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Blue nails (discoloured nails): Nail turns a variety of colours; can indicate systemic disorder.

Bruised nails: Dark purplish spots; usually due to an injury.

Corrugations: Wavy ridges caused by uneven nail growth; usually a result of illness or injury.

Eggshell nails: Noticeably thin white nail plate that is more flexible than normail; may be caused by diet, illness or medication.

Furrows: Depressions in the nail that run either lengthwise of across the nail; result from illness or injury, stress or pregnancy.

Hangnail (agnail): The cuticle splits around the nail.

Infected finger: Redness, pain, swelling or pus; see a doctor.

Leukonychia (white spots): Whitish discolorations of the nails; usually caused by an injury to the base of the nail.

Melanonychia: Darkening of the finger or toe nails.

Onychatropia: Atrophy or wasting away of the nail; caused by injury or disease.

Onychauxis (hypertrophy): Overgrowth in the thickness of the nail; caused by a local infection, internal imbalance or it may be hereditary.

Onychophagy: Bitten nails

Onychorrhexis: Abonormal brittleness with striation (lines) of the nail plate.

Plictured nails: Folded nails

Pterygium: Forward growth of cuticle.

Tile-shaped nails: Increased cross-wise curvature through the nail plate.

Trumpet nails: Edge of the mail plate curls around to form the shape of a trumpet or a cone around the free edge.

Pseodomonan aeruginosa: nail fungus, natural occuring bacteria on our skin that can grow out of control in an anaerobic (no oxygen) condition. It can occur when moisture becomes trapped between the natural nail and artificial nail products, ie: tips, wraps, gels or acrylics. Medical attention is required as it is infectious and contagious. Removal of the artifical nail is required to expose the natural plate.

Onychosis: is the technical term applied to any deformity or disease of the nails.

Onychia: is an inflammation of the matrix of the mail with the formation of pus and shedding of the nail.

Onychocrytosis: Ingrown nails. The nail grows into the sides of the tissues around the nail. Infected nails require medical attention.

Onychogryposis or Onychogryphosis: Thickening and increased curvature of the nail. Also called "ram's horn nail". Can result from neglect, injury or the result of an injury.

Onychomadesis: Separation and falling off of the nail. Usually caused by infection, injury or a systemic illness. Common in chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

Onychophosis: The growth of horny epithelium in the nail bed.

Onychoptosis: Shedding of one or more nails, in whole or part. Can result from syphilis, gever, trauma, system upsets, reactions to prescription drugs.

Paroonychia or Felon: Bacterial inflammation of tissues around the nail. Commonly traced to a yeast or bacterial infection around the nails. Common in people who have their hands in water a lot or from perspiration and footwear.

Pyogenic granuloma: A severe inflammation of the nail. A lump of red tissue grows from the nail bed to the nail plate.

Tinea (ringworm): Highly contagious skin disease cause by a vegetable parasite or fungus. Can be confused with contact dermatitis.

Tinea pedis: The medical term for Athlete's Foot. Deep itchy colourless blisters.

Tinea unguium or Onychomycosis: Whitish patches that can be scraped off the nail or long yellowish streaks within the nail

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This page was updated 2009-10-02.