What do your nails say about your health?!

What do your nails say about your health?!  Nails can be a window into your overall health.  Read on….

Green nail syndrome.  This  may be caused by excessive copper in the body or an infection called Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection of the nail bed.

  • Copper poisoning is rare.  It can be caused by cooking food in uncoated cooper cookware or drinking water with a high copper content.
  • More commonly a Pseudomonas aerouginosa infection of the nail can occur, especially if you have chronically wet hands.  Treatment for this is topical gentamicin or oral or topical cipro.  Keep your hands dry!


Yellow nail syndrome.  This is usually from primary lymphedema or chronic lung problems.  The nails can look thickened, excessively curved and yellow.  Toenails are more often affected than fingernails.  Yellow nails may be a sign of a shortened lifespan (usually due to respiratory infection).  It is unknown why lung diseases may cause yellow nails.

White superficial onychomycosis.  These are white patches of fungus that invade the superficial layer of the nail plate.  It looks like white powdery substance attached to the top of the nail.  More likely to affect children than adults.  Treatment includes application or topical antifungals or taking antifungal pills by mouth.

Runner’s toe.  This occurs on the big or second toe due to repetitive trauma to the toenails against a shoe while running.  may show a dark red or black discoloration beneath the toenail.  This will resolve over time.  Buy properly fitted footwear to help prevent injury of the toenails on the end of the shoe.

Melanoma of the nail.  The acral-lentiginous melanoma is a type of melanoma that occurs on the fingers, toes, palms, soles and nail bed.  This is most often on the thumb and the big toe and occurs most in those 40 to 70 years of age.  If you have a dark spot under your nail, ask your doctor if this needs a biopsy7733108000_54821ed346_oflickr.com/photos/toxic_vanity/7733108000

About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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