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Nail : Definition Disease &Complication

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Nail is protective covering that grow upper part of finger or toe and are composed of a hard protein known as keratin. A small nail have a complex structure with some basic part are following:-

Nail Plate:-  Nail plate is visible part of nail that is composed of keratin. It is a hard and translucent part and provide protection.

Nail Bed :- Nail bed is a skin that is present just beneath of the Nail plate and composed of two layers dermis (contain capillaries and glands) and epidermis (just beneath of nail plate).

Matrix :-  Nail matrix is present under the cuticle at the stem of the nail. It extends beneath the root of the nail and comprises of lymph, nerves and blood vessels. It is also known as Onychostroma.

Nail Grooves:- The cutaneous line in which the lateral border of nail is present.

Lanula :- The white visible area present at the bottom of the fingernail.

Cuticle:- The cuticle is a thin layer of dead tissue that present  on the nail plate to form support between the nail plate and eponychium to prevent pathogens from infecting the matrix area.

Mantle:- Nail Mantle is the fold of skin in front of the cuticle. It protects the matrix.

Hyponchium:-  The hyponychium is the thickened portion, underlying the free edge of the nail plate on the nail.

Free edge:- The free edge of the nail is the white portion of the nail that grows out from the finger or toe and consists dead cells and keratin.

Hardships in Nail


Erythronychia is derived from erythro meaning red and nychia meaning nail. It presents with longitudinal red bands in the nail plate that originate in the matrix and extend to the point of separation of the nail plate and nail bed, and may present with multiple nails with inflammatory conditions.


Abnormal growth of a nail resulting a depression in the nail that gives an appearance of a spoon shaped known as Koilonychia.


A condition in which nail colour turns black or brown.


Onychitis is an infectious condition in which inflammation occur in nail bed and nail matrix.


An Onychocryoptosis ingrown toenail is caused by the pressure from the ingrowth of the nail edge into the skin of the toe. When the edge of the nail breaks through the skin, it produces inflammation and an infection in the adjacent skin. Ingrown toenails most commonly affect the large (great) toes.


A congenital or acquired disorder that creates problems in finger bones, resulting in deformity of nails with discolouration, decomposition and malformation.


Onychogryphosis (Ram’s Horn Nails) is a condition in which there is overgrowth or hypertrophy of the nails resulting in long, curved nails which result tight shoes, trauma or injury to the nail, infection of the nail, decreased blood supply to the nail; all these can cause Onychogryphosis or Ram’s Horn Nails.


A condition in which nail  is detached without any pain and occur due to injury or infection.


Onychomadesis is shedding of the fingernails or toenails. It can be complete, periodic and spontaneous and caused when nail matrix functioning stops temporarily.


Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the toenails or fingernails that can cause pain, discomfort, and disfigurement. It can present in any component of the nail unit, including the matrix, bed, or plate.


Onychophosis is a condition results from abnormal growth of horny epithelium in the lateral or proximal nail folds.


Onychorrhexis  refers to split or brittle nails. It is a brittleness with breakage of finger or toenails that occur  due to excessive strong soap and water exposure, nail polish remover, hypothyroidism, anemia, anorexia nervosa or bulimia.


Dropping of nail result from fever, trauma or adverse reaction of drug.


Onychoschizia, commonly known as nail splitting and may causes horizontal splits within the nail plate.


Ingrown nail is known as Onyxis.


A benign nail matrix tumor clinically characterized by a thickened, curved nail plate,with multiple holes at the distal margin of the nail plate.


Paronychia is an infection in the skin around the fingernails or toenails and affects the skin at the base (cuticle) or up the sides of the nail. There are two types of paronychia: acute paronychia and chronic paronychia.

Subungal Hematoma

A subungual hematoma is a common condition where blood and fluid collect just beneath the fingernail or toenail. This is usually caused by a traumatic injury. It can also occur from wearing tight-fitting shoes which trap blood in the toes leading to an increased pressure within the blood vessels of the toes.


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