Nail Clubbing: Its symptoms, causes, and treatment
Nail clubbing happens when your nails appear wider, spongelike or swollen, like an upside-down spoon. Clubbed nails are frequently a sign of a medical illness that requires treatment, such as lung cancer.
Symptoms of Nail Clubbing
If you have nail clubbing, your nails may:
- Feel soft and sponge-like.
- Feel warm to the touch.
- Form a rounded, bulging shape, giving the appearance of an upside-down spoon.
- Look red.
- Widen and wrap around the sides of your fingertips.
A few of your nails or all of them can be affected by nail clubbing. Often, it begins in your thumb and at your forefinger before they spread to other nails.
Causes of Nail Clubbing
Lung cancer is the common cause of nail clubbing. Clubbing often occurs in heart and lung diseases that reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood. These may include:
- Heart defects that are present at birth (congenital)
- Chronic lung infections that happen in people with bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis, or lung abscess
- Infection of the lining of the heart chambers and heart valves (infectious endocarditis). This can be caused by bacteria, fungi, or other infectious substances
- Lung illness in which the deep lung tissues become swollen and then scarred (interstitial lung disease)
Other causes of clubbing:
- Celiac disease
- Cirrhosis of the liver and other liver diseases
- Overactive thyroid gland
- Graves disease
- Other types of cancer, including liver, gastrointestinal, Hodgkin lymphoma
How can nail clubbing be prevented?
There’s no known way to prevent nail clubbing. But you can prevent some of the conditions that lead to nail clubbing by doing the following:
- Avoid smoking. Smoking is a leading cause of lung cancer and heart disease. Talk to your doctor if you need help quitting smoking.
- If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation: one drink for women and those who were assigned female at birth, and two for men and those who were assigned male at birth. Heavy alcohol drinking or alcohol use disorder can cause cirrhosis of the liver.
Are you suffering from this condition? At The Chelsea Clinic, we can help. One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatments are best to get you back on track. Podiatrist South Kensington
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at +44 (0) 207 101 4000.
We hope you have a feetastic day!
-The Chelsea Clinic and Team
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