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Noticed deterioration in lunula on finger and toenails. Cause and treatment?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 1979
Answered : 2457 Questions
I have recently noticed a deterioration in the lunula on a couple of finger and toe nails. It starts right at the cuticle showing a white area that appears to be a delamination of the nail in that area. It almost seems if you were to use the right instrument you could peel off a layer of the nail starting at the cuticle. The rest of the nails seem to be intact with no other symptoms.
Posted Thu, 3 Oct 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. M Y Shareef 55 minutes later
Brief Answer:
May need a prolonged treatment if infection proved

Detailed Answer:
Hi ! I am Dr Shareef answering your query.

I would like to know if you have changed your place of stay with changes in extremes of climate. Sometimes,sudden change in environmental temperature may give rise to such problem. If it is not the situation, then I as a doctor of yours would like to examine you clinically followed by some supplements, fresh green vegetables and fruits being the best natural resources.

However if it persists, I if in your situation, would think of showing my nails and fingers to a Dermatologist instead, as infections of nail like fungal, psoriasis etc are not infrequent. In that case the Dermatologist may take some scrapping from the nail to examine it under microscope for diagnosing the condition. In case of nail infections, you may have to take both local and systemic treatment for a prolonged period of time.

I hope, you have not started using any new soap or any kind of chemical application to your nail and if it is so, just stop the new usage and see if this gets relived.

Apart from all this, I would suggest you to give proper attention to the personal hygiene which I am sure you must be doing and must make the finger nails dry after every wash or bath. This may also help you in improving the situation.

I hope I have answered your query. If you have any further question, please feel free to ask.

Thanks for using healthcare magic portal for your health query. Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Noticed deterioration in lunula on finger and toenails. Cause and treatment? 22 hours later
There have been no changes in my daily routine which includes several vitamins, a B complex which includes B1, B2, B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 and B12 along with C, selenium, ALA, Milk Thistle and several others. All these have been part of a program I was put on years ago to control my Hep C which it has consistently brought down my AST, ALT and Billirubin (sp?) levels through blood testing for over 10 years.

I have looked on line at more fungal infected finger and toe nails than I ever want to see again and not one looked like mine. I wish I had attached a photo at the initial request but I didn't realize I had that opportunity until after the fact.

Our diet incudes large amounts of fresh steamed and raw green leafy vegetables along with a conscious mind relative to food combining. Melons alone, no red meat and potato (starches period) etc. Eat 5 times a day, I'm 6' and 186 lbs.

Any further information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Answered by Dr. M Y Shareef 21 minutes later
Brief Answer:
No harm in getting examined and tested again

Detailed Answer:
Hi Mr. Farmer, Good to listen from you. It shows the positive concern of yours on your own health.

Even though your nail may not be looking like a fungal infected one, there is no harm in getting it examined and scraps tested by the Dermatologist. If it comes out to be negative, then well and good.

Considering your Hep C status, if I would have been your doctor, I would get your liver function test done and an ultrasound done for your abdomen to know the physical status of your liver. As protein is a constituent of nail, any abnormality of liver hampering the production of proteins may affect the nail also adversely. In case of any abnormality in the test, I would have referred you to a gastro enterologist for expert advice.

Your diet is ok I suppose so far as the question of supplements are concerned. So there is nothing much to add.

I hope this information will be helpful for you in discussing your problem with your treating doctor.

Thanking you again and wishing you an early solution to your problem.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Noticed deterioration in lunula on finger and toenails. Cause and treatment? 6 hours later
I get a full liver panel run every 6 months and just had an ultrasound 2 months ago with no negative indicators on the liver or pancreas. I'll get my dermatologist to take a look.
Answered by Dr. M Y Shareef 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
Possibly the right course if action.

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXXX ! Yes . As all other parameters appears to be normal, I too feel that consulting the Dermatologist in person and showing him the lesion will be helpful. Thanks and good luck.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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