Non-fungal nail diseases: what to treat and what not

Non-fungal nail diseases: what to treat and what not


The beauty of nails always depends only on health. No expensive salon procedures and the most thorough care can save the nail plates from the disease, if it exists and needs to be treated by a specialist.

All nail pathologies are divided into fungal and non-fungal. And this article will give you information specifically about non-fungal lesions and the feasibility of their therapy.

Why do my nails hurt?

The following factors can be the causes of nail diseases:

  • trauma;
  • inappropriate nutrition, leading to inadequate intake of nutrients;
  • heredity;
  • pathology of the heart, blood vessels, endocrine or nervous system;
  • dermatitis ;
  • lichen planus ;
  • psoriasis ;
  • eczema ;
  • nicotine addiction;
  • improper care.


According to some leading specialists in the field of dermatology, such ailments are more often provoked by dermatological diseases, and due to injuries they arise depending on the strength, frequency and duration of exposure to one or another traumatic factor.

It is easy to distinguish a healthy nail from a patient: in the absence of pathologies, the nail plate has no irregularities, is pink and not very thick. And in case of diseases, it is mutated. For example: yellowed, deformed, whitish, etc. Such symptoms are always a reason to see a doctor!

List of non-fungal nail lesions


In the dermatological atlas, you can find many diseases of non-fungal origin, which affect precisely the nail plates. Within the framework of this article, we will consider only the most common:

Onycholysis. This pathology is accompanied by whitening of the nail and its flaking from the finger. Sometimes the shade of the nail can vary from bluish to yellow. This disease can be caused by psoriasis, eczema, bullous dermatosis , atopic dermatitis , disorders of the cardiovascular, endocrine, digestive, nervous system or some kind of traumatic factor. Subsequently, such a lesion can significantly increase not only the trauma of the nail plate (up to its complete loss) and the finger itself, but also the risk of infection with fungal infections.
Hyperkeratosis. This disease is manifested by a thickening of the nail plate (from 1-2 mm to more than 2 mm), a change in its color, dryness, looseness and gradual coloring. The following diseases and factors become the causes of such damage: lichen planus, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, trauma, circulatory disorders, medication, diabetes mellitus , immune dysfunction, heredity, a- and hypovitaminosis, obesity , ichthyosis, seborrhea, etc. the number of reasons requires careful diagnosis for the appointment of therapy, since in its absence there is a risk of loss of the nail or infection with a fungus.
Leukonychia. With this pathology, the nail plate acquires a cloudy white tint. In this case, the foci can be total or limited (point, strip-like). Often this change is triggered by psoriasis. In addition, it can be provoked by compression, blows, frequent contact with “caustic” chemical compounds, unbalanced diet, digestive pathologies, severe diseases of the heart, kidneys, blood, etc. To get rid of such an aesthetic problem, it is enough to follow simple rules of nail care and respect for them. However, the root cause of such lesions must always be established and treated.
Melanonychia. With this disease, vertical (along the growth of the nail) black or brownish stripes appear on the nail plates. Such foci appear due to an increase in the level of melanocytes in certain areas, sometimes the stripes can merge with each other. The disease can be provoked by some endocrine ailments, taking a number of drugs (for example, antibiotics, cytostatics), radiation sickness and other conditions. In any case, the appearance of such stripes should become a reason for seeking medical attention.
Paronychia. With such a lesion of the nail, inflammation of the periungual ridge occurs, caused by trauma. The skin around the nail plate becomes reddened and swollen. Sometimes such a pathological process can be provoked by other dermatological ailments (psoriasis, eczema) or some forms of syphilis . Subsequently, it can be supplemented by a secondary infection. It is quite logical that paronychia always needs treatment for both the main one and the disease that provokes it.
Chromonychia is an unnatural coloration of the nail. This pathology can be false or true. In the first case, it occurs due to contact with chemicals, for example, after applying low-quality manicure varnishes. In this position, to get rid of it, it is enough to carry out measures for the care of the nail plate and to stop contact with the provoking factor. In the second case – with true chromonychia – the ailment is provoked by various diseases and requires treatment. With this option, nail damage is caused by pathologies of the bronchi and lungs, immunity, endocrine system, skin, liver, organs of the excretory system, emerging tumors or taking certain medications.
Exfoliation of the nail plate. This pathology is the result of insufficient calcium intake in the body, improper nail care or diseases of the cardiovascular and endocrine system. Often, such an aesthetic defect is provoked by improper filing of the nail or the use of excessively hard files.
Longitudinal or transverse grooves on the nail plate. This pathology is caused by conditions that lead to a lack of a particular nutrient in the body. Often, such defects are detected in people with anemia, ailments of the digestive system, heart, blood vessels, or poor nutrition. Treatment for such a problem is always aimed at eliminating the root cause.


General principles for the treatment of non-fungal nail lesions

Taking into account the versatility of the causes of non-fungal lesions of the nail plates, it can be concluded that such diseases always require either drug treatment or a radical revision of the rules of care. That is why it is recommended to visit a dermatologist without fail and carry out the diagnostic measures prescribed by him. In some cases, the goal of therapy should be directed towards the elimination of the systemic disease.

Another important measure that everyone should keep in mind is prevention. All dermatologists urge to remember about it, since it is easier to prevent the onset of an ailment than to spend a lot of time and money on sometimes long-term treatment. That is why, before starting a hygienic manicure, choosing a salon for such procedures or care products, you should definitely consult a specialist or be guided by information that was obtained from reliable sources.

Non-fungal nail diseases are extremely diverse in both their number and etiological factor. They should always be removed by a qualified technician. Such scrupulousness can be explained very simply: these ailments can become the result of serious general diseases and lead to the occurrence of fungal infections.

Which doctor to contact


If the nails are damaged, you should consult a dermatologist. They can be a manifestation of contagious fungal infections, or they can be non-fungal in nature and signal serious health problems. In many cases, such patients require further consultation with a hematologist, endocrinologist, gastroenterologist and other specialists.

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