Nail abnormalities are when nails appear with differences in color, shape, texture, or thickness of fingernails or toenails. These problems may include discoloration, raised ridges on nails, pitting of the nail beds, brittle nails, or streaks/spots on the nails.
Abnormalities of the nail are often caused by skin disease and infection, but they can also be a side effect of general medical conditions. Nail abnormalities may arise after injury to the area, after illness, or due to malnutrition. Older persons are more susceptible to nail abnormalities. Chronic picking of the nails or nail polish use can also cause issues.
It is also possible to have a fungal or bacterial infection in the nails.
Once diagnosed, nail abnormalities may be treated with prescription topical or oral medications. These can help strengthen the nail or clear up any infections. It is also good practice to keep the nails short and free of nail polish. Avoidance of picking or biting nails is ideal, and wearing shoes that do not squeeze the toes together is best.
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