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Major illness will cause a deep transverse grooves to form across the nails. Discoloration, thinning, thickening (onychogryposis), brittleness, splitting, small white spots, convex (clubbing) and concave (spooning), flatness of the nails can indicate illness in other areas of the body such as nutrient deficiencies, drug reaction, poisoning, or local injuries.
IT IS ALSO KNOWN AS “WHITE NAILS”. This is the medical term for white discoloration appearing on nails. It is derived from the greek word Leuko-white and Onyx-nail. Leukonychia most commonly appears at the base of the nail (the matrix).
Leukonychia Totalis is the whitening of the entire nail.
This may be due to hypoalbuminaemia (low albumin) which is caused by the nephritic syndrome (a form of kidney failure), liver failure, protenin, malabsorption, and protein-losing enteropathies. This can also be caused by a genetic condition or a side effect of sulphonamides (a family of antibiotics).
Leukonychia Partialis is the whitening of parts of the nail.
It is divided into two subtypes
- Leukonychia Striata/Transverse Leukonychia or the ‘true’ leukonychia.
The most common is the 'True' Leukonychia which are small white spots on the nails which can be caused by picking and biting of the nails. This most commonly appears at the base of the nail (the matrix) in a couple of fingers or toes at most and disappears within 8 months.
Leukonychia is necessary for nails to regrow com-pletely. White spots appearing on all or nearly all nails for longer can be due to zinc deficiency.
A HANGNAIL IS A DEAD, DRIED, TORN PIECE OF SKIN NEAR A FINGER NAIL MADE UP OF KERATIN.
It is usually caused by dry skin or biting of the nail. Hang nails are prevented with proper moisturization of the skin.
They should be cut using nail scissors or a clipper, otherwise it may lead to a painful infection called paronychia. People with a hangnail should cut it all off and rub hand lotion into the cuticles 2~3 times a day.
The term “hangnail” can be misleading for it is not an actual part of the nail, but it can include a bit of nail hanging loose from the rest of the body of the nail, yet still attached to the nail bed.
It is colloquially known as a “catchy” or as in the UK, a “stepmother’s blessing” or a “quick”
THIS IS COMMONLY KNOWN AS THE NAIL MOON.
It is a crescent-shaped white toned area of the bed of the fingernail.
Its primary structural role is to define the free edge of the distal nail plate.
Its primary structural role is to define the free edge of
the distal nail plate.
The lunula is most visible on the thumb, however it is not visible on every person
The lunula and the nail itself are good places to find warning signs of diseases such as liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease and heart problems.
Any color differences or unusual lines may indicate some type of disease or insufficiency. The vertical lines on fingernails however are normal as we age.
Lunular anomalies include: changes in form, structure or color. Lunular dysmorphologic features can be characterized by macrolunula, microlunula, anolunula, or a nonconvex lunula. Lunular dyschromias (color anomalies) can be spotted or characterized by longitudinal colored bands that traverse the lunula.
Alterations in the morphologic features or color of the lunula can be an indication of a cutaneous or a systemic disorder.
A deep red lunula and pale nails are associated with congestive heart failure.
TREATMENT IS REQUIRED