Do your nails have little depressions? Are you wondering what caused it? Do you want to know what it means? Or better yet, are you looking for a way to get rid of it?
As compared to the dry hard skin around nails, these little depressions look more serious and can be a bit scarier. That is why a lot of people want to know the answers right away. Before you freak out, we recommend that you read this article first. It contains all the things that you know about these little depressions-also known as nail pitting.
Are you ready? Let us get started!
What are the Symptoms of Nail Pitting?
How do you identify nail pitting? Well, this is characterized by deep or shallow holes in the nails. It may also come with other symptoms like thickening, deformation, and discoloration of the nails.
If the nail pitting is related to nail psoriasis, there is a chance that you may also experience the following symptoms: cracked, dry, or bleeding skin, red and scaly skin patches, itching or burning of the skin, and swollen or stiff joints.
What Causes Nail Pitting?
Nail pitting is the little depressions on both the fingernails and toenails. It is often associated with nail psoriasis. In fact, up to 50 percent of people with psoriasis may experience it. However, there are also other possible factors that may cause it. Here they are:
This is a type of skin disorder that alters the life cycles of the skin cells. This disease causes the cells to multiply rapidly on the surface of the skin. The excess build up may lead to itchy scaly red patches on the skin and nail pitting. This disease can cause extreme pain and is considered to be a chronic skin disorder that may get better eventually but may also relapse again over time.
This is a type of illness that can affect the part of the skin that bears hair. It is often characterized by hair loss in non-scarring areas of the skin. It is often a symptom of other internal and external health issues and may often cause the pitting of nails, bald areas, and other symptoms.
This is a disease that causes a certain type of inflammation in the body tissues. It usually affects the lungs and the skin. When it hits the skin, it shows a wide array of symptoms including rashes, lumps, disfiguring sores, skin ulcers, and nail pitting.
When to See a Doctor
If you are concerned with the pits on your nails, it is best that you see a doctor. To diagnose the problem, the first thing that the doctor will do is to perform a physical examination. It will be easy for the doctor to diagnose the disease based on the symptoms that your nails are showing.
He may also take a look at your medical history to see if psoriasis or other disorders run in the family. The last method would be the doctor will get a sample of your nails and have it sent for biopsy to confirm his diagnosis. A biopsy is a type of medical procedure that takes a closer look at the tissues to determine if there are cell abnormalities.
What Is The Best Nail Pitting Treatment?
Once the diagnosis has been made, the next step would be treated. Nail pitting can range from mild to severe. If the pitting is mild, then there is no need for treatment. But if the pitting causes pain, discomfort, and distress, treating it is a must.
But please bear in mind that treating pitted nails is not easy because topical products cannot penetrate into the nails. As a result, most specialists would opt for the following treatments:
Steroids can help in alleviating the inflammation of the nails (which may have caused the deformity). But since topical steroids won't be able to penetrate the thick layer of nails, it will be injected into the nails which can be a bit painful.
Light therapy has been proven to be effective and safe in treating pitted nails that are connected to psoriasis. The main type of light used in phototherapy is the narrow band Ultraviolet B. There is also a phototherapy type that is called PUVA (combination of UVA and Psoralen). Psoralen is a light-sensitizing medication that can protect the nails. If psoriasis only affected your nails, specialized phototherapy machines are used to ensure that only your nails will be exposed to UV rays.
If the pitting of the nails is already severe, you will be happy to know that it has been recently discovered that the use of pulsed dye lasers (PDL) is also promising when it comes to treating pitted nails. This method is also the treatment of choice for vascular lesions.
Cosmetic Nail repair
If the pitted nail is not painful, but you wish to address it due to cosmetic and aesthetic purposes, this is the best option for you. When the nails are already too thick, these are filed down. If they are discolored, many experts use artificial nails or nail polish to cover it up. They will also buff and polish deformed nails.
But if the deformity is already too severe, the removal of the nail may be in order. To do that, it may require surgery. It may also be done through the application of a urea compound to the nails.