Digital Clubbing

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Clubbing is a condition where it changes the shape and angle of the nail. On some people it can actually be hard to see and to notice, while in others it can be really dramatic. clubbing is caused by proliferation and thickening of the connective tissue between the nail and the bone of the finger. That’s what causes the change in the angle of the nail. so in this diagram you can see change that you would see with clubbing. So internal medicine doctors get really excited when they find clubbing. Because it can be the clue that can help make a diagnosis in a mystery case.

Digital Clubbing

So when i’m examining a patient, i get them to hold their fingers up like this. and i’m looking to see if there’s that little window of light coming through the nails. that’s normal. But if you don’t see that diamond shaped light coming through then that’s called shamrock sign. and that suggests the patient has clubbing. This happens for many different reasons. for some people it’s hereditary. So it gets passed down by their parents and so if your nails have always been like that don’t freak out. it’s just fine. But if it develops while in childhood or as an adult, it’s often a problem with the heart or with the lungs. For example one patient was born with a heart defect called tetralogy of follow, whereas and another patient unfortunately was diagnosed with lung cancer about one month after she noticed her nails starting to change.

Read more about Curved Nails vs Clubbed Nails

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