People often see skin and nail problems as superficial issues that are mostly cosmetic in nature. Sometimes this is true, but other times, skin problems do go deeper. Here are some skin and nail problems you should absolutely have looked at by a dermatologist as they could suggest a deeper, systemic health condition.
Pitted or Peeling Nails
Your fingernails and toenails can tell you a lot about your overall health. If they are pitting, which means they are developing little low spots or divots, then this could be because you have psoriasis or an autoimmune condition. If your nails are peeling, then this is probably due to a nutrient deficiency or a fungal infection. All of these conditions can start to impact your overall health, if they are not already doing so, which means you should see a dermatologist if your nails are pitted, peeling, or abnormal in any way.
Red, Flaking Skin Patches
Mildly flaking skin is usually just a result of dry skin or sensitivity to some of the products you are using. However, if your skin is developing big, extensive flakes or peeling spots, this often suggests a bigger issue. This is a key symptom of psoriasis, which is not just a skin condition. It can start to affect the joints, leading to arthritis-like symptoms, especially if it is not treated. So, it's a good idea to have your skin examined by a dermatologist if you have big, red, flaking patches. An early diagnosis could save you from more severe psoriasis symptoms.
If you have brown patches developing on your skin, they could just be age spots. However, they could also be a symptom of diabetes. Sometimes, they are the first diabetes symptom that people notice, especially if they have light-colored skin. So, it's helpful to have a dermatologist look at your brown patches. If they believe they may be caused by diabetes, they may refer you to another doctor who specializes in the condition.
Another alarming skin condition is the development of a butterfly-shaped, red rash over the nose and cheeks. This rash often indicates a condition called lupus, which is an autoimmune disease. A dermatologist can look at the rash and refer you to an autoimmune specialist if needed.
Sometimes, skin and nail problems are not just skin and nail problems, but a sign of something worse. Contact a medical dermatology clinic if you develop any of the issues above.