The desire to have beautiful nails is traced back to Ming dynasty, where smooth and long nails were considered a status among noblewomen. This trait has continued even in the 21st century. There are several nail problems which can crop up affecting the look and feel of nails. Nail pitting or tiny depression on the surface of nails is one such issue that can affect nail health and subsequently the nail beauty. Nail is made up of a protein called keratin.
Pitting occurs when there is loss of keratin cells from the superficial nail plate.Both finger nails as well as toe nails can be affected. However, they are more visible on fingernails. There are several attributing factors which may be responsible for nail pitting. If a person has habit of biting fingernails, he is always as a risk of developing pitted nails. Traumatic injury to a nail is also a reason for the same.
Nail pitting is also associated with diseases such as psoriasis, eczema of nail, or any other disease which can cause inflammation of skin. Pitting also occurs when the nail is separated from the nail bed.Almost all fingernails are affected when the underlying cause is systemic disease. In a traumatic injury the individual nail has indentations on its surface.
Symptoms Of Nail Pitting Due To Eczema
One of the reasons for pitting on nail is eczema. Actually eczema is an inflammatory skin disease which affects any part of skin surface. Its characteristic feature is itching and dryness of skin. Sometimes the disease can also afflict nails. Mostly the finger nail bed is affected. A few percentages of people suffering from eczema on skin are vulnerable to eczema in nail.The problem is chronic and distressing if it affects nail.
The commonest symptom of eczema in nail is pitting. The eczematous nail loses its shine and shin. The color of nail changes to yellow or black brown. They begin to break into small fragments. In severe cases due to thickening of skin under the nail, the nail may be separated from the nail bed. It is a painful condition. Due to pain, the patient finds it difficult to perform his daily chores.
Treatment response to this frustrating condition is poor. However, applying coconut oil on the affected eczematous nail has a favorable outcome in many cases. This is because of a substance called caprylic acid in coconut oil. It is a type of fatty acid which is useful in many skin ailments.
Natural Remedies For Nail Pitting
It is important to find and treat the cause of pitted nails because the condition is a symptom of underlying disease or a change in lifestyle. Pitted nails can be treated by following a healthy diet, change in lifestyle and natural remedies.
- Eat foods that are rich in silica. Cucumber, onion, green leafy vegetables, slippery elm powder etc are rich in silica.
- Green leafy vegetables also contain iron and vitamin B which are essential for nail health. Broccoli, spinach, kale are some of the vegetables which contain elements needed for healthy nails.
- Eat foods that contain ample amount of protein. Eggs, lean meat, cereals, fish, nuts and seeds should be part of the diet.
- Alter some unwanted habits such as biting nails.
- Herbs which are known to improve nail texture include horsetail and gotu kola.
- A gentle massage with coconut oil is beneficial in making the nail surface smooth. Massage your nails regularly to reduce rough and pitted nails. Almond oil is a good moisturizer. Apply it daily on the nails.
- Wear gloves while doing house work such as washing dishes etc.
- Keep your nails short as long nails are more susceptible to breaks and cracks, especially when they are pitted.