Fingernail Problems: Split, Yellow or Thick Nails

Healthy fingernails appear smooth, with white tips, pinkish nail beds and have consistent texture and coloring. Some changes in fingernail appearance can be harmless – such as vertical ridges that may develop due to age.

However, other fingernail abnormalities or changes may be the result of more serious medical conditions. An experienced hand and fingernail doctor can examine your fingernail changes, along with your other symptoms, to make the proper diagnosis and implement the best treatments.

If you are suffering from changes in your fingernails, take a look at the images below of some for a general idea of what may be going on. Then call one of our Troy area offices (Shelby Township & Bloomfield Hills) for a consultation with experienced hand doctor, Dr. Rehman.

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Causes of Split Fingernails

Split nails does not refer to the occasional chip, which is normal, and can be caused by damage, excessive hand-washing, doing dishes or even nail polish.  Instead, “split nails” are fragile and seem to flake away in layers.

Often times, split fingernail condition results from chronic malnutrition. They can also be the result of a deficiency of folic acid, and/or vitamin C, and/or protein.

Split nails combined with a pitted nail bed can also be a sign of psoriasis – which actually begins in the fingernails nails 10% of the time.

Chronic fingernail splitting should not be ignored, as it can be a warning sign of a more serious medical condition. Experienced Troy area fingernail doctor Dr. Rehman can examine your nails and let you know if there is any cause for concern.

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Causes of Yellow Nail Syndrome

Yellow nail syndrome causes fingernails to thicken, while new nail growth slows down, resulting in a yellow discoloration of the nails. In some cases of yellow nail syndrome, the fingernails may also lack cuticles and detach from the nail bed in some places.

Yellow nail syndrome can be a sign of serious medical conditions such as respiratory disease or chronic bronchitis. It can also be related to swelling of the hands (lymphedema). Rheumatoid arthritis, and in rare case certain malignancies, can also cause yellow nail syndrome.

Keep in mind that in many other cases, yellow nails may simply be the result of nail polish, nicotine or other surface cosmetic causes. An experienced fingernail doctor like Dr. Rehman can examine your fingernails and let you know if there is any cause for concern.

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Causes of Thick Fingernails

While healthy nails should be strong, if they resemble talons or claws, there is likely a more serious health problem going on.

Excessively thick nails can signal lung disease, or be a symptom of an underlying  circulation problem. Thick nails that are separated from the nail bed may mean the person is suffering from thyroid disease or psoriasis.

Fingernails that are thick and rough-textured can also be the result of a fungal infection. In some cases, as allergic reaction to medication can result in suddenly thick nails.

Thickening fingernails nails should not be ignored, as they can be a symptom of a more serious medical condition. Dr. Rehman is an experienced Troy area fingernail doctor who can examine your nails to see what is going on.