It is important to note that the nails on the toes and fingers have a vital part in defending the delicate skin in the nail plate. The cuticle also has an important role since it seals the bed from fungal and bacterial infections. Always bear in mind that both are commonly targeted by fungi, bacteria and other medical issues that can occur at any time and for various reasons.
Always bear in mind that bacterial infections usually affect the nail and cuticles which develop and spread in a similar manner just like with fungal infections. These are triggered by contact to Streptococci bacteria or Staphylococcus aureus which target the cuticle and trigger an infection known as paronychia.
One of the prevalent nail and cuticle disorders is fungal infection. The fungal infection affecting the toenail is called as onychomycosis. Fungal infections are usually triggered by a type of fungus called dermatophyte. These fungi can infect nails if there are open cuts or wounds in the skin and can easily spread from one individual to another or through direct contact. Take note that fungal infections are likely to occur among individuals over 60 years old but can occur at any age. If you want to learn more about this condition, read here.
Onychogryphosis or ram’s horn nail is a condition that usually affects that nail of the big toe. This develops once the toe nail thickens and starts to curve abnormally into a hook-like shape. This occurs when one side of the nail starts to grow at a quicker manner than the other. Take note that the condition can cause injury to the surrounding toes due to the sharp edges of the hooked nail.
An ingrown toenail is another common condition that occurs once the nail grows in an uneven manner and penetrates into the surrounding flesh of the toe. The condition can cause swelling and pain around the affected nail. The ingrown will also pierce the skin, thus increasing the risk for infection.
Onycholysis is basically a nail disorder that affects the nail plate and nail bed. Onycholysis can occur once the nail sustains direct trauma such as ill-fitting shoes, stubbing or sports accident that results to the separation of the nail from the nail bed and in some cases, even the loss of the nail entirely. The exposure of the skin under the nail will increase the risk for further infection if not kept dry or taken care of properly.
Melanonychia striata is a disorder that results to pigment discoloration. In such cases, there is a brown strip of melanin that appears from the top of the nail to its base. In most cases, the change in the pigment is not an issue to worry about but it is best to have it assessed by a doctor since this can indicate skin cancer.
Hangnail is another common condition that affects the skin surrounding the nail bed. It is best described as a torn piece of skin that develops once the skin is too dry. This can be prevented by using a moisturizer regularly. Those who bite their fingernails are more likely to develop hangnails.