Kallgren Dermatology Clinic in Boulder treats a variety of skin disorders, from eczema to skin cancer. What many people don’t know is that a dermatologist also treats disorders of the fingernails and toenails. We’ve put together a list of common disorders of the nail and nail bed.

Ingrown nail

  • This can be quite painful and can become infected.
  • It is a result of improperly cut nails, or nails that broke off low and as they grow, grow into the skin of the surrounding toe.

Fungal Infections

  • These make up about 50% of nail disorders.
  • The medical term is onychomycosis.
  • The nail becomes thick and discolored, turning yellow, black or green.
  • The nail will become brittle and break away.
  • This is caused by fungus or molds in cold climates and Candida in tropical climates.


  • Enlarged finger tips and nails that curve around the end of the fingertip.
  • Can be a sign of low oxygen in the blood as a result of a lung disease.
  • Also associated with inflammatory bowel disease, AIDS, and liver disease.

Nail discoloration

  • A stripe of color on a nail can be the result of a hematoma – a bruise
  • Any pigment more than 3mm wide needs to be looked at more carefully as it can signal something serious, such as cancer.

Thickening of the nail

  • This is common in the elderly.
  • Can be the result of injury, poor blood supply, or ill-fitting shoes.

Terry’s Nails

  • The nail appears almost all white, with no well-defined moon at the bottom.  
  • Causes include malnutrition, congestive heart failure, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, liver failure and cirrhosis.


Nails reveal much about a person’s health and habits. If you need your nails examined, call 303.444.8100 for an appointment.