Despite their small size, your nails serve an important purpose: protecting and supporting the tissues of your fingers and toes. Healthy nails are smooth and evenly colored, but certain medical conditions can cause them to become discolored, thickened, or misshapen. Our dermatology offices in Riverside and San Diego County treat nail disease to restore the health and beauty of your nails.
Common Nail Problems
Sometimes, changes in the fingernails can indicate a more serious medical condition. Liver, kidney, heart and lung disease, as well as diabetes and even skin cancer can cause changes in nail appearance that may appear to our Southern California patients as nail disease. In these cases, the nail symptoms should clear up when the underlying condition is resolved. Some of the more localized nail disorders we treat include:
- Fungal and yeast infections
- Ingrown toenails
- Light or dark spots
- Warts or tumors
- Psoriatic nails
Fungal infections are, by far, the most common nail disease treated at our Southern California offices. Nail fungus causes the nails to become thickened, yellow, and crumbly. The fungus will not go away without treatment. Topical treatments are available, but typically they are less effective than oral medications prescribed by your dermatologist. Once the fungal infection is cleared up, proper nail care is essential to prevent a recurrence.
Proper Care for Healthy Nails
Many nail disorders result from improper nail care, so developing good nail habits can help. To keep your nails healthy, you should:
- Keep nails short, and cut them straight across with sharp, sterile tools
- Keep the nails clean and dry, and use protective gloves for dishwashing or other wet tasks
- Avoid wearing artificial nails, which can trap moisture against the nail and allow fungi to grow
- Remove shoes to let feet breathe, but avoid walking barefoot in public places such as health clubs or swimming pools
- Wear clean, breathable socks, and never share socks or shoes
- Talk to your dermatologist about any nail irregularities, such as color changes, swelling, or pain. Some of these can signal a more serious medical concern.
If you would like to find out more about our cosmetic or medical services, click here to request a consultation at Dermatology Specialists, Inc. or call our office nearest you to schedule your appointment.