Need some opinions on problem nails on elderly lady


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Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2006
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West Midlands

My mother-in-law is 73 years old and is living in a care home. She has recently (about 3 weeks) developed problems with her nails.

From the description my partner gave me, I initially thought it was inverse pterygium, but having seen the pictures his sister took for me last night, I'm not convinced.

Unfortunately, I am not able to go see her in person to have a look for myself, but was wondering if any of you know what this might be.

I have seen it once before on an elderly client of mine, but she didn't have it quite as bad as this.

It looks like there is a thickening of the hyponichium under the free edge, almost like there is a lot of dirt underneath the nail. Her nails / fingers also seem to be quite tender as she doesn't like you touching them now and she has always had a manicure every two weeks.

I would appreciate any opinions / thoughts you might have on this.

Apologies for the quality of the pics, but they were taken on a mobile phone.

NailsJ.M1.jpg - Image - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

NailsJ.M2.jpg - Image - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Can anyone help me with this please ?

Mmmm...not sure hun but a drop of solar oil down there a couple of times a day should help to soften it.

personally i would leave it alone...

i could have this all wrong but here is my strange and weired view on this...:lol:

elderly ladies don't use there hands as much as younger ladies...especially as she is in a cooking, cleaning, peeling where as our hands are kept active and used alot hers are not. So I "think" actively using your hands helps to prevent this over growth....reason i say this is that the only time i see this on on the elderly.

go on..tell me I'm mad...:lol: to your MIL...bless her. xx
Hi Angie,

I don't know if your theory is right or wrong (perhaps it is age related), but I agree, this only ever seems to happen to older people.

My MIL has very little function left in her hands and can barely use them these days due to bad arthritis and some other problems.

I can give her some SolarOil to use, but I will need to get the staff to apply it.

Problem is, all my text books are in storage at the moment due to us moving so can't look up what this is called.

I know I'm being a pain, but I want a name for it and it will bug me until I find it :grr: I so want to be able to explain what it is.

My Granny has this at times, shes been seen to by her dr and apparently its a fungus of some sort, she uses a fungus cream and rubs it around and under her nails.. when she does remember to do this her nails are clear and clean and normal. perhaps its similar and something u could look into?.
Thanks CC.

Will mention it to my partner. Is the stuff under your grans nails quite hard ?

Yep almost like a hard chalky stinky build up.
Yep my mum has this too its a type of fungal infection and she puts Vicks vapour rub under her nails each night and this softens it and it flakes off :)
Im with fungal infection !!
I would get some Thymol from young nails it is an antiseptic that has a pippet dropper and you would just put a drop down the free edge. Other companies will have similar products.

Makes me wonder if her manicurist is suffering from lack of hygiene as with fungals it has probably been passed on !!:eek:
Makes me wonder if her manicurist is suffering from lack of hygiene as with fungals it has probably been passed on !!:eek:

Its quite a common thing with the elderly.. my G/Dad has it on his toe nails too... its just their bodys getting older, less likely to fight off things, more likely to pick up things (dirty shower floors etc) u see it alot in rest homes.
I can't really see very well in the pics but could it be psoriasis?
Nah it doesnt look like Psoriasis, my MIL has it on her scalp, elbows and nails... and its nasty on her nails.. they litterally are flaking scales.... the best news thou is that good ole SOLAROIL is FANTASTIC for psoriasis.
Nah it doesnt look like Psoriasis

Hmm, I still wouldn't rule it out :rolleyes:.

I have 2 clients with Psoriasis of differing severity on their fingers, then another lady with it on her toes. They have a lot of thickening and discolouration under the nail bed, especially on the toes, so much so that it pushes the nail plate up.

As you mentioned, Solar Oil is great for things like this.
Hi Girls,

Thanks for the info and opinions.

Her nailbed is absolutely fine, it's just under her nails, but I suppose we shouldn't rule anything out.

I've got some Calcure Anti-fungal treatment from Calgel. Would this be suitable to use ?

I'll also give her some solaroil to use. Hopefully the above two will solve the problem.

Should be fine.. my granny just uses an over the counter tube of anti-fungal cream which is marketed for athletes foot.

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