Ok, I recently had a bout with the chicken pox at the end of october, I'm 28 so it was pretty rough, about the time it came on I noticed my fingernails were cloudy(whitish), it kinda freaked me out, my fingernails have always been pretty clear and pink. They stayed that way after the chicken pox left and I learned to live with it. Then, just about two weeks ago a friend from work noticed it and said that my fingernails were "purple", she said that it could be something serious and I should go see a doctor. So I saw my doctor and he immediately said I might have a bit of "cyanosis", but he said it wasn't "a bad case" and that it was only around the cuticle, but he could tell I was worried so he had a bunch of blood tests done and had me take a chest x-ray. He told me yesterday that nothing showed up and that I'm the "picture of health" and there was nothing wrong with me, but he still couldn't explain my "purple" cloudy fingernails. So here I am asking someone on this board for help. Here's a descrption of them.....a cloudy light pink at the top which slowly gets darker until it turns a relatively dark cloudy purple around the "half moon" white area at the bottom, I notice most people with the same gradule pink to dark pink, even purple, but their fingernails are perfectly clear. So, my question is, is this discoloration normal? Is there something I'm eating(or not eating) causing my fingernails to be "cloudy"?
Our inner health is evidenced in our fingernails and hair. Since you had a recent illness, it could have effected the development of the new nail plate cells. The 'white' area (the lunula) is the leading edge of the matrix where the nail plate cells are formed. As these new cells grow forward, they lose their inner material and become transparent and hard. Failure of these cells to accomplish this feat will leave them cloudy (whitish) which can lead to discoloration as these cells move forward on the plate. Watch the new growth to see if this continues. It can take 3 - 6 months for the nail plate to be completely replaced with new cells, so it can be a while before you notice any difference in the cells growing forward from the matrix. If you see no change, please seek the advise of a dermatologist vs. your regular doctor. It could also be a 'warning' sign of something else.
Thanks for your quick reply, I was just curious though, I bite my fingernails.....well, actually I used to bite them, now I just play with them, pulling and nibbling nervously with my teeth, could that discolor nail plate? or even the nail bed?
Shame on you for withholding vital information! <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/smile.gif"> Biting, rubbing, scratching or otherwise causing a trauma to the nail bed can cause the nail plate layers to split due to the pressure, and the result is a cloudy nail plate. The nail bed will react to the trauma by turning 'darker' -- hence the purplish discoloration. If you continue this practice of 'traumatizing' the nail bed, it can develop scar tissue and your nails may be permanently damaged. As for the chicken pox thing -- I forgot to mention that the little 'spots' can also appear under the nail plate and will cause the plate to lift from the nail bed. the result can be a centralized white spot in the nail plate, but will grow out as the plate grows forward.
Do yourself a BIG favor -- make a series of manicure appointments to get your nails in better shape. Use a good quality nail and cuticle oil at least twice daily to keep the nail plate flexible and the cuticles conditioned. I usually recommend Botanical OIl available at Sally Beauty Supply nationwide and available to non-professionals.<p>[This message has been edited by Marti (edited 02-12-2001).]
Ah.........now I feel sheepish..... <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/redface.gif">
.....so how long will it take for the discoloration and cloudiness to go away if I stop this nervous habit?<p>[This message has been edited by knight627 (edited 02-12-2001).]
A natural nail can take from 3 - 6 months to totally replace itself depending on the length of the nail bed. the longer the nail bed, the longer it takes to grow from the matrix to the free edge. I always had 'names' for my nailbiters, and there were 3 categories: the NIBBLER just bit off the loose stuff -- the BITER ate at the loose skin and ragged nail plate -- the CANNIBLE ate away at all the loose skin, the nail free edge and the surface of the nail plate. You need to determine which one you are before you can figure out how long it will take you to break the habit and the nail will begin to grow in a normal fashion. It is a hard habit to break, so don't expect miracles overnight!<p>[This message has been edited by Marti (edited 02-13-2001).]