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Nail diseases

Pink, smooth, even nails are an expression of beauty and health. Moreover, the nail fulfils an important protective function for the finger tips and toe ends. A heavy workload (cleaning, washing, hand washing) can cause nails to lose their shine and to split. In fact, this is not a disease, but a sign of wear and tear. We can help with skin protection advice and natural stabilising nail gels. If necessary, symptoms of a deficiency can be ruled out.

If nails become crumbly and yellow, often there is a fungal infection. These can be diagnosed quickly and accurately in our in-house fungal laboratory. The treatment of a nail fungus is not just important from an aesthetic point of view. Fungal nail infections make it easier for bacteria to penetrate the skin and are thus one of the most common triggers of erysipelas. Modern treatments include the Nd:YAG laser, or alternatively nowadays there are very well tolerated drugs and anti-fungals for external application.

Other causes of the destruction and inflammation of nails are inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis or lichen ruber. Distinguishing these from a fungal nail infection can often be extremely difficult and can only be done by an experienced expert. Psoriasis or lichen ruber of the nail are treated with drugs that balance the immune system, with the treatment process being largely tailored to the individual.

In rare cases benign or malignant tumours that have developed in the nail bed can also destroy the nail. Among other things, melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer may develop here. Occasionally warts or painful but benign vascular tumours (glomus tumours) can also contribute to disrupting the development of the nail. Here, surgical removal and a histologic examination of the changes by the dermatologist are essential for optimum healing.

Suppuration of the nail bed (paronychia) is a highly painful and often chronic nail disease. With this disorder, bulging inflammations appear on both sides of the nail bed, especially on the big toes. Tight shoes and faulty foot posture are common factors in the emergence and perpetuation of this condition.  Relief and healing can be achieved with a small surgical intervention. Under local anaesthetic thin plastic strips are inserted on both sides of the nail bed and attached directly to the nail. These prevent a further “digging in” of the nail into the nail bed, after which pain and inflammation subside. In the majority of cases a lasting cure is achieved with this method. In especially stubborn cases narrow sections of the nail are removed from the sides. For permanent results we use a specific method to obliterate the nail bed.