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Koilonychia – Pictures, Causes, Treatment, Definition


What is Koilonychia?

Koilonychia, the opposite of clubbing, is a condition of the person’s nails which has a characteristic of flat or depression of the convexity of the person’s nails. It is most often associated with the disease condition particularly iron deficiency anemia. Some experts would described a person having this disease as someone who have spoon-shaped nails. The nails of persons who are inflicted with this kind of condition, have soft and thin nails. Aside from that, the nails of persons with Koilonychia has a characteristic of brittle and thin nails. Still others would define it as a dystrophy or an atrophic kind of deformity of the person’s fingernails which may be brought about by a lot of factors which will be defined further as we go along. The nails of this persons will take longer time to return to the normal phase. This kind of condition may be either associated with other disease or syndromes or perhaps inherited as this kind of disease is an autosomal dominant kind of disease. The person having this disease condition actually will experience the disorder that affects the nail color, texture, shape and thickness of either the person’s fingernails and toenails. There is a big possibility that the person with koilonychia will have ridges, yellow colored nails and will be susceptible to opportunistic infection. As the condition becomes worse, without treatment, the nails may eventually fall off or perhaps the person will experience a permanent damage of their nails. It is actually a symptom which may be associated by a disease condition.

Koilonychia Causes

Persons with this kind of condition, specifically koilonychia, have acquired the condition because of the following associated causes or etiological factors:

  • Chronic iron deficiency anemia
  • Hereditary forms such as: Adenoma sebaceum, Ectodermal dysplasia, Osteo onychodysplasia also knowned as nail-patella syndrome
  • Sulfur-protein deficiency
  • Trauma
  • Malnutrition
  • Illness
  • Chemotherapy side effect
  • Dysphagia
  • Darier’s disease
  • Excessive usage of oils and soaps
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Musculoskeletal condition
  • Renal disease
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Raynaud’s disease
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Cheilosis
  • Glossitis
  • Pica
  • Hypoplastic patella
  • Acromegaly
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Porphyria
  • Frosbite
  • Thioglycolate depilatory
  • Thermal burns
  • Petroleum based solvents
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Plummer vinson syndrome
  • Infections like yeast or fungal disease
  • Dermatoses like: Psoriasis, Lichen planus, Acanthosis nigricans
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Hematological conditions like: Hemoglobinopathy, Hemochromatosis
  • Exposure of the person’s nails to nail polish or moisture which lead to brittle nails and peeling of the nail’s edges
  • Nail biting

In determining the cause of the person’s koilonychia, it is adviseable that the person performs diagnostic confirmatory examinations via the doctor’s orders or suggestions to be able to know the exact cause and to be able to pinpoint the treatment for the cause of the disease condition. It is necessary for the person with this condition to approach a trusted and expert physician to allay worries and fear and also to be able to be well informed of why such thing is occuring.

Koilonychia Treatment

With regards to treating the patient with Koilonychia, the treatment will greatly rely on the correcting the underlying cause or deficiency and also being able to manage the problem that is associated with the occurrence of such koilonychia symptom. The only thing that one should bear in mind is that when koilonychia is occuring or is manifested in a person, he or she should undergo treatment as soon as it is recognized to be present to prevent further problems. Aside from that, the following can be done with patients who are positively having the koilonychia such as:

  • Cutting the person’s nails straight and across the top
  • The habit of using softening cream for the skin after washing or bathing
  • Taking iron which is prescribed by the physician and to prevent iron overload, you must follow the prescription
  • Never mix iron supplements with beverages like coffee or tea which is known to stop iron absorption
  • When exposed to harsh chemicals, it is adviced that you wear gloves
  • Consuming vitamins and iron rich foods
  • Wearing shoes that don’t let the person’s toes crowd or squeeze them together
  • Iron supplements must be suggestedly taken 30 minutes before eating
  • Wearing shoes that are comfortable
  • Cautious in exposing or avoid hand exposure especially to chemicals which are harmful

Koilonychia Pictures 

Koilonychia images

Image source – picturesdepot.com

Koilonychia pics

Image source – paraorkut.com


Image source – nailsmag.com

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