Common Nail Problems
Most of the time, your nails are pink and healthy, but sometimes nails have problems. Some of the most common include:
· ingrown nail — when the nail curves down and into the skin, causing pain and, sometimes, an infection
· nail injury — when you drop something on your big toe or catch your finger in a drawer. A bruise may appear under the nail and sometimes the nail falls off. A new one grows in its place.
· nail deformity — when the nail isn't smooth, like a healthy nail. People who bite or pick at their nails a lot can have this problem, but it also can happen if someone has an illness that affects the nail.
· hangnail — when a loose strip of dead skin hangs from the edge of a fingernail. Hangnails hurt if you pull them off.
Some of these problems, such as a minor nail injury or hangnail, can be handled at home by your mom or dad. But infections and more serious nail injuries need a doctor's care. Signs of a nail infection include pain, redness, puffiness (swelling), and maybe some pus.
What Your Nails Have to Say
Don't be surprised if your doctor takes a look at your nails at your next checkup, even if you're having no problems with them. Fingernails provide good clues to a person's overall health.
For instance, when the doctor presses your nails, he or she is checking your blood circulation. By looking at your nails, a doctor may find changes that may be associated with skin problems, lung disease, anemia, and other medical conditions. Your nails are in the know!