Hutchinson’s Sign

Hutchinson’s Sign

For those of you who are not familiar with the name, Sir Jonathon Hutchinson was the first doctor to research the various conditions associated with Hutchinson's sign, which refers to certain symptoms seen on the face or on the nails. Hutchinson researched skin lesions on the face, but he also studied discolorations of the toenails, specifically green nail syndrome and melanonychia.

Could I Have Green Nail Syndrome?

If your toenails appear green or have a green hue about them, they've most likely become home to a bacteria called pseudomonas. This Hutchinson's sign does not necessarily need medical attention. Rest assured, the green hue of your nails is harmless to your health. You're likely to contract this bacteria if you spend a lot of your time with your feet or hands submerged in water. In order to treat this syndrome you should keep your toenails dry, clean, and trimmed. The green nail will eventually grow out and a fresh-faced nail will take its place. Until then, remain patient and don't attempt to cover the nail with polish. Allow your nails to breathe.

What Is Melanonychia?

Another Hutchinson's sign that affects the nails is called melanonychia. This condition causes dark bands to appear on the nails of the feet and hands. It typically derives from fungal infections, a blow or injury to the nail, or in association with an existing inflammatory disorder.

Is It Preventable?

We cannot overstate the importance of proper hygiene and daily inspection. To aide in fungal nail prevention, wash your feet with warm water daily and be sure to keep them as dry as possible throughout the day. Keep your toenails clean and trimmed, but not too short. The nail should be kept the length of the toe, not past the skin, but no shorter. When trimming, cut straight across. Do not trim your nails to the curve of your toe.  

Make nail inspection part of your daily routine. Check the toenails for changes in color and temperature. If they appear yellow, thick, or flaky you may have developed toenail fungus. This fungi can be treated with the help of our staff. Let us put an end to the problem before it becomes too severe.

Though not all cases of nail complications can be avoided entirely, practicing good hygiene is a good place to start. If you suffer from fungal nails or have developed a variation of Hutchinson' sign, our doctors will create a tailored plan to help you with the healing process. Don’t ignore your nails until the problem gets out of hand. Contact NorthPointe Foot & Ankle in Berkley, MI, for more information or an appointment to get treatment that will help. Call (248) 545-0100 or use the request form on our website to reach us.