Nail Diseases: A Study of 1973 Cases
AbstractBackground: The nail is a horny structure covering the tips of the digits. This semihard ectodermal skin appendage not only protects the distal phalanx, but also assists fine motor activities and enhances the sensitivity of the fingertips. Nail diseases continue to be one of the frequent causes of dermatology consultations. However, current literature on the prevalence of nail diseases in general populations is still limited. Objective: To estimate the prevalence of nail diseases among outpatients of a dermatology clinic and to determine factors associated with nail diseases. Methods: A total of 1973 patients [850 men and 1123 women; mean age, 42.1 ± 17.9 years (range: 18–100 years)] were prospectively enrolled. Following a thorough dermatological examination, nail findings of the patients were recorded. Mann-Whitney U and χ2 tests were used for statistical analysis, with a significance threshold of p < 0.05. Results: Nail abnormalities/diseases were observed in 560 of 1973 patients (28.4%). The most frequently observed nail abnormalities/diseases were onychomycosis (27.5%), leukonychia (8.6%) and splinter hemorrhages (7.9%). A Mann-Whitney U test showed that there was a significant relationship between age and prevalence of nail abnormalities/diseases (p < 0.001). In addition, there was statistically significant relationship between gender and prevalence rates of nail abnormalities/diseases (p < 0.001). Conclusions: We have demonstrated positive associations between a number of factors and prevalence of nail diseases. Further studies are required to support these findings.
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