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By: - Mahajbeen Memon (1st Year, 2nd Semester)

It is good to know that a change in the nail color, surface, strength, etc is a sturdy clue about a particular disease! Healthy nails are smooth, shiny, uniform in color, and free of spots or discoloration but the nails of a person suffering from any familiar or unfamiliar disease are somehow not the same! Although the setback of particularly the people of our society is that they hardly visit a dermatologist concerning their nail problems. Well, but us, being the physicians must know about the appearance of nails in different pathological conditions, so here we go:-

1. Onycholysis
It means that nails become loose and separate from the nail bed your fingernails become loose and can separate from the nail bed. It occurs in INJURY, THYROID DISEASE, DRUG REACTIONS and PSORIASIS.

2 Yellow nail syndrome:Yellow discoloration may result from respiratory conditions, such as CHRONIC BRONCHITIS, LYMPHEDEMA or PLEURAL EFFUSION.

3. White nails (leukonychia):It happens in conditions which are associated with protein deficiency like CHRONIC LIVER DISEASE, NEPHROTIC SYNDROME and KWASHIORKOR.

4. Nail clubbing:It implies to enlarging of nails and curving around the fingertips. It mostly occurs in HYPOXIA and LUNG, HEART, or LIVER disease.

5. Spoon nails (Koilonychia):Spoon nails may be a sign of IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA.

6. Terry's nails:In this the nails become opaque. Physiologically it may be due to aging. However pathologically, it occurs in CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE, DIABETES, and LIVER MALFUNCTIONIG and in MALNUTRITION.


8. Beaus lines:These are actually transverse white grooves on nails. They represent UNCONTROLLED DIABETES MELLITUS, CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES AND PNEUMONIA. Well, this was a list of those pathological conditions which are associated with nail changes, but the list of the diseases of the nails themselves, the ONYCHOPATHY is another story. So one must be very concerned regarding nails.

Nail care:* Don't abuse your nails i.e. don't use your fingernails as tools to pick things. * Don't bite your nails because once cut, your nail can allow bacteria or fungi to enter and cause an infection, and also biting of nails point out that you are psychologically disturbed, so dont let the people think of you like that:p * Keep your nails dry and clean. * Trim and file nails regularly. * Wear shoes that fit properly to avoid toe nail pinching. * Moisturize nails frequently. *Dont use fingernail polish frequently. * Keep your nails short, square shaped and slightly rounded on top. * Apply a nail hardener. * Take a biotin supplement like 2.5mg of biotin (a member of vitamin B complex) may strengthen the nails.