Do your nails look odd after recovering from COVID-19? Well, it might be due to a post infection effect. There are many new complications being reported everyday due to COVID-19. Recently, cases of black, white and yellow fungus have taken a rise in some states in India. Besides other uncommon post Covid recovery symptoms such as hair loss, Covid nails is also being observed in some patients. COVID nails are increasingly being characterized as the nails that can develop after infection and the growth recovers leaving a clear line.
Appearing as grooves or lines in your nails, the condition, is also known as beau’s lines, unrelated to COVID-19. It can develop in people who have experienced a viral infection, and is not just exclusive to Covid positive patients. The lines on your nails can also appear due to a previous or underlying medical condition. According to experts, there is no treatment for COVID nails, but the affected nails usually grow out within a few months. Onlymyhealth editorial team talked to Dr. Manoj Agarawala, a patron of Seekmed, about the symptoms, causes and treatment of COVID nails.
Covid nails symptoms
Beau lines or transverse grooves in the nail plate, also called Covid nails which is a sign of Covid-19, can an effect of a temporary interference of the nail matrix growth. It is even likely for the symptoms to appear after one or two months of recovering from COVID-19. According to Dr. Manoj, this symptom might not occur in every Covid patient and mainly shows a transverse band impression on the nail plate. Anyone who has a Covid infection, irrespective of how severe the illness is, can develop COVID nails. There is no specific group of people who are at a higher risk of having Covid nails. As per Dr. Manoj, the main symptoms of COVID nails are:
- Slow or no nail growth
- Lines on nail plate
- Brittle nails
COVID nails causes
Your nails are susceptible to many germs, bacteria and viruses. And, this happening was being seen by healthcare experts before COVID-19 also. In more severe cases, a serious complication of nails leads to separation of the nail plate from the bed which gradually results in shedding, also called onychomadesis. These problem mostly occurs after a systemic issue such as infections, severe illnesses, steroids or autoimmune diseases. This shedding might not happen surely during the disease, but they tell about the severity of the illness and stress that the body undergoes.
It is this stress on the body that leaves a negative impact on the nail cycle and can show up or go away after a month or two after the disease. And, the usage of medicines like steroids, particularly in diabetics and patients with a history of fungal infections, has led to a rise in the spread of nail shedding. Even when you undergo surgery, beau's lines can be an after side effect. Dr. Manoj said, "It is a sort of a collateral damage when you have a disease or illness. It is a sign which says that your body is going through a lot."
COVID nails treatment
Ignoring nail hygiene can also make you an easy target of contracting viral infections. As per Dr. Manoj, most of the patients of COVID nails do not need any specific treatment as it is a part of the stress that your body undergoes and mostly starts disappearing post recovery. There are no particular set of prevention methods that can protect your from this happening. But, some of the safety measures that you can take to avoid the worsening of COVID nails are:
- Do not use nail polish or any other chemical products on your nails
- Wash your hands regularly
- Maintain nail hygiene
- Healthy diet and exercise
- Wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when washing dishes
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