more information on fingernail and toenail health, please contact your doctor at Affiliated Dermatologists and Dermatologic Surgeons, P.A. With New Jersey locations in Morristown, Mt. Arlington, Liberty Corner and Bridgewater, keeping your nails healthy is easy. Call (973)267-0300 to speak with an associate about scheduling your appointment today!

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