Nail diseases are common in Minnesota. The following nail diseases cause discoloration and changes in the appearance of the nail.
Paronychia is an infection that affects the nail fold. If a tear or break occurs in the nail fold, the bacteria can enter and cause an infection which turns the nail a greenish color, sometimes mistaken for mold.
Onychomycosis or commonly known as nail fungus, appears as white or yellowish color in the nail. This can cause a separation of the nail bed and a thickening of the nails caused by debris from the fungus. This debris causes the yellowish discoloration. Psoriasis of the nail can cause the nail to appear red, orange or brown. Physically the nail can look pitted, dry and brittle or crumbly.
Some nail diseases cause darkening of the nails. Melanonychia are pigmented areas that look like moles or pigmented bands on the nail. This disease can be serious as it could signify a malignant melanoma. Dark streaks in darker skinned individuals can be fairly common and normal. The physicians in Minneapolis and St Paul areas would be able to make it clear through the nail bed biopsy if the color is melanoma.
If you have ever shut your nail in a door or dropped something heavy on your toe, you would get a hematoma. The trauma causes blood to get trapped between the nail bed and nail plate. It looks like a dark bruise beneath the nail. It is possible the nail plate can separate from the nail bed due to the trauma. Hematomas are not always serious but they can cause an infection sometimes requiring the nail plate to be removed.
Nail diseases can also cause disfiguration of the nail. Onychatrophia causes the nail plate to waste away causing the nail to become dull and smaller sometimes to come off entirely. Another disease that affects the look of the nail is Onychogryposis which causes the nails to have a claw-like look. The nail plate curves inward and pinches the nail bed which can be very painful. This usually requires surgery to help alleviate the pain.