NAIL DISORDERS

Nail Disorder Treatment in Jumeirah, Dubai

People tend to attribute all nail changes to fungal infections when in fact nail disorders may be due to variable causes.

Causes of Nail Disorder

Fungal nail infections account for only about 50% of nail problems. Many dermatologic diseases as well as benign and malignant tumors can affect the nails. Exposure to exogenous chemicals and, less commonly, systemic illnesses may also induce nail changes.

Fungal nail infections

Fungal infection of the nail is known as onychomycosis. It is most commonly caused by dermatophytes, a group of fungi that are ubiquitous in the environment. Dermatophytes and other fungi are more likely to invade dystrophic rather than intact nails, and nails of older individuals which have a slower growth rate.

Dermatologic diseases

A well-known skin condition that may affect the nails is psoriasis. The changes due to psoriasis may range from mild onycholysis (separation of the nail from the skin below it) to total dystrophy (complete destruction of the nail), but are always reversible. Lichen planus of the nail on the other hand leads to scarring and irreversible changes if not treated prompltly.

Tumors

Lumps or bumps under or around the nails should be taken seriously. As should any brown-black discoloration of the nail or of the surrounding skin. Of course these may be due to benign processes such as a simple verruca (wart) or a lentigo (brown spot) affecting the nail, but they may also be due to a malignant and potentially life threatening process such as a melanoma. Your doctor will be able to tell the difference or may refer you to a specialist.

Systemic diseases

Nail changes can offer valuable clues to a discerning clinician and help in establishing or supporting a diagnosis as many diseases or chronic illnesses affecting various organs (liver, kidneys, heart, lungs..) may manifest themselves in the nails.

Exogenous causes

Repeated exposure to harsh chemicals such as detergents or acetone can lead to brittle nails, one of the most common nail problems encountered in women. Brittle nails split and crack easily and fail to grow, and are one of the main reasons women resort to the use of artificial nails.

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What You Can Do

Look out for any changes that progress or do not resolve spontaneously within a few weeks and bring them to your doctor’s attention as soon as possible. All nail conditions are easier to treat early on and all can lead to permanent damage if treated late. Keep in mind that some changes such as white spots (seen in nails subjected to trauma) or ridging of the surface of the nails (seen mostly in aging nails) are common and considered normal.

What We Can Do For You

We diagnose and treat all types of nail diseases. The diagnosis most of the time is clinical but biopsies are sometimes necessary to confirm it. Treatment options include local treatments (creams, ointments, lacquers, injections, lasers, liquidnitrogen), systemic treatment using pills, and surgical treatments (excisions, nail avulsions).

The Future

Nail surgery is currently used mostly for medical reasons such as the performance of a biopsy, the excision of a tumor, or the avulsion of a nail. Very little surgery is performed to enhance the appearance of nails. The development of cosmetic surgical techniques in the future would give hope to many patients stigmatized by the appearance of their nails.

Find treatment for a wide range of nail disorders including toe fungus and other fungal nail infections. Contact our dermatologist at SHAMMA Clinic in Jumeirah, Dubai.

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