What Else Can Fingernails Tell A Dermatologist About Your Health
Nails say a lot about your health. Your dermatologist can look for changes in the nail texture, brittleness, lunula , overall shape and color of your nails.
Seeing changes in the shape and color of nails can mean chronic lung or heart diseases. Sometimes whitening might indicate kidney or heart disease. Brittleness alerts us to consider if the thyroid is working properly or if the person may have anemia. If theres clubbing of the tip of the nail and texture changes, there could be an underlying lung problem. If I see concerning nail symptoms, I will look into it further. Often dermatologists are the first doctors to notice not-yet-diagnosed health problems.
Also, if you notice a new brown or black stripe, theres a risk of melanoma under the nailor it may just be a freckle or due to a nail infection or inflammation. Its important to understand that most melanomas under the nail are not caused by sun damage, but by random mutationsif you have one, you just got unlucky.
New stripes going down the nail need to be checked out by a dermatologist. A red stripe or lifting of nail from the nail bed could indicate another type of skin cancer.
Yale Medicine is unique in that our staff includes highly trained dermatologists also trained in pathology, called dermatopathologists, who look under the microscope to confirm whether the problem is a nail fungus or another skin disease such as melanoma or another skin cancer. And if so, they help us make the right diagnosis.
Have Happy Hands And Feet
By | Submitted On January 14, 2009
There is no better cure to any ailment but prevention. Like any other serious health problems, nail fungus may take a while before it can be resolved. It is best to fight the fungus at the very onset of its symptoms, so it will not develop into a full blown painful nail bed or distorted nails.
Anyone can acquire nail fungus. People who sweat on the hands and feet a lot, those who have nail problems and individuals who have weak immune system are more susceptible to nail fungus infection.
Tips to Avoid Nail Fungus Infection
Nail fungus is one tough condition to deal with. It is painful and it doesn’t look good. You will not lose anything if you observe proper hygiene to prevent nail fungus and other illnesses.
If things get worse, reading to gain knowledge may be helpful. The Internet is the best source of information for conditions like nail fungus. Medicines for this health problem are also available online.
Darren is an online medical researcher and webmaster of Nail Fungus Treatment . He also wrote the following useful article: “The Science of Nail Fungus Infection ” and “A Short Background on What Nails Are”.
Symptoms Of Fungal Nail Infection
The first signs of a fungal nail infection are usually perceptible changes to the appearance of the infected nail. It is uncommon for an infected nail to cause severe pain or permanent disfigurement, but this does occur in some cases. If left untreated, fungal nail infections can cause difficulties with walking, exercising or manual tasks such as typing. The main symptoms of onychomycosis include the nail becoming:
- Lifted away from the nail bed
- Mildly painful
These symptoms could also indicate that an individual is suffering from nail psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune skin disease which can affect the skin under the nail. Nail psoriasis is more common in the fingernails than the toenails and can co-occur with fungal infections of the nail. If you think you may be experiencing the first signs of nail psoriasis or a fungal nail infection, get a free symptom assessment by downloading the Ada app.
Good to know:In people with diabetes, fungal toenail infections can increase the likelihood of developing ulceration and other complications, so medical attention should always be sought if a fungal nail infection is suspected.
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Lavender Oil For Fungal Infections
Lavender is another essential oil that is effective for getting rid of a fungal infection on your hands or feet.
The Journal of Medical Microbiology reported on the antifungal properties of lavender essential oil. Studies have shown that lavender can help to kill off dermatophytes that cause fungal skin infections. It was also found that lavender oil is an effective antifungal agent even when hand fungus infections are resistant to pharmaceutical drugs.11
To use lavender oil to help get rid of a fungal infection from your hand, all you have to do is mix 2-3 drops of essential oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Apply to the affected patch of skin on your hand daily.
Lavender can also be used to keep your skin looking youthful and healthy.
How Do Dermatologists Treat A Fungal Nail Infection
Treatment usually begins with your dermatologist trimming your infected nail, cutting back each infected nail to the place where it attaches to your finger or toe. Your dermatologist may also scrape away debris under the nail. This helps get rid of some fungus.
To completely get rid of the infection, most people also need one or more of the following treatments:
Medicine you apply to the nail: If you have a mild infection, a medicine that you apply to your nails may get rid of the infection. This treatment helps keep new fungus out while the nails grow. Fingernails typically grow out in four to six months. Toenails take longer, usually takes 12 to 18 months.
Probably the most difficult part of this treatment is remembering to use it as often as prescribed. Some treatments must be applied every day. Others you apply once a week. To get the best results, its essential that you apply these medicines exactly as directed.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the following medicines that you apply to the nail to treat nail fungus:
Side effects from these medicines are generally mild. Possible side effects include redness and swelling, an ingrown toenail, and stinging or burning when you apply the medicine. In clinical trials, none of these side effects caused patients to stop using the treatment.
The FDA has approved the following systemic medicines to treat nail fungus:
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Take Care Of Your Feet
We know that regular foot care is an important part of maintaining overall good health, and its also important to the foot health of everyone around you, whether at home, in locker rooms, gyms, and at public pools. Sanitizing and disinfecting nail clippers and all pedicure tools is very important. And dont forget to keep your socks and shoes clean and dry. Fungal infections love damp socks and the company of their kind in an infected shoe!
Avoiding Onychomycosis and Athletes Foot is always easier than eliminating these conditions, and maintaining healthy nails and feet demands good foot hygiene.
Regular use of Doctors Kline + Greens Clear+Restore is also recommended in order to prevent toenail fungus, as well as treat dry cracked toenails and other symptoms.
Check Your Nails To Find Early Signs Of Infection
Following these precautions will reduce your risk of getting another infection. Fungal infection, however, are very common. You can get another one. Early treatment delivers the best outcome.
You can find signs of an early fungal infection by checking your nails and the skin around them at least once a month. You want to look for:
Changes in nail color, such as a white spot or brown or yellow streak
Changes to the texture of your nails
Soreness or swelling around a nail
Dry, itchy skin
If you notice any signs of infection, make an appointment to see your dermatologist.
ReferenceGold LFS and Rosen T. Onychomycosis: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. Dermatology News . March 2016:2-15.
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Can Athletes Foot Spread To Hands
Yes, athleteâs foot can spread to the hands. In fact, according to Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD, athleteâs foot can spread if you scratch the itch on your foot and then touch other parts of your body.17 This is sometimes called the âtwo feet-one hand syndromeâ and it is thought to be the principal way that tinea manuum develops.5
Best Ways To Treat A Nail Fungus
Nail fungus can cause thick, discolored nails, and, for some patients, it can even be painful. An Internet search will bring up plenty of ways to treat the condition, but which ones are best? Dermatologist Dr. Christopher Hull discusses what nail fungus actually is, why its so hard to get rid of, and which treatments work best.
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Whos At Risk For Fungal Infections
There are many different causes of fungal nail infections. Each cause has a treatment of its own. Although many of the causes of a fungal nail infection are preventable, some risk factors increase the likelihood of developing one. Youre more likely to develop a fungal nail infection if you:
- wear closed-toe shoes, such as tennis shoes or boots
Nail infections occur more often in men than in women, and the infections are found in adults more often than in children. If you have family members who often get these types of fungal infections, youre more likely to get them as well.
Older adults have a high risk for getting fungal nail infections because they have poorer circulation. The nails also grow more slowly and thicken as we age.
A fungal infection of the nail may affect part of the nail, the entire nail, or several nails.
Common signs of a fungal nail infection include:
- a distorted nail that may lift off from the nail bed
- an odor coming from the infected nail
- a brittle or thickened nail
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Prevent New Or Repeat Nail Infections
Reduce your risk of infection by avoiding situations where fungi can spread. Also, consider these tips:
If you have nail fungal symptoms or want more information about nail fungus prevention or treatment, contact your primary care physician.
Tinea Manuum Vs Hand Dermatitis Whats The Difference
It can be difficult to tell apart tinea manuum infections and hand dermatitis . One way that doctors can tell if the red scaly itchy rash is a fungal infection is by taking a swab for analysis.
According to some dermatologists, there are some visible signs that can help to tell the difference between a fungal infection and eczema. For example, hand fungus rashes usually have a raised edge and usually just appear on one hand.2
Also, Dr. Jeffery John Meffert on eMedicineHealth says that tinea infections will often affect the palms of the hand, whereas eczema is generally on the backs of the hands.
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What Causes Nail Fungus With Acrylic Nails
I often got questioned from women like do acrylic nails cause fungus. So, the answer is Yes, it can. Acrylic nails may look great, but if not taken care properly or fixed with care, they can lead to nail fungus. Which will be a nightmare for most of the women.
There could be several reason because of which Acrylic nails can cause fungus on your nails.
Below are the common causes of such fungus.
The moisture under the fake nails
The thin moisture layer, under the acrylic nail provides shelter for the fungus. Fungus can only grow when there is moisture on your skin. Moreover, if somebody is not hygiene conscious.
Another primary factor that can cause nail fungus through acrylic nails, is the duration.
Keeping acrylic nails for more than two months is risky. They are more likely to develop nail fungus.
Dirty manicure tools can cause fungus
Dirty manicure tools may have bacterial or fungal spores on them. Always choose a reliable salon, with the clean tools.
Sanitized tools are the best for manicures. Fungus spores are invisible but they are the most strongest living cells, and can survive in various situations.
Many professional salons ensure to use new manicure tools for every new customer.
The last a customer can ask for is to check if the tools are clean, and they have sterilized them live in front of them keep in mind that prevention is better than cure.
Other factors contributing for nail fungus
We cannot blame the tools only.
Living With A Nail Fungal Infection
If you have a nail fungal infection, some things can help:
- Keep your nails cut short and file down any thick areas.
- Dont use the same nail trimmer and file on healthy nails and infected nails. If you have your nails professionally manicured, bring your own nail file and trimmer from home.
- Wear waterproof gloves for wet work . Wear 100% cotton gloves for dry work.
- Wear socks made of wicking material . This pulls moisture away from the skin. Change your socks when they are damp from sweat or if your feet get wet. Put on clean, dry socks every day. Put over-the-counter antifungal foot powder inside your socks to keep your feet dry.
- Wear shoes with good support and a wide toe area. Dont wear pointed shoes that press your toes together.
- Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, such as locker rooms.
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Diagnosis Of Hand Fungus Or Fungus On Fingers
The diagnosis done by the clinical exposition and other skin diseases that have a similar aspect should be excluded.
Further diagnostic examinations are the same as for other dermatophyte contaminations and may include skin scrapings, fungal cultures or biopsy.
A characteristic clinical sign that is evocative of the skin rash being fungal in origin is called the two feet one hand syndrome. In this instance, both feet may have the same dermatophyte rash and one hand .
It is typically the commanding hand or hand that is used for grooving the feet that are infected with the rash.
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What Causes Fungal Nails And What Are Some Of The Risk Factors
In normal, healthy people, fungal infections of the nails are most commonly caused by fungus that is caught from moist, wet areas. Communal showers, such as those at a gym or swimming pools, are common sources. Going to nail salons that use inadequate sanitization of instruments in addition to living with family members who have fungal nails are also risk factors. Athletes have been proven to be more susceptible to nail fungus. This is presumed to be due to the wearing of tight-fitting, sweaty shoes associated with repetitive trauma to the toenails. Having athlete’s foot makes it more likely that the fungus will infect your toenails. Repetitive trauma also weakens the nail, which makes the nail more susceptible to fungal infection.
Elderly people and people with certain underlying disease states are also at higher risk. Anything that impairs your immune system can make you prone to getting infected with the fungus. These include conditions such as AIDS, diabetes, cancer, psoriasis, or taking any immunosuppressive medications like steroids.
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How Would I Know If I Have A Nail Infection
Fungus grows in warm, moist places such as under nails. When fungus has a chance to grow in the nail, it can turn into a fungal infection, which is a common problem. Typical signs of a fungal infection include new white or yellow patches and streaks, but nails can also turn brown or green. Youll see lifting of the nail from the skin underneath, and sometimes you will see thickening of the nail. The nail will look bumpy or have ridges with crumbly debris underneath. It may even be so misshapen that it seems to be veering off to the side, or the nail may fall off completely.
If the infection is caused by bacteria instead of a fungus, you may notice redness, swelling, pain or pus in the skin surrounding the nail.
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