Nails protect and support the soft tissue on our fingers and toes, they can be useful tools in fiddly situations, or help us scratch an itch. They also have a valuable use which is less well known.
Our nails are an amazing barometer for our body. A consultant dermatologist can recognise heart disease, diabetes, drug reactions and much more, simply from looking at your nails.
Nails themselves suffer from disorders, which we often diagnose and treat. Still useful to remember that colour changes, or growths you see and our staff investigate can identify deeper issues, alongside nail infections.
Diagnosing Nail Disorders
Fungal infections are the most common disorders, more often on toenails than fingernails. Nail infections are caused by bacteria, yeast infections, or fungi, are unsightly and can be painful.
Our consultant dermatologists will examine the problem area. They are often able to diagnose the infection by colour and form, although a full range of laboratory tests are available in house.
They will also discuss your medical history and overall health. Apart from displaying signals of other issues, nail disorders can be triggered by a poor immune system, diabetes, or recent injury.
Athlete’s foot is another identifiable and common cause for fungal infection on your toenails. A third of people with athlete’s foot will also have a nail infection.
Beyond infections, we can diagnose a range of abnormal growths within the nail. They can be benign but may also be viral warts, fibroid tumours, or malignant growths.
Care For Nail Cancer
Prompt diagnosis and treatment is really important for nail cancer. This can bring flesh coloured or darker patches, or symptoms that look like a wart, any nail condition which is not healing needs investigation.
We have a specialist skin cancer unit but all our consultants are trained to look for cancerous signs, around, or under your fingernails and toenails.
You may not need to worry, nail cancer is quite rare and similar symptoms can be from many other causes. In such a vital part of the body, speedy diagnosis still matters, as does effective treatment.
Treatment Of Nail Disorders
Treatment for nail disorders in our London clinics is advanced and of wider value. Infections can spread to other nails and other areas of your body, or lead to complications such as cellulitis, or nails being lost.
Traditionally, many nail infections have been treated by antifungal drugs. They can be effective but not always, or patients are unable to tolerate the medication.
For most nail infections, we provide the latest laser treatment. A specialised laser targets the fungus specifically, within the nail and in the nail matrix below.
Growths can also be removed by non invasive methods, or normally minor surgery, focused on cosmetic and functional needs. Your nails are part of your hands and feet, minimal treatment for maximum effect matters.
Our staff equally provide all the advice you need, from disposing of old shoes, or treating them with ultraviolet light, to lifestyle changes which might ensure a problem does not return.
Our London dermatology staff put your long term health alongside immediate diagnosis and cure. Expert treatment for nail disorders will help, ensuring they don’t return is equally beneficial.