The skin is the largest organ in the entire body, as a result many skin disorders can affect several parts of the body’s surface, including the skin, hair, and nails. Hair and Nails grow continuously throughout our lives unless otherwise affected by disease, fungus, or some form of trauma.
Some common skin issues that have an effect on the nails are psoriasis, fungal nail infections, periungal eczema, and viral warts. During most general dermatology examinations, it is important to pay close attention to the hair and nails.
The most common nail issue that patient deal with is Nail fungus. It generally begins as white or yellow spots under the tips of the fingernails or toenails. In more severe cases, the the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus can cause your nail to discolor, thicken or crumble along the edges.
Funguses tend to spread quite easily and are known to be contagious. Therefore, once one nail is affected, the fungus will spread to the rest of the nails over time.
The fungus will eventually worsen if left untreated. Nails will thicken, and discoloration will get worse, this may be with some pain. Some common symptoms associated with nail fungus are:
- Thickened nails
White/yellowing nailsOddly shaped nailsSlight smellDirt buildup under toenailsBrittle or broken nails
This fungus can very easily spread to the other parts of the body through the skin, as the nails are essentially part of the skin. For instance, when fungus spreads to the skin between the toes, it becomes athlete’s foot. In certain rare cases, it can even move far enough to affect the fingernails.
Fungal nail infections are caused by the presence of fungi called dermatophyte, and in some cases mold or yeast. These fungi come about as a result of poor hygiene, sweating, walking barefoot in gyms and showers, and other habits. When nails become brittle and begin to crack, this provides the entry point that fungi need to infect the nail. Patient’s with poor circulation and a weakened immune system are highly susceptible to these fungi.
Athlete’s foot is caused by the same fungus, so fungal nail infections can lead to athlete’s foot and vice versa.
Prevention and Treatment
In order to prevent the fungus that causes such nail disorders, you should keep good hygiene habits. Change your socks and wash your feet after the gym or working out, anytime your feet become overly sweaty.
To treat nail fungus, we use a number of methods. We use certain antifungal drugs to treat the fungal infection. Also, laser treatments, topical ointments, and chemical baths may be necessary to repair the damaged skin and nails.
Hair Growth for most healthy individuals is determined by body site, gender, and age. Disease may affect the hairs growth with direct action on the follicle or by indirectly affecting the area in which the follicle grows. Diseases that affect the scalp and have implications on the hair’s growth include psoriasis, eczema, fungal infections, alopecia areata, scarring alopecias. However, Telogen effluvium is the most common dermatological hair problem, characterized by massive shedding of hair about 6 to 10 weeks after a period of significant physiological disturbance; sometimes in conjunction with increased body hair growth.
Hair Loss also known as Alopecia affects millions of men and women every year. There are a number of causes including hormones for women after having given birth, or simply just general stress. There are also instances where disease or side effects of a medical procedure may be the cause.
However, the most common cause of Hair Loss is hereditary hair loss, affecting over 80 million men and women in the US alone.
- Thinning of Hair and Bald Patches – often beginning in the center of the head, especially in round circle patterns.
- Complete Baldness
- Hereditary baldness.
- Diseases, illness, or side effects from certain treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy
- Hormones and Stress
- Diet and Poor Nutrition
- Overuse of harmful hair products
In order to treat Hair Loss dermatologists have been using a number of different methods including Laser Devices, Prescription and Non-Prescription medications, and procedures such as Hair transplant or scalp reduction.
A new more modern method of hair restoration has gained popularity recently amongst dermatologists across the world; PRP hair restoration. PRP, or Platelet Rich Plasma, uses the injection of the body’s own plasma into the sites of hair loss, stimulating hair follicles to grow thicker, and faster; in sites where the previous follicles would not grow at all.
After we understands the issue, through careful examination, we can properly diagnose and recommend a proper course of treatment.