Nail clubbing, also known as digital clubbing, is a condition characterized by the abnormal growth and shape of the fingernails or toenails. It causes the nails to become rounded, convex, and curve downward, resembling the shape of an upside-down spoon.
Nail clubbing is often associated with underlying medical conditions, particularly those affecting the heart and lungs. Some common causes include chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or lung cancer), heart disorders (such as congenital heart disease or heart failure), gastrointestinal issues (such as inflammatory bowel disease or liver cirrhosis), and certain inherited genetic conditions.
The exact mechanism behind nail clubbing is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve changes in the blood vessels and tissues around the nail matrix. This can result in the enlargement and puffiness of the fingertips, leading to the characteristic appearance of clubbed nails.
If you suspect you have nail clubbing or notice any changes in the shape of your nails, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and potential diagnosis of any underlying conditions.« Back to Glossary Index