Nail Eczema Causes: Symptoms And Remedies For Eczema On Nails

Nail is not only the object of beauty as many believe. In fact, the hard keratin substance with which the nail is made up of protects the sensitive tips of finger and toes. Similar to any other body organ, nails too can suffer from diseases and damage. There are varied nail problems and one of them is nail eczema.

Usually we believe eczema is only restricted to skin, but it is not, this condition can also afflict nails. People of all age group can suffer from nail eczema. The abnormality can make the nail rough, pitted and even permanent loss.

Severe form of eczematous nail may need consultation with a dermatologist, while simpler type may respond to home remedies and lifestyle changes.

Causes Of Eczema On Nails

Eczema is a chronic skin disease. It is a form of dermatitis where inflammatory changes occur in the skin. The peculiar symptoms of eczema are rough, thick, red sometimes scaly skin surface with itching and oozing. Eczema can also affect nails. It can be around or under the nail bed.

There are several factors which may be responsible for this chronic problem. The frequent cause of nail eczema is too much exposure to water and moisture.

Housewives and women are vulnerable to this problem as their nails remain immersed in water for long time while cleaning dishes and washing clothes.

The other major reason is while handling irritants such as soaps and detergents and various other industrial chemicals. Endogenous or internal factors which remain unnoticed by a person such as stress and genetic trait can also precipitate eczema of nails.

Nail Eczema Symptoms

A single nail may be afflicted with eczema or multiple nails may be having eczema at the same time. The eczematous nail appears rough and dull. There are tiny indentations on nail, pitting is one of the prominent symptoms of nail eczema.

Aside from pitting, the nail becomes discolored. It becomes yellow or brown in color. The skin below the nail is inflamed. Ultimately, the nail may crack and crumble. It is unsightly in appearance. It is a painful condition and sometimes white serous liquid oozes out below the nail.

The pain, in some cases, is severe which restricts daily activities performed by hands. There is swelling around the nails. If eczema is severe, there is permanent loss of affected nail.

Natural Remedies For Eczema On Nails

Nail eczema is a chronic problem and the affected person should be assured that it may take a long time to heal. Several home measures are known to be effective in dealing with nail eczema. In severe form, patient should consult a dermatologist.

  • Patient should reduce exposure to water. Avoid remaining in water for long durations. While washing dishes and utensils, cover your hands with gloves.
  • Apply moisturizer at least once in a day. Apply it at night when you do not have to work in water. Coconut oil or almond oil is a good moisturizer. It will help the surface of nails to remain smooth and supple.
  • Avoid your nails to be exposed to irritants, chemicals, soaps and detergents. Wear gloves whenever it is necessary to work in such a situation. Gloves will prevent direct contact with the irritants which may be the associated cause of eczema.
  • Reduce your stress level as it is one of the factors to aggravate the condition.
  • Apply ice fomentation to reduce pain, itching and swelling around the nails. However, fomentation should be for a short time, for five minutes.
  • If the condition is severe, consult your doctor. After examining, he may prescribe drugs that may help to reduce inflammation, itching and other symptoms of nail eczema.
  • The nail may return to its original texture and color once eczema improves.