How to treat nail eczema
The nail serves as a cover on the tip of fingers and toes in humans and made out of a tough protective protein called keratin. Similar to other organs of the body, nails can also suffer from diseases and injury. There are different nail problems and one of them is nail eczema.
Usually eczema only affects the skin, but it can also cause infection on the nails and people of all age groups can be affected by this condition. It can make the nail rough, pitted and even lead to the permanent loss of nails.
Eczema is characterized by red, irritated skin that is oozing and crusting over, thus causing the skin to appear scaly. Nail eczema develops under and around the nail beds and triggered when the skin is irritated or exposed to chronic moisture.
Causes of nail eczema
- Eczema is a chronic disease and a form of dermatitis where there is an inflammatory change that occurs in the skin. The skin becomes rough, thick, red and oftentimes leads to a scaly skin surface with itching and oozing.
- Nail eczema can be caused by too much exposure to water and moisture. Housewives and women are susceptible to this condition since their nails are always immersed in water for extended periods particularly when cleaning dishes and washing clothes.
- Soaps and detergents which cause irritation as well as exposure to various industrial chemicals
- Internal factors such as stress and genetic traits can also cause nail eczema.
Symptoms of nail eczema
- The nail is rough and dull with a tiny groove on the nail
- The nail becomes discolored where it becomes yellow to brown in color and the skin found below the nail is inflamed.
- The nail may crumble which makes it unappealing to look at
- The condition is painful and sometimes there is white serous liquid that oozes out below the nail.
- Sometimes, the pain is very severe that it restricts activities performed by the hands. In addition, there is swelling around the nails or even permanent loss of the nail in severe cases.
- Minimize exposure to water by avoid being immersed in water for long periods of time. When washing dishes and clothes, cover the hands with gloves.
- Apply moisturizer at least once a day and at night when there is no more exposure to water. Use coconut oil or almond oil since both are good moisturizers that will make the surface of the nail smooth and supple.
- Wear gloves when using soaps and detergents and other chemicals since it prevents direct contact with the irritants that are likely to cause nail eczema.
- Try to reduce the level of stress since it makes the condition worse.
- Apply an ice pack on the affected area at least 5 minutes in order to minimize pain, swelling and itching around the nails.
- If the condition becomes severe, seek medical help immediately.