Clean and healthy nails may help you look your best, but they’re also a key part of your overall health. So, it’s important to act fast when something seems off. While you might be tempted to search for at-home nail remedies online, remember that a medical dermatology clinic is your best resource for diagnosis and treatment.
In general, healthy nails have a smooth texture and even coloring. You might see white spots or redness occasionally, and slight variations in coloring are generally not an issue. However, major changes to the shape, strength, and color of your nails are often signs of an underlying condition.
Specifically, you should note issues such as discoloration, pitting, swelling, brittleness, pain, and nail separation. Some common nail abnormalities include but aren’t limited to:
Other nail abnormalities include dark streaks, which could be a sign of melanoma, and redness around the nail, which indicates an infection. In general, it’s best to take note if your nails are showing any unusual colors or symptoms.
At-home care is a key part of nail health. However, this should generally be limited to trimming and cleaning. When you’re experiencing unusual nail symptoms, it’s best to see a medical professional. Otherwise, you could miss signs of an infection or other condition, causing the issue to become worse. At-home nail care will prevent some infections and abnormalities, but only medical treatment can properly diagnose and treat.
A dermatologist will carefully look at your nail symptoms and provide a diagnosis. For example, you might have a bacterial and fungal infection that clears up with a prescription cream. The dermatologist might recommend an in-office procedure as part of your treatment as well. However, they can also tell you if the nail abnormality is linked to a medical condition somewhere else in the body and recommend next steps.
Overall, it’s important to pay attention to your nail health and call a medical dermatology provider about any changes. Whether you have an ingrown toenail or discoloration, looking into the issue will get you a step closer to health nails.
If you are experiencing nail abnormalities, the team at Pacific Dermatology Specialists can help. Our dermatologists are trained to diagnose and treat a variety of nail conditions, providing nail procedures at their locations. With offices in Carson, Seal Beach, Torrance, and Long Beach, CA, we are currently accepting new patients. Contact us today to request an appointment.