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Yellow Nail Syndrome

Yellow Nail Syndrome Picture

This often under diagnosed condition of unknown origin is attributed to hereditary, congenital or para-neoplastic causes and affects the nails and lymphatic tissue. Although commonly associated with lung disease, it is believed to be caused by congenital abnormalities in the lymphatic system. Yellow Nail Syndrome (YNS) is a rare condition characterized by yellow nails with lack of cuticle, grows slowly, and is loose or detached associated with onycholysis in one or more nails, lymphoedema, pleural effusion and bronchiectasis.

Being a condition more common in toenails than fingernails, the analysis of patients reveals frequent occurrence of upper and lower respiratory tract infections caused by an underlying selective antibody deficiency after the characteristic symptoms appear: nails slow growing of both fingers and toes with inadequate cuticles, thickened, curved, becoming pale yellow or slightly green. Yellow Nail Syndrome disorders may include swelling of the lymph system in various parts of the body but especially in hands and feet. Since 1994 a chronic rhino-sinusitis is associated to this disorder along with chronic sinusitis or bronchitis, recurrent pneumonia, pericardial effusion, pleural effusion, lymphoedema, bronchiectasis or ankle oedema and even Diabetes in some patients.

The treatment is usually poorly effective and health care practitioners recommend cough suppressants, sleeping pills, avoid cigarettes smoke and other respiratory irritants. The Yellow Nail Syndrome disorder often starts in the middle age although hereditary factors may cause increased risk in younger people and its treatment include physical therapy like postural drainage, clapping or vibration, as well as the prescription of drug therapy including oral antibiotics to control infection in the airway, vitamin A and E, Zn sulfate, itraconazole and nutritional supplementation adjunct to the medical treatment.

The incidence of Yellow Nail Syndrome in the general population is not known but spontaneous healing is reported in 30 percent of the cases. The best defense against YNS starts with good foot hygiene and well fitting shoes like sandals or flip-flops. Review your shoes and get others if necessary; there must be about the width of a thumb of space from the end of the shoe to the tip of the longest toe to prevent toes from damage upon impact. If you are under medical treatment try to walk around barefoot when possible, especially after the use of antimicrobial solutions.

If you suffer Yellow Nail Syndrome take in mind the following suggestions:

- Use of nail polish to hide the problem

- Apply liquid and cream treatments topically

- Wear clean socks and rotate shoes frequently

- Take oral medications or natural remedies to avoid the side effects.

And don't forget that discoloration occurs because of the slow growth of your nails and does not necessarily reflect a disease, in fact yellow or green nails may also result from any other condition causing the growth of your nails to slow down so it is important to get a medical diagnosis from a physician first.

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