Should You See a Dermatologist About Your Nails?
It may not always occur to someone to think first of a dermatologist for nail care, but no one else knows how to handle it effectively. Any change in size or shape, texture, or color may mean nothing, but a board-certified dermatologist can interpret it. Aside from their natural beauty, nails perform many tasks that provide convenience and efficiency. In addition, they contain indications about someone’s state of health.
Taking Nails for Granted
Toe and fingernails may not require much more than daily care until something goes wrong. With several layers of the protein keratin, they have more complexity than one may think. The protection they offer makes the fingertips a hand’s strongest part. Tiny blood vessels supply them even when fingers firmly grip an object. Fine motor movement becomes possible with them, and a network of nerves underneath provides feeling. Toenails prevent injury and infection because of the protection they provide.
Among the many things they do, nails grow about 0.1 mm per day. However, the growth rate varies by heredity, gender, age, activity level, and other factors. For example, summer makes them grow faster, and nails on a person’s dominant side get longer sooner. Problems with nails tend to happen more frequently with age. Issues that can affect them include circulation issues, regular medication use, and the likely occurrence of fungal infections. They can even give dermatologists clues that can lead to lifesaving measures.
Caring for Nails
Proper nail care helps prevent many disorders, but some issues may occur from various causes nonetheless. Nails in good condition look strong and healthy. Their beauty displays a uniform color and shape. In addition, the surfaces have no ridges, pits or grooves, spots, or discoloration. A regular check on the appearance of nails can alert someone to the need to see a dermatologist.
Doing Nailcare the Right Way
When someone thinks about proper skincare, the treatment of nails may go unnoticed. However, nails need the same kind of care as skin. They require cleaning and nourishment that keeps them in top-notch condition.
Keep Nails Clean and Dry
Washing hands can keep bacteria from forming under fingernails. However, repeated or frequent contact with water can cause nails to split. Dishwashing gloves can protect them from other household chores as well.
Cut and File with Care
A sharp pair of manicure scissors or clippers can deliver a cut straight across the nail. Gentle filing with an emery board can round the edges and prevent snags.
Refuse Cuticle Trimming
Cuticles provide protection from infection of the skin that surrounds the nails. Some salon technicians trim them, but the outcome may lead to treatment for disorders by a dermatologist. Gently pushing cuticles back with an orange stick prevents damage.
Hand lotions can enrich nails and cuticles. While Vaseline may seem too messy to use during the day, it offers an effective way to moisturize and prevent brittleness or chipping.
Avoiding Bad Practices
Some habits or moments of not paying attention can damage nails and cuticles. When they create problems, a board-certified dermatologist can prescribe effective treatment.
Stop or Do Not Start Fingernail Biting
The tender area beneath the nail that some people call the quick can become highly uncomfortable from nail-biting. As the protective fingernail becomes shorter, teeth can invade the nailbed and cause bleeding. In addition, bacteria from the mouth can cause painful infections that take time to heal.
Avert Pain by Treating Hangnails with Respect
Dry cuticles or nail-biting can produce thin pieces of skin that contain live tissue. A decision to pull hangnails off can create pain and complications. Instead, clipping them close to the skin prevents discomfort and infection.
While proper nail care can prevent many disorders, conditions that do not improve or go away deserve attention from a dermatologist. With the hands readily available for anyone to see, any disorder clearly shows something wrong. Likewise, changes to nails that persist can alert someone to the need for professional treatment. Derick Dermatology provides 18 convenient locations throughout Chicago’s suburbs where patients can receive prompt treatment for these and other conditions:
Crumbling and Pitted Nails
Nail psoriasis can cause grooves as well, and blood that gathers under the nail can lift it from the nailbed.
Brittle Nails that Split
Nails that often switch between wet and dry can become brittle, thin, or soft and cause splitting.
Toes tend to get more exposure to mold and fungus than hands, and sweat or athlete’s foot can cause problems. Some cases may require surgery to remove a nail.
Redness and Swelling
An infection around the nail bed can occur promptly and produce visible symptoms. Pain, tenderness, and separation of the nail from the bed indicate the need for treatment.
Finding Local Treatment for Nails
Since its founding in 2006, Derick Dermatology has continued a tradition of providing compassionate and effective skin and nail care. Dedicated professionals provide cosmetic, medical, and surgical services for skin and nail care for children and adults. Eighteen Chicago suburbs offer convenient access to the highest quality of dermatology services.
DERMATOLOGY NEAR ME
Derick Dermatology is a leading authority in medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatological services with 19 stunning dermatology practices in Chicago, IL, and Tampa Bay, FL. Our dedicated dermatologists offer exceptional dermatological services for both adult and pediatric patients. Please complete our online form or call our main number at (866) 337-4251 to schedule a consultation.