Koilonychia is the condition in which the fingernails becomes thin and finally gets lifted at outer edges. This condition is also called as spoon nails and is caused when there is reduced iron content in blood. This disorder is inherited by birth and there will be abnormal growth of nails with thin edges. The nails will become concave shaped with raised edges looking very much like a spoon.
Several factors cause disfigurement of fingernails. This starts in the form of thinning of nails and gradually the ends of nails get lifted outward. Lupus disease, poor function of thyroid hormone, glossitis, Reynaud’s syndrome, Patella syndrome, deficiency of iron, poor absorption of iron, muscle skinning, pica and hemochromatosis are some of the factors causing koilonychias. If the person uses plenty of soaps and detergents it can also affect the texture of nails.
Individuals undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer can also get this condition. Poor nourishment or insufficient amounts of vitamins and iron in food can also cause this problem. People can get this condition if the intestine is not properly absorbing the nutrients present in food properly. If the nail is subjected to injury or trauma it gets broken easily and comes out of nail-bed. The child may inherit this condition by birth and it can develop later if the child is malnourished.
This disease is marked by the feature of “spoon” shaped nails that are projecting outward in the edges and getting thinner and thinner. This condition is indicative of anemia (deficiency of iron in blood) and can be easily cured. The nails will gradually become thin and the edges of the nail would turn outwards thus detaching from the nail bed.
This disease can be recognized if the color and shape of your fingernails or toenails change. Even the condition of koilonychia will affect the density of nails making it thinner. The nails become concave in shape (assuming the shape of spoon), nail plates become thin and the nails completely come out of the nail bed easily. There can be pain if the nail gets fully detached from the nail-bed. Presence of secondary infection will be there changing the color of the nail in bottom surface. The affected child may look very tired due to reduced iron content. He will show other signs of anemia. Frequent biting of nails will also cause this problem.
Avoid biting your nails often since it may cause inflammation of the nails. Wear protective rubber gloves if your work involves constant usage of hands in liquid medium (like washing and cleaning). Eat nutritious food rich in iron content. Include lot of vitamins in your diet. Children recognized with this problem should be given balanced food rich in vitamins and iron.
In case the child becomes anemic consult your doctor for starting right treatment. Reduce the intake of coffee or any other beverages that contains caffeine. People with this condition should use skin softening ointment or cream after taking bath.
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It is easy to cure anemic condition if that is the cause for koilonychia. Your doctor will check the iron content in his blood and prescribe suitable iron supplement in the form of oral medicine. Further you can consult the dietician for working out a food-chart for your child that contains lots of vitamins and iron supplements.
Treatment begins in replacing the loss of iron in blood in the form of iron pills. Care should be taken that the person should not be overloaded with iron. Your doctor will also check the functions of digestive system to ascertain whether the nutrients are absorbed fully in the intestine.