Did you know that your nails can also show signs of your health condition? Sometimes changes in the color, shape and sex of the nails can be a sign of an underlying disease. In this article, you will get acquainted with the phenomenon of spoon nails and read about its causes and treatment methods.
What is a spoon nail?
Spoon nails are thin and soft and look like a small spoon; So that they can hold a drop of water on themselves. There are many causes for spoon nails, but the main cause of this phenomenon is anemia due to iron deficiency.
How can a spoon nail complication be diagnosed?
If you have a spoon nail, it looks like the middle part of your nail has been removed and your nail is hollow. In this phenomenon, the nails become thinner and their edges go up. Your nails may also crack and the outer parts of the nail may come off.
Some babies are born with spoon nails, but they heal on their own over time. This phenomenon is more common on the fingers but can also affect the toenails.
The most common cause of this disease is anemia or iron deficiency. Anemia causes your red blood cell count to be lower than normal. If anemia is the cause of your spoon nails, you may also experience the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath;
One, some or all of your nails may be spooned.
What Causes Spoon Nails?
This disease is often a sign of another complication. Many factors can cause this problem. Sometimes there may not be a specific reason. Here are some possible factors:
1. Food shortages
As mentioned earlier, iron deficiency is the most common cause of spoon nails. Iron deficiency anemia is also the most common food-related illness in the world. This disorder is more common in children as well as in women of childbearing age.
The following health problems can cause iron deficiency:
- Iron deficiency in the diet;
- The body’s inability to absorb iron from food;
- Bleeding in the intestine;
- Celiac disease.
People who do not get enough folate, protein and vitamin C may also develop iron deficiency.
۲. Autoimmune diseases
Spoon nails can be a sign of lupus or inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis or But the plan Be. In psoriasis, defects in the immune system cause changes in the skin and nails.
3. Environmental factors
Scientists believe that there may be a connection between spoon nails and petroleum products. Some people, such as hairdressers, may use petroleum products frequently, increasing their risk of developing nail spoons.
People who live at high altitudes also have a higher risk of developing spoon nails. High-altitude air has less oxygen than lower levels. When the oxygen level in the blood is lower than normal, the body produces more red blood cells; So it needs more iron. This can lead to iron deficiency.
In 2003, researchers surveyed people living in the highlands of Ladakh, India. About half of those surveyed had spoon nails, especially middle-aged people. In addition to altitude, the traditional diet of people living in the area was low in iron. This makes them more prone to spoon nails.
4. Genetic factors
Spoon nails can also be caused by certain genetic factors or diseases, such as:
- Hemochromatosis: This condition causes a person to absorb too much iron from their diet;
- Patellar-Nail Syndrome (NPS): Causes nails, knees, and pelvic and elbow bones.
5. Other diseases
Spoon nails may be associated with the following diseases:
- Severe anemia, for example due to Raynaud’s disease;
- Cardiovascular diseases;
- Nail damage;
- Vitamin B deficiency;
- Celiac disease.
When to see a doctor?
You can diagnose spoon nails based on their appearance, but you should see a doctor to determine the cause and get treatment. Your doctor will examine you, ask about your medical history, and order a blood test if there is a possibility of iron deficiency or accumulation.
If you suffer from any of Systemic diseases However, this complication may be caused by nail damage, genetic or environmental factors.
How is this disease treated?
If you have a spoon nail due to a specific disease, your doctor will prescribe treatment for that disease.
For anemia, which is often responsible for the disorder, your doctor will prescribe iron supplements and suggest that you change your diet to get more iron from your diet. Follow your doctor’s instructions for iron supplementation carefully to get the right amount of iron in your body.
If your body does not absorb enough vitamin B12 from food, your doctor may also prescribe vitamin B12 injections.
What is the healing process of a spoon nail?
The speed of recovery from spoon nail disease depends on it. If the disease is related to anemia, you will feel signs of improvement about 1 week after taking iron supplements; But it can take months for your body’s iron levels to return to normal.
If other diseases that have caused spoon nails are treated, your nails will return to normal over time. Fingernails grow slowly. Toenail growth is also slower. It takes 6 months for a fingernail to grow back completely. This time for toenails is 1 and a half years.
How to prevent nail spoon?
Keeping nails short and clean is important to prevent this complication and also to prevent infection in the affected areas. Using a skin conditioner or oil after a bath will help keep your nails healthy.
By observing the following points, you can also prevent nail spooning:
- Do not chew or nail your nails;
- If your toes are affected, use properly sized shoes to keep your feet clean and dry;
- Do not use nail polish until your nails are back to normal;
- Wear gloves when washing dishes and using chemicals to protect your hands;
- Eat a healthy and nutritious diet.
Proper diet to prevent nail spoon
With an iron-rich diet, you can prevent anemia. Include these foods in your diet:
- Red Meat;
- Fortified breakfast cereals;
- Baked potatoes;
- Beans, lentils and peas;
- Dark leafy vegetables;
- Dark Chocolate;
- Tofu or soy cheese;
- Dried fruits such as raisins and apricots.