Nail changes and disorders among the elderly

Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2005 Nov-Dec;71(6):386-92. doi: 10.4103/0378-6323.18941.


Nail disorders are frequent among the geriatric population. This is due in part to the impaired circulation and in particular, susceptibility of the senile nail to fungal infections, faulty biomechanics, neoplasms, concurrent dermatological or systemic diseases, and related treatments. With aging, the rate of growth, color, contour, surface, thickness, chemical composition and histology of the nail unit change. Age associated disorders include brittle nails, trachyonychia, onychauxis, pachyonychia, onychogryphosis, onychophosis, onychoclavus, onychocryptosis, onycholysis, infections, infestations, splinter hemorrhages, subungual hematoma, subungual exostosis and malignancies. Awareness of the symptoms, signs and treatment options for these changes and disorders will enable us to assess and manage the conditions involving the nails of this large and growing segment of the population in a better way.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Nail Diseases / etiology
  • Nail Diseases / pathology
  • Nail Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Nails / pathology
  • Nails / physiopathology*
  • Onychomycosis / drug therapy
  • Onychomycosis / physiopathology


  • Antifungal Agents