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Nail problems

Nail pathology

Nail problems DERMATOLOGY CENTRE Dr. Cathy Dierckxsens Brussels is specialised in cosmetic procedures and lasers treatments for face and body. For medical dermatology the practice is specialised in medical laser treatments, mole- and skin cancer screening and in surgical dermatology. Dermatology Centre Avenue des Nerviens 41, 1040 Bruxelles, Belgium +32 (0) 2 735 94 42

The nails are, like hairs, skin appendages, and belong to the field of dermatology.

Nail abnormalities can be caused by many different factors, and can also be sign of an internal pathology.

  • Onychomycosis or nail fungal infection, usually occurs on the feet. The nails changes color and become thick and crumbly and sometimes the nails fall off completely.


  •  Paronychia (cuticle inflammation), the skin around the nail (cuticle) becomes red, painful and swollen, and pus may come out. In the acute cuticle infection, the infection is caused by a bacterium. The chronic cuticle inflammation is caused by an irritation of the cuticle by e.g. soap and water. 


  • Nail psoriasis, in some cases psoriasis affects the nails, with or without affecting the skin. Typical psoriatic changes are nail pitting, color changes and onycholysis. The psoriatic nails can be treated with injections or medication.


  • Onycholysis (nail detachment), is a common nail disorder. It is the release of a fingernail or toenail from its nail bed. It usually starts at the tip of the nail and then the process slowly pulls down. The care and treatment of onycholysis depends on the cause (including recurring trauma, exposure to irritating chemicals, psoriasis, fungal infection).


  • Onychoschizis (split nails or brittle nails), brittleness of the nails can be seen as a sign of aging or in response to the prolonged use of nail polish or exposure to damp conditions. Taking food supplements can help with brittle nails in some cases, as can applying moisturizers after your hands and nails have been in water.


  • Ingrown nail is a common problem, it often occurs after repeatedly cutting off the nail corners. The nail progressively curves at its lateral end which will lead to ingrowing and pain. The treatment is nail care by podologist in some cases and if not sufficient, nail surgery needs to be done to remove the ingrown part of the nail.

Possible treatments

Medical Pedicure

Mycosis, traumatic, psoriasis

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