March 10, 2010

Causes & Treatment for Nail Dystrophy

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Dystrophy in itself is a condition that can affect any part of the body and is usually a result of inadequate nutrition. However, nail dystrophy is a condition where the nail is severely damaged either due to a traumatic accident or fungal infection. In nail dystrophy, the nail loses its shape or gets partially or completely destroyed. This misshapes or destruction happens when keratin starts collecting between the nail and skin underneath it, separating the nail from the skin. If the condition is due to trauma where you have hurt your nail, and it is a minor injury – that is, the injury covers less then 25 per cent of the nail, then you can take care of it at home itself. Keep your leg or arm, whichever is hurt, above your heart level. Take ice, cover it in a towel or else take a bag of frozen vegetables and wrap that in a towel and hold this against your injured nail or the exposed skin. Along with this, take anti-inflammatory medication, but only after consulting your physician. If it is a major injury, it will have to be taken care of by a physician. In a trauma, if the nail has not been removed completely due to the injury, blood gets accumulated between the nail and the skin beneath it. To ensure that the injury does not get infected, this blood needs to be drained out. There are three methods that are usually used to do this. One is using a device that is battery-operated. This device burns a hole in the nail to drain out the blood. The second is using a needle that has a large diameter. Again, this needle is used to drill a hole in the nail to drain out the blood. All these methods have to be administered by a qualified physician.

The other thing that causes nail dystrophy is fungal infection, if it is not taken care of immediately. Fungus thrives in warm, humid areas. People who wear shoes whole day or walk on damp ground for long periods of time are more prone to this infection. Even cutting the nail close to the skin and cutting the skin itself can cause the infection to take place. The best way to handle this at home is to mix Listerine, hydrogen peroxide, and alcohol in equal quantities and soak the infected area it this mixture everyday till the infection disappears.