Nail Geeks - what is wrong with her nails? Any ideas?


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Well-Known Member
Mar 11, 2009
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Essex, United Kingdom
I have a lady who has Shellac once a month. It lasts 2-3 weeks usually and she applies a nail strengthener after it comes off. She is 90, but acts like she's 70 and doesn't really want to come more often, but is trying to grow her nails and it's working. She sews and does a fair amount of gardening. She has also just had her cataracts done.

Can anyone tell me what is wrong with her nails?

This week when she came to see me she had bad lifting on these two nails, on the same hand. On the places near the cuticle the nail was missing, but i couldn't tell if it had lifted and caught or been eroded.

She said they didn't hurt, she hadn't caught them on anything to her knowledge and hadn't done much gardening.

She was going away for Easter. I said i would check on here and that it also might be a good idea for her to have it checked at her GP. I don't know the cause but wondered if there might be some kind of infection there.

Opinions please?

Many thanks :hug:


I think she needs to go to a doctor :sad:
None of us are trained doctors and therefore it would be silly to assume something and diagnose wrongly.
I think people may have an IDEA of what this could be but I really think your lady would benefit from an appointment with her GP - rather be safe than sorry! :hug:

It is an infection - looks like paronychia, fungal or bacterial - doctor must find.
It does not appear to be an infection at all...

It most closely resembles psoriasis of the nail.
If she has arthritis this would increase the likelihood ... It is also quite common for it to only appear on the nail plate and no where else on the body

psoriasis is an immune system condition that can alter skin and nails - there is no 'treatment' but a number of possible things can relieve symptoms...

Take a look at the following link DermNet - psoriasis

But as mentioned - this should and can only be confirmed by a dermatologist in case it actually is something else or has a secondary infection...
I was also going to say psoriasis too, as I used to have this happen to my nails, I suffered very badly with both psoriasis and eczema and this looks like what I had. BUT agreed about referring her to her GP for specialist advice/diagnosing as we are not medical and cannot do this.
Chronic paronychia=

It is really difficult to tell the difference sometimes, doctor is a safe course here. Older people have fungal infection very often, I have twice seen a fungus, that at first seen as psiorasis, exactly as on first picture here.
oh no, that looks terrible!
Thanks very much to all who replied.

I'm glad you think i was right to tell her to go to the GP. She comes every week for her hair, so i'll make sure and tell her to definitely make sure she books asap.

She doesn't have arthritis, miracle eh? Still does yoga and everything, lol.

I wanted to make sure that this wasn't an obvious nail thing that i could help her with, but should definitely be sending her to a specialist, so thankyou for setting my mind at rest.

Hope you all have a lovely Easter xxx

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