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Hair/Skin/Nails Problems

Can your health affect your skin, hair, and nails?

If your hair and nails look weak and brittle, and you’re noticing skin problems like dryness, sores, or dullness, there may be a health reason for it. You may have an underlying condition that is affecting your skin, hair, and nails.

What are the symptoms of skin, hair, and nail problems?

You may notice that your hair is dry and brittle. The strands may break easily. You may have thinning hair or bald patches.

Your fingernails may be thin, dry, and break easily. You may notice ridges on your nails or discoloration.

Skin problems can range from severe acne to painful dryness. You may have rashes or skin irritation. Some autoimmune conditions such as alopecia or psoriasis affect the skin causing rough patches or hair loss.

What are the causes of problems with skin, hair, and nails?

Causes of hair problems can include:

  • Lifestyle choices such as harsh styling
  • Thyroid disorders such as Graves disease or Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
  • Autoimmune disorders such as alopecia

Causes of nail problems can include:

  • Lifestyle choices such as excessive manicures or nail-biting
  • Fungal infections, such as dermatophyte
  • Bacterial infections, such as paronychia
  • Autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis

If you are having skin issues such as persistent dryness, itching rashes, acne, sores, or new or changing marks on your skin, you should see a doctor. You may have a serious condition such as psoriasis or eczema.

If you have a rash or swelling accompanied by swelling in your face, mouth, or throat or difficulty breathing, call 911 immediately. You may be having a serious allergic reaction.

Can any complications arise from this condition if left untreated?

Many causes of skin, hair, or nail problems won’t go away on their own. You should see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment. If you don’t get treated, the problems with your skin, hair, and nails may get worse.

If you have a serious underlying condition such as an autoimmune disorder, you may get much sicker without treatment.

What medications treat skin, hair, and nail problems?

Depending on the underlying cause of your issues, your doctor will suggest appropriate medicine.

If you have a fungal infection, you may need an anti-fungal treatment such as terbinafine (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox). If you have a bacterial infection, you may need an antibiotic such as penicillin.

Autoimmune conditions require complex treatment. You may need to take medications such as adalimumab (Humira) or etanercept (Enbrel).

If you have a thyroid condition, you may need a thyroid hormone replacement such as levothyroxine (Synthroid) or an anti-thyroid medication such as methimazole (Tapezole).

Common medications may include

Acne Therapy Systemic
Absorica Accutane Amnesteem Claravis isotretinoin Myorisan

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Acne Therapy Topical
Acanya Acne-Clear Acnomel Aczone adapalene Noritate

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Antifungal - Azole Agents
Cresemba Diflucan fluconazole Oravig posaconazole Sporanox


Hair loss: Who gets and causes - AAD

Nails - fingernail and toenail problems - BetterHealth Channel

Skin Diseases - Cleveland Clinic