Most people don’t give much thought to their fingernails and toe nails beyond the occasional trimming, filing, and perhaps a bit of painting. However, your nails can give you and your dermatologist some fairly important information about what might be going on with your general health. Certain symptoms may be for problems with the nails themselves while others could indicate larger problems inside your body. See your dermatologist when:
You Notice Yellowing and Thickening of Your Nails
Yellowed nails that appear to grow thicker and more slowly can be a sign that you have an underlying respiratory problem. If you have problems with swelling in your hands, you may also notice the same symptoms. Sometimes your nails may be missing their cuticle in addition to being discolored, and they can occasionally separate from the nail bed. In any event, you’ll want to schedule a dermatologist appointment soon.
You Develop Pits or Indentations in Your Nails
Pitting in the nails is usually associated with autoimmune disorders, especially psoriasis. Indentations running horizontally across your nails, known as Beau’s lines, can be indicative of vascular disease, uncontrolled diabetes, or a zinc deficiency, or may occur after a severe illness with high fever or injury. Your dermatologist can help you control your psoriasis if it’s the source of your pitting, and he or she may refer you to a specialist if Beau’s lines seem to indicate larger problems.
Your Nails Begin to Grow Upward and Curl Up
This symptom, often called spoon nail, happens when the nails become extremely soft and curl up into a shape resembling a spoon. It’s almost as if your nails are suddenly growing inside out. Spoon nails are usually a sign that there’s some sort of iron deficiency or iron-related disease such as hemochromatosis, but can also indicate heart and thyroid problems.
At Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, we can help you get to the root of your nail problems. We also offer general and cosmetic dermatology services, as well as treatment for skin cancer. Call (866) 608-9531 today to schedule your appointment.