Nails keeping them healthy and disease free.
The nails of humans are present at the end of each fingertip on the dorsal surface. The main function of nail is protection and it also helps for a firm grip for holding articles. It consists of a strong relatively flexible keratinous nail plate originating from the nail matrix. Under the nail plate there is a soft tissue called nail bed. Between the skin and nail plate there is a nail fold or cuticle. Normal healthy nail is slight pink in colour and the surface is convex from side to side. Finger nails grow 1 cm in three months and toe nails take 24 months for the same.
Importance of nails in disease diagnosis:
The colour, appearance, shape and nature of the nails give some information about the general health and hygiene of a person. Nails are examined as a routine by all doctors to get some clues about underlying diseases. Just looking at nails we can make out the hygiene of a person. The abnormal nail may be congenital or due to some diseases. The cause for changes in the nail extend from simple reasons to life threatening diseases. Hence the examination by a doctor is essential for diagnosis .Some abnormal findings with probable causes are discussed here for general awareness.
We can make out an unhygienic nail very easily .Deposition of dirt under the distal end of nail plate can make a chance for ingestion of pathogens while eating. If nail cutting is not done properly it can result in worm troubles in children. When the worms crawl in the anal orifice children will scratch which lodges the ova of worms under the nails and will be taken in while eating. Prominent nail can also complicate a skin disease by habitual scratching. Sharp nails in small kids are a real danger because small wounds can injure others when they do feet kicking or hand waving.
2) Colour of the nails:-
a) Nails become pale in anaemia.
b) Opaque white discolouration (leuconychia) is seen in chronic renal failure and nephrotic syndrome.
c) Whitening is also seen in hypoalbuminaemia as in cirrhosis and kidney disorders.
d) Drugs like sulpha group, anti-malarial and antibiotics etc. can produce discolouration in the nails.
e) Fungal infection causes black discolouration.
f) In pseudomonas infection nails become black or green.
g) Nail bed infarction occurs in vasculitis especially in SLE and polyarthritis.
h) Red dots are seen in nails due to splinter haemorrhages in subacute bacterial endo Carditis, rheumatoid arthritis, trauma, collagen vascular diseases.
i) Blunt injury produces haemorrhage and causes blue/black discolouration.
j) Nails become brown in kidney diseases and in decreased adrenal activity.
k) In Wilson’s disease blue colour in semicircle appears in the nail.
l) When the blood supply decreases nail become yellow .In jaundice and psoriasis also nail become yellowish.
m) In yellow nail syndrome all nails become yellowish with pleural effusion.
3) Shape of nails:-
a) Clubbing: Here tissues at the base of nails are thickened and the angle between the nail base and the skin is obliterated. The nail becomes more convex and the fingertip becomes bulbous and looks like an end of a drumstick. When the condition becomes worse the nail looks like a parrot beak.
Causes of clubbing:- Congenital Injuries, Severe chronic cyanosis, Lung diseases like empyema, bronchiectasis, carcinoma of bronchus and pulmonary tuberculosis.
Abdominal diseases like Crohn's disease, polyposis of colon, ulcerative colitis, liver cirrhosis etc.
Heart diseases like tetralogy of Fallot, subacute bacterial endocarditis and etc.
b) Koilonychias:- Here the nails become concave like a spoon. This condition is seen in iron deficiency anaemia. In this condition the nails become thin, soft and brittle. The normal convexity will be replaced by concavity.
c) Longitudinal ridging is seen in Raynaud’s disease.
d) Cuticle becomes ragged in dermatomyositis.
e) Nail fold telangiectasia is a sign in dermatomyositis, systemic sclerosis and SLE.
4) Structure and consistency:-
a) Fungal infection of nail causes discolouration, deformity, hypertrophy and abnormal brittleness.
b) Thimble pitting of nail is characteristic of psoriasis, acute eczema and alopecia areata.
c) The inflammation of cuticle or nail fold is called paronychia.
d) Onycholysis refers to the detachment of the nail from the nail bed, usually starting at the tip and/or sides. The separation of nail bed seen in psoriasis, infection and after taking Tetracyclines.
e) Destruction of nail is seen in lichen planus, epidermolysis bullosa.
f) Missing nail is seen in nail patella syndrome. It is a hereditary disease.
g) Nails become brittle in Raynaud’s disease and gangrene.
h) Falling of nail is seen in fungal infection, psoriasis and thyroid diseases.
Reduction in oxygen in your blood supply affects the growth of nails and all nail problems. Nail growth is also affected in severe illness. When the disease disappears the growth starts again resulting in formation of transverse ridges. These lines are called Beau's lines and are healpful to date the onset of illness.
6) The importance of Oxygen
Oxygen provides life and energy to every living cell. If poor eating habits, drinking, pollution, toxins, drugs or lack of exercise abuse your own human systems of body, mind and spirit. When your cells and your genetics are deprived of vital oxygen the immune system becomes weakened.
Low oxygen levels are undesirable because they affect the body's metabolism and may even cause it to manufacture improper chemicals and/or give rise to various health problems. Cellfood is only one of the exceptional products offered at Nucell Canada, take a further look at our products that allows for nail health, anti-aging, vitality and longevity.
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Article by Val Walters
Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member