Dermatology and the Treatment of Nail Problems

While most people think of dermatology as the treatment of skin problems, the reality is that patients who experience hair and nail problems are also treated in this medical field. Many dermatologists look for patients with a range of problems during their practice, and these professionals are trained to diagnose and treat these problems, helping to return the nails to a healthier and more attractive state. They are also trained to determine when a condition may be a sign of a more serious condition and will urge their patients to seek appropriate medical help. Here are some of the conditions through dermatology that are treated.
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Nails Brittle
Two types of brittle nails exist. Hard and brittle, and brittle and soft. The first thing a dermatologist will do is determine whether both your finger and toe nails, or just your fingernails, are brittle. While having brittle nails on both your feet and hands can indicate a physical problem that may require treatment from a regular doctor as well as a dermatologist, brittle nails on your hands alone can most often be easily treated by dermatology alone.
Too little moisture causes hard, brittle nails and is usually accompanied by dry hands as well as nails. He will usually recommend something to add moisture to the nails in the case of hard brittle nails and suggest the wearing of gloves to help protect your nails from the environment. The cause is generally too much moisture in the case of nails that are soft and brittle, and he will more than likely recommend the use of cotton gloves under protective gloves when working in water to help keep your nails dry.
Fungi
Often, nail fungus can lead to nail discoloration, pain, and sometimes nail loss. Untreated nail fungus can spread to other parts of your body, so treatment should take place as soon as possible. There are instances of finger nail fungus as well, while most cases of nail fungus occur in the nail bed of your toenails.
The dermatologist will not only look at the affected nails when treating nail fungus, but may also look at the bottom of your feet and the skin surrounding the nail to make sure the fungus has not spread. Although it is difficult to treat nail fungus because it is hard to get at, with topical medications and perhaps photodynamic therapy, he can successfully treat nail fungus.