Nail conditions commonly occur in patients with other skin conditions because they are also epithelial (skin) cells. The distal part of the fingers and toes are protected by plates of hard, keratinised epithelial cells, the fingernails and toenails. The nails consist of the visible nail body, the hidden nail root, and the nail bed underneath the nail. A rich blood supply to the nail bed causes healthy nails to appear pink. New cells are formed at the root where they become keratinised and move distally.

Some nail conditions are marked by onycholysis, a white or yellow part of the nail where it has separated from the nail bed. Others appear as pitting or ridges on the nails, and others as discoloured or crumbling nails.

Some Nail Conditions are:

Nail psoriasis is common in patients with psoriasis, with ‘thimble pitting’, onycholysis (separation of the nail from the nail bed), and sometimes hyperkeratosis underneath the nails.

Tinea of the toe nails is usually associated with tinea pedis and results in the edge of the toe nail becoming yellow and crumbly, often resulting with separation of the nail from the nail bed. It can affect several toe nails. T. rubrum is the fungi involved.

Tinea of the fingernails is similar in presentation and usually occurs with a tinea infection of the skin on the same hand. Again T. rubrum is the fungi involved.

Chronic paronychia can be caused by overgrowth of Candida, Proteus or Pseudomonas species of bacteria. Inflammation of the skin around the fingernail or toenail occurs, sometimes with infection of the pulp of the fingertip. The cuticle may be lost and the nail becomes discoloured and ridged.

Nail lichen planus affects about 10% people with lichen planus. This condition thins the nail plate causing grooves and/or ridges, and sometimes onycholysis may occur.

The Auckland Skin Clinic approach

Nail conditions can be very painful, unsightly and sometimes debilitating. It is important to identify the underlying cause of the condition and target the treatment appropriately.

At Auckland Skin Clinic safe, topical agents are used to soothe and support healthy nail growth, while underlying infections, as well as environmental and lifestyle triggers are identified and addressed.

At Auckland Skin Clinic, we’re aware that having a chronic nail disorder can be very frustrating, embarrassing and depressing. We are also aware that it often requires some major effort on your part to change your habits and adopt a healthy lifestyle. We do our best to ensure your emotional wellbeing is supported throughout this process.