Posts for tag: yellow nail syndrome

By Oregon Dermatology & Research Center
November 12, 2018
Category: Nails

6 Nails Symptoms That Shouldn’t Be Ignored

Nails can tell you a lot about what’s going on inside one’s body. They can be markers for anything from cancer to anemia. Keeping an eye on your nails can be crucial to your well being. Here are six signs that you shouldn’t ignore when it comes to your nails.

A brown vertical line on the nail may be a sign of a melanoma. Most melanomas don’t occur in the nail except for about 1 percent in Caucasians and in African Americans it jumps to abut 20 percent. Certain medications can possibly cause a darkening line on the nail, but it is very dark or brown and reaches from one end to the cuticle. It this is the case, go have it checked out.







Brittle nails can result due to a nutrient deficiency in your diet or a chemical your hands are exposed to. Often times malnutrition plays a huge role in brittle nails as well as iron-deficient anemia and thyroid disease. Nails grow from underneath the skin at what’s called the matrix and progress out towards the fingertip. Keratin is what your nails are made of which is a protein, not the commonly mistaken calcium. People often take calcium to try and make their nails grow longer and stronger, however, that’s not going to help one bit. Calcium will make your bones stornger but if it's nail strength you're after, make sure you are eating a well balanced diet with lots of protein.


Brittle Nails

                                                     Brittle Nail Patient of Dr. Phoebe Rich's


Vertical ridges on the nails are common, especially as you get older. When deep horizontal lines are present, those are called Beau’s line, and more concerning. Beau’s lines are indications that something has cause the nail to stop growing such as trauma, a blood transfusion, car accident, chemotherapy or stress. If the vertical ridges are truly bothersome you can use a ridge filer to help cover them up, just don’t use a buffer. If the horizontal lines continue to deepen and you're concerned always reach out to your doctor.

White spots on a nails are called punctate leukonychia. They are formed due to a trauma that was present while the nail was trying to form. Many people think it’s a vitamin deficiency however they purely form due to a minor trauma. On average it takes nails about 6 months to grow out, so as time goes on the white spots will grow out as well.

Excessive yellow nails may be associated with lung disease. It’s called yellow nail syndrome. It is a very rare disease that results in chronic infection and inflammation of the main air passages. Yellow nails, especially on the feet, can be a result of fungus. Either way have it checked out by your doctor.


                                         Patient with Yellow Nail Syndrome



Inflamed, infected and reddened skin around the nail is called paronychia. It is the cause of the cuticle being pushed back, which really shouldn’t happen. It is a common practice among nails salons and the like however, when the cuticle gets pushed back it allows for bacteria, fungus, yeast and mold to get underneath causing an infection. If it does become inflamed and painful, you should soak it in hot water for two or three times a day. If it does not seem to get better, than you should contact your doctor and oral antibiotics might be prescribed. The best way to prevent this is to use a sharp tool if the cuticle is too long or gets snagged and needs to be cut. You can also use a gentle towel after showering to massage the cuticle to get rid of any dead cells.

This is not a complere list of concerning nail symptoms however, they are the ones that you should be aware of and knowledgeable if they should be looked at by a doctor right away or if it can wait. As always feel free to leave a cmment below with any questions, we love to hear form you!