Various Nail Diseases and Treatments

Usually, our fingernails and toenails are smooth. Normal nails do not have any spots or holes. Healthy nails are light pink.

A sudden change in the nails can be a sign of a problem. So it is important to know what kind of changes may indicate. By doing this, it will be possible to detect some complex diseases at an early stage. Furthermore, it can also confirm the absence of any complicated disease.

Here are some common nail problems and why they may occur.

1. Ingrown toenail

An ingrown toenail occurs when the corner of the nail grows inside the skin instead of outward. This problem usually affects the big toe. This can happen if the normal structure of the nail is curved or fan-like.

It may also happen if:

  • People wear tight shoes or socks.
  • Feet sweat more
  • If you cut your nails incorrectly,
  • If you get an injury to your nails,


When this extra part of the nail penetrates the skin, it causes a lot of pain in the nail and the surrounding skin. Apart from this, the following problems may occur:

  • Turns red
  • Accumulation of pus or fluid causes swelling, fever, or chills.
  • Bleeding occurs
  • White or yellow pus comes out.
  • The flesh around the nail becomes swollen.

If these conditions occur, you should see a doctor immediately. Care should also be taken not to get a nail infection. That’s why—

  • Keep your nails dry.
  • If necessary, the feet can be soaked in mild turmeric salt water for a while.
  • Wear loose and comfortable shoes.
  • Paracetamol and ibuprofen can be taken for pain.
  • Do not try to pick or cut the nails yourself.

After this, if the pain does not subside or the pus comes out, then you should go to the doctor. If the patient has diabetes or a fever with chills, he should go to the doctor without delay at home.


2. Pale Nails

Usually, the nail color is light pink. But if the nails turn pale white, it is due to anemia. This can be due to malnutrition and liver disease.

So it is important to consult a doctor. Finding the right cause and treating it can solve this problem.

Many times, we suffer from malnutrition due to not eating a balanced diet. This can happen, especially if you follow a special diet to lose weight.

3. Biting the nails with the teeth

Young children usually bite their nails with their teeth. When you grow up, this habit goes away. But if this habit persists even after growing up, it causes problems.

If you are under stress or suffer from a mental illness (such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD), you may have such a habit.

If the habit cannot be controlled after many attempts, the patient should consult a psychiatrist. By consulting a psychiatrist, it is possible to determine if the patient is suffering from any mental illness and initiate prompt treatment if necessary.

4. Small holes in the nails

Psoriasis causes small holes in the nails. The nails appear as if they have been driven through something hard. A skin condition called eczema or a hair loss condition called alopecia can also cause such changes.

If this happens, consult a dermatologist. He can properly diagnose the disease and give appropriate treatment.

5. Yellowing of nails

Generally, nail color becomes yellow due to a fungal infection or fungal attack. First, the corner of the nail starts to turn yellow. Then gradually, the whole nail starts to turn yellow. At some point, the nail becomes weak and starts breaking from the corner. Without proper treatment, it is impossible to solve this problem. So consult a doctor quickly.

It should be noted that in cases of fungal nail infection, long-term use of medication is generally recommended. It is important to complete the course of medication as prescribed by the doctor to cure the nail infection and prevent the problem from recurring. It is also important to take proper care of your nails to prevent infection.

Along with fungal infections, lung diseases, diabetes, and skin diseases like psoriasis can also cause the yellowing of nails.

There are also some common reasons why nails turn yellow. For example, eating turmeric food with your hands and smoking a lot. If the causes are avoided and the nails return to normal, there is no need to consult a doctor in these cases.

6. Redness and swelling of the flesh around the nail

This can happen if there is an infection in the skin around the nail. It is more common in people who frequently use soap and water.

Connective tissue diseases can also exhibit such problems. The function of connective tissue is to help connect different parts of the body to each other. If the swelling of the flesh around the nail is accompanied by other symptoms (e.g., difficulty climbing stairs), it may be a connective tissue disease. If something like this happens, you should consult a doctor immediately.

Using too much detergent or soap or washing dishes and clothes can cause the nails to become brittle and break. If the nail problem gets better after stopping the water, then you may not go to the doctor in these cases.

However, if you suffer from such problems for a long time and if you do not reduce the use of detergent and water, the nails can slowly become infected. At the same time, the skin around the nail may become swollen and red. Then even if you reduce the water consumption, the nails will not get better automatically. In that case a doctor must be consulted.

Frequent or prolonged contact with soap and water should be avoided to prevent brittle nails and nail infections. Minimize washing if possible. If necessary, you can wear rubber gloves while working. Apply lotion on hands and nails after the water work.

7. The nail head is broken from the front

Nails can break if hit. However, due to thyroid disease or anemia, nails break without any injury. Again, if the nail turns yellow along with nail breakage, it may be due to a fungal attack. So it is important to go to the doctor to determine the exact cause. Some simple tests can identify these factors.

A minor injury to the nail that breaks a little and has no other symptoms will heal on its own. However, if the injury is large and any other symptoms (such as pain, swelling, redness, and bleeding) occur, a doctor should be consulted.

Apart from this, if the nails are still brittle even after taking care of them, consult a doctor.

8. Green nails

When the nail becomes infected with some type of bacteria, it does not get better on its own without proper treatment. This problem does not get better on its own without proper treatment. So go to the doctor.

9. Nail in the middle

In certain diseases, the nail may split in the middle. E.g., iron deficiency anemia. Then the nails look like teaspoons.

This problem is usually corrected by correcting the iron deficiency, as advised by the doctor.

10. If the nails have long, dark spots

Any injury to the nail can cause such scars. If there is a dark spot on the nail due to injury, there is no cause for concern. As the injury heals and the nail grows back, the scar goes away on its own.

However, a type of skin cancer can also have such spots. If a spot on the nail persists for some time without injury, or if the previous spot spreads or changes color, it may be due to a complex disease. If something like this happens, you should go to the doctor immediately.

11. If the nails turn blue

Sometimes the nails suddenly turn blue when the amount of oxygen in the blood is too low. There may also be chest pain and shortness of breath. These are signs of serious health complications. So if such symptoms appear, you should go to the doctor immediately.

If you have the problems mentioned here, you should go to the doctor without neglect. Also, if you don’t understand why your nails have changed or if you’re worried about your nails for any other reason, see a doctor.

And if the nails have changed due to any common reason, then there is no reason to worry. By changing some habits, eating nutritious food, and taking regular nail care, it is possible to keep nails healthy and normal.


Written By Dr.Senjuti Seemanta and Dr. Tasnim Jara
Medical review done by Dr. Ima Islam


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