Keratin, a protein normally associated with skin and hair growth, is also used to create nails. Generated from the nail matrix situated at the base of the nail, cell growth steadily propels older cells forward, thus resulting in the formation of longer nails.
The tips of the fingers and toes are shielded from certain abrasions due to the presence of nails, and grasping objects can be done with ease thanks to them. Furthermore, nails possess another, possibly lesser-known function: they can offer insights into the wellbeing of an individual. By simply examining the condition of one’s nails, much can be revealed.
Common afflictions of the nail bed can range from fungal infection to damage caused by psoriasis or injury.
Dermatophyte-based fungal infection, commonly known as onychomycosis or simply nail fungus, is a fairly common condition that affects both toenails and fingernails alike. Generally caused by growth in moist and warm environments, such as showers and locker rooms, nail fungus can unsparingly wreak havoc on nails if left untreated.
Fungal nails can be an annoying nuisance, from the thickening and discoloration of the nail to the separation of nail from the bed. Treatment is often unsuccessful in warding off this pesky infection and it can easily rebound.
People living with nail psoriasis endure the difficult symptoms of thick, yellow or brittle nails and separation from the nail bed, all the while knowing that treatment is difficult to come by and recurrence is always a looming possibility. This autoimmune disorder creates an unseen yet long-standing battle that can be emotionally draining.
Trauma, like tumbles and mishaps, as well as overuse, like excessive keyboarding or playing a musical instrument, could result in nail injury. This could bring about nails that are thicker, yellower, and more brittle than before. Unfortunately, treating such injuries can prove intimidating, and the problem may return.