There are certain changes in the nails , such as the appearance of spots on the nails , which can be a clear indication that something is wrong.
At first the nails are just dead cells made of keratin. However, when they change in color, shape or thickness, they can indicate a health problem. That is why it is so important to pay special attention to the condition of the fingernails and toenails.
Causes of nail stains
Nails grow in deep folds of the skin, on the fingers and toes. When the epidermal cells under the nail root move to the surface, they multiply, so that those closer to the nail root are compressed.
Each of these cells becomes a thin plate, which is stacked in several layers, thus forming the nail. Once the cells accumulate, the nail moves forward.
They are made up of keratin , in the same way as hair. That is why it is so important to eat a healthy and balanced diet to keep nails strong and hydrated. It is interesting to note that fingernails grow five times faster than fingernails.
It is estimated that 10% of dermatological diseases are related to nails, and 50% of them are caused by fungal infections. In many cases the most common symptom is nail stains.
Types of nail stains
White spots on the nails
The white spots on the nails are called leukonychia . It is not a disease in itself, but it is a sign that can indicate different alterations, generally of a mild nature. Only when the stains are very frequent or affect the entire nails are they cause for concern.
Leukonychia can occur due to a diet poor in nutrients , which leads to a deficit of vitamins and minerals in the body.
When white spots appear on the nails , it is important to pay special attention to whether the whitening is complete or partial.
- Psoriasis : Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes cells to accumulate rapidly on its surface. The most common symptoms are: red spots on the skin that appear covered by scales, itching, pain and white spots on the nails.
When the nails turn white, it can be a symptom of serious diseases. In general, this condition indicates that the body has little defenses.
- Cirrhosis : Cirrhosis is a liver disease that occurs as a result of previous disorders in this liver, such aschronic alcoholism and hepatitis . It is a “silent” disease since symptoms do not appear until the lesions in the liver become large. The most frequent signs are: fatigue, jaundice , nausea, edema, weight loss and whiteness of the nails.
- Peptic ulcer: Peptic ulcer is a type of ulcer located in the mucosa that lines the stomach. The most common causes of this disease are infection by the Helicobacter Pylori bacteria and the abuse of medications such as aspirin. Regarding the symptoms, the most common are: pain, heartburn and nausea.
In the vast majority of cases, the white spots on the nails disappear spontaneously after a few days. However, there are times when it is necessary to apply a treatment to eliminate them and prevent their appearance in the future.
Doctors recommend always wearing protective gloves when handling cleaning products. Of course, it is essential to eat a healthy and balanced diet to avoid a deficit of nutrients in the body.
Yellow spots on the toenails
The yellow spots on the nails are common in smokers. However, the occasions can also be other, such as an unhealthy diet or taking certain medications.
In addition, yellow spots can indicate the presence of any of the following diseases.
- Lichen planus : This is a disease that can cause irritation and swelling of the scalp, skin, and nails. In the most severe cases, it can cause painful ulcers on the genital organs, as well as the loss of nails.
- Lymphedema : a disease that appears in the extremities after removal of the lymph nodes is known as lymphedema. The lymphatic system becomes blocked, so that the accumulated fluid causes swelling.
Brown spots on toenails and fingernails
It is not usual for the nails to acquire a brownish-black hue , although it can occasionally happen. The causes are generally two. On the one hand, a very strong blow that causes a subungual hematoma . And, on the other hand, this coloration may indicate chronic kidney failure.
The chronic renal failure is a serious disease in which the kidneys are unable to filter blood properly. This causes waste to accumulate in the body, leading to various health problems.
Why do I get stains on my nails?
One of the most common nail problems is slow nail growth . The causes can be very diverse: infection, malnutrition, medications … The most common of all is the deficit of essential nutrients for the proper functioning of the body.
That is why it is so important to provide the body with the vitamins and trace elements it needs. The consumption of foods rich in B vitamins, which greatly promote nail growth, is very important.
Appearance of lines
When numerous lines appear on the nails, the most common cause is a fungal infection . It is an infectious disorder that originates from the deep. This is a relatively common disease during the summer months since the humidity favors its proliferation.
Ingrown toenails are a common disorder, especially in adults and the elderly. Although in the vast majority of cases they affect the big toe, they can occur in any other. Symptoms are pain, swelling, and redness.
On the causes of ingrown toenails, one of the most common is to cut the nails incorrectly: at an angle or too short. This disorder can also be caused by an injury to the nails or because they have a curved shape.
If it is not detected in time and the appropriate treatment is applied, it can infect the bone and generate a serious infection in the area.
Signs of nail concern
Just as the appearance and color of the tongue can indicate certain health problems, the same is true of the nails. Thus, there are a number of aspects that should be paid special attention.
In the first place, the appearance of a transverse or vertical line of more than 4 millimeters thick, brown in color and that does not disappear with the passage of days. Second, changes in both the color or the size of the nails.
Also, any type of modification in this area, such as breaks or ulcerations . And finally, remember that if there is a family history of melanoma , the risk is higher.
Faced with any such change, it is important to see a doctor to establish the diagnosis and determine the most appropriate treatment .
Nail melanoma: causes and diagnosis
When stains appear on the nails , one of the main concerns is that it is a melanoma. The main symptom is the appearance of a black or brown spot under the nail, in addition to the pigmentation of the skin around it.
Doctors point out that it appears as a longitudinal line on the nail , which thickens as time passes.
Of course, this type of color change in the nail does not necessarily have to respond to a melanoma. There are many other causes such as trauma or fungal infections.
About the causes that cause melanoma in the nails , there are different theories about it. There are those who associate this disease with the nail drying lamps found in beauty salons.
Several studies have been carried out that have determined that the risk is not important, but it does increase with the continued use of this type of device. That is why it is advisable to wear protective gloves when using these lamps.
White spots on the nails of babies and children
It is relatively common for babies and children to appear small white spots, generally located at the root of the nails . Thus, as they grow, the spots move. Although it may be due to a lack of calcium, the causes can also be others, such as a blow to the base of the nails or a lack of nutrients.
Therefore, if these spots are observed on the nails of the little ones, it is important to add foods with high nutritional value to their diet . It is important that babies and children eat foods rich in vitamin A, vitamin B6 and minerals such as iron.
Thus, in addition to avoiding nail problems , their development is also favored both physically and mentally.
How to remove stains?
There are some natural remedies to remove stains of any color on the nails, whether on the hands or feet, in children, babies or adults.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.