Nail diseases – information and specialistsChanges in your fingernails and toenails are due to a variety of optical characteristics recognizable. Most minor phenomena are harmless and superficial in nature. They usually disappear by themselves. Other abnormalities, on the other hand, require clarification. If in doubt, consult a specialist for Dermatology. He is a specialist for nail diseases.
Recommended specialists for nail diseases
Nail diseases cases in Germany
1.479 cases in 2019
1.522 cases in 2022 ( forecast )
Definition: Nail diseases
Diseases of the nails occur in any age before. For those affected, they are usually unpleasant and shameful due to their appearance. The impairments show different manifestations on fingernails or toenails, as well as nail bed and nail plate. Stains, cracks and discolorations occur as well as brittle nails and deformations on the nail surface. Color changes or deviations of the nail structure are also possible.
If there is a disease of your nails, this is indicated by sometimes significant Variations from the normal state clearly recognizable. A healthy nail is smooth, has a white looking crescent and is otherwise spotless. An unhealthy nail will often be a different color, bulging or crumbling. Which problem is connected with it, cannot be recognized for the layman with the naked eye. Your dermatologist (dermatologist) is at Nail changes Your contact person.
symptoms of nail diseases
The Nail fungus Onychomycosis (medical term: onychomycosis) belongs to the infections and is by far one of the most frequent diseases of the nails. It regularly affects not only the nails on fingers or feet, but also the skin (skin fungus). At the beginning your nail shows single small yellowish spots on. If left untreated, they become brittle. Stands out from the nail bed. A thickening of the nail plate also occurs as the nail becomes.
In nail psoriasis (psoriasis) your nails have spots that resemble oil stains. The color of the nail is yellowish, the nail structure is crumbly, and without treatment the nail will peel off. It is altogether strong horny, the appearance is very similar to the nail fungus. In the advanced stage, considerable pain is possible.
Nail discolorations are yellow, gray or brown. In addition, longitudinal as well as transverse stripes are. Also grooves typical symptoms in nail diseases. Strong thickenings are called clock glass nails. Surfaces that show an indentation of the nail are due to a so-called spoon nail. Typical changes of the nails are furthermore longitudinal grooves and transverse grooves. The symptoms mentioned are often an expression of Lack of or a specific disease.
Causes and risk factors of nail diseases
About 50 percent of all diseases of the nails have their origin in an infection. Especially the fungal infection is often associated with a general weakening of the immune system. People with the metabolic disease diabetes mellitus have an increased risk of nail diseases. The same applies to the group of people who are affected by circulatory disorders (arterial or venous) is affected. Smoking is also one of the known risk factors.
Another cause are Environmental factors, which favor an infection. Especially in the case of fungus, this is typically an environment with a warm and humid climate. Here are ideal growth conditions for fungi. Swimming pools are among them, but also saunas and gyms. In these locations Walking barefoot common, so that infection occurs particularly quickly.
Injuries are also a cause of nail diseases. Here, bruises and other damage to the nail bed and nail plate occur regularly. In case of injury, consult a dermatologist if necessary. Without medical intervention, you run the risk of subsequent disease, such as a nail deformation, which may require removal of the nail.
Examination and diagnosis of diseases of the nails
The examination by a specialist for nail diseases depends on the type and extent of the nail disease Nail damage from. If the trigger is unknown, there are different possibilities of diagnostics. The most important form of examination is the Dermoscopy. During this painless microscopic examination, your doctor will look at your nail with a reflected light microscope down to its deeper layers. In this way, damage can be detected that would not be visible to the eye alone.
If necessary, a mycological examination (Mycology = science of fungi). Your doctor takes a sample from the nail. Creates a fungal culture. This provides information about the type of nail fungus. Furthermore, there is the possibility of laboratory diagnostic examinations. This can also determine whether the nail symptoms are caused by a medication occur. This occurs among other things with cancer therapy in the sense of a side effect.
General information on the therapy of nail diseases
The therapy of nail diseases at hand or foot depends essentially on the Cause of the disease. If you have abnormalities in your nails, seeing a nail disease specialist is helpful. The dermatologist responsible here treats the nail and the surrounding skin. If the symptoms are part of another disease, there will be a referral to appropriate specialists.
For the treatment of infectious nail diseases, which are caused by fungi, different therapy options are available. Your doctor will first use antimycotics here. These have two tasks, the causal killing of the fungus and the inhibition of fungal growth. They apply the active ingredients to the affected nails with the help of a nail polish. In many cases, a complementary laser therapy is possible, which may only be carried out by a medical specialist.
Medical Creams and ointments, regular application of medication is also part of a nail treatment regimen. In very severe cases, local treatment is not sufficient. In this case your doctor will use a systemic therapy one in the form of prescription tablets. A detailed explanation is necessary, as side effects are possible.
Course and prognosis of nail diseases
Nail diseases usually prove to be very persistent. Many months pass before a visible success is seen. This applies especially to nail fungus and psoriasis. Your doctor will ask you for patience. Ask for discipline in the use of your medication.
The course depends on the exact cause of the disease. Especially a fungal infection often returns, so that a treatment until complete healing is important. The same applies to a very careful Foot care and maintaining a foot climate as dry as possible.
Diseases of the nails are due to various causes, which are often harmless. Some Abnormalities on the other hand are in need of treatment. Conspicuous changes in your nails are generally a case for the specialist and require clarification. The sooner you start treatment with your dermatologist the better are the chances of cure.