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Nail Dystrophy

Integrated Dermatology Of Tidewater

Dermatologists located in Norfolk, Chesapeake, & Portsmouth, VA

Do you have an abnormal-looking toenail or fingernail? Is the nail discolored or distorted? You may have nail dystrophy. At Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater in Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth, Virginia, our providers specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of nail dystrophy. To schedule a consultation, call the office, or request an appointment online today.

Nail Dystrophy Q & A

What is nail dystrophy?

Nail dystrophy includes any condition that alters the shape, structure, or color of your nail. You may develop nail dystrophy from an underlying disease or injury that affects the nail matrix, nail bed, or surrounding tissue. 

What causes nail dystrophy?

Many conditions may cause nail dystrophy, including:


When you injure your nail, you may develop bleeding or bruising under the nail. Medically known as subungual hematoma, this condition causes nail discoloration. 

Nail fungal infection

Nail fungal infections are common. With this type of infection, your nail plate may thicken, crumble, or lift from the nail bed. It may also cause nail discoloration, pitting, or flaking. 


Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that triggers your body to overproduce skin cells. Some people with psoriasis develop nail dystrophy because of an abnormal production of keratin, which is the protein that makes up your nail plate. 

This type of nail dystrophy may cause small, multiple pits in the nail matrix, discoloration of the nail bed, and thickening of the nail. 


Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition that causes an itchy rash. With eczema-related nail dystrophy, you may have pits or grooves in your nail. 

Twenty-nail dystrophy

Twenty-nail dystrophy is a condition that typically develops in children. It causes yellowing, pitting, and crumbling of the nail. 

What can I expect during a nail dystrophy consultation?

When you visit Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater for a nail dystrophy consultation, you can expect a comprehensive evaluation.

During your consultation, your provider asks detailed questions about your nails, including symptoms, when they started, and the underlying incident (if known). They also review your medical history and examine the affected nails.

To determine the underlying cause of your nail dystrophy, your provider may take a biopsy of the affected tissue. 

How is nail dystrophy treated?

At Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater, our providers develop individualized treatment plans for nail dystrophy based on the underlying cause of the nail problem. Your treatment plan may include observation, disease-specific medication, or a procedure to remove a hematoma or your nail.

For treatment of your nail dystrophy, call Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater, or request a consultation online today.