What Are Hair & Nail Disorders?

Hair and nail disorders are a group of conditions that affect the health and appearance of hair and nails. These disorders can result from various factors, such as genetics, infections, autoimmune diseases, nutritional deficiencies, or external factors like chemicals and trauma. Some common hair and nail disorders include:

  • Alopecia
  • Onychomycosis
  • Psoriasis
  • Ingrown nails
  • Tinea capitis
  • Trichotillomania
  • Nail dystrophy


If you notice the following signs, consult a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment:

  • Hair loss: Unusual hair thinning, bald patches, or overall reduction in hair volume may indicate an underlying disorder.
  • Itching: Persistent itching of the scalp or skin around the nails could be a sign of a fungal infection or other skin conditions.
  • Changes in nail appearance: Discolouration, thickening, or brittleness of the nails may suggest a fungal infection or other nail disorders.
  • Scalp scaling: The presence of scaly patches on the scalp can be indicative of conditions like psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, or fungal infections.
  • Nail deformities: Abnormalities such as ridges, pitting, or separation from the nail bed can result from underlying health conditions or trauma.
  • Inflammation: Swelling, redness, or tenderness around the nails or hair follicles may be a sign of infection or inflammation due to an ingrown nail or other skin disorders.

Diagnosing Hair & Nail Disorders

To diagnose hair and nail disorders, your dermatologist may employ a combination of methods, including:

  • Physical Examination: your dermatologist will inspect the affected hair, nails, or skin, evaluating the appearance, location, and severity of the issue. They may also gather information about your medical history, family history of skin conditions, and possible triggers to determine the cause of your symptoms.
  • Microscopic Examination: Your dermatologist may take a sample of the affected hair, nail, or skin for microscopic analysis. This helps in identifying fungal infections, bacteria, or other abnormalities.
  • Biopsy: For certain conditions, a small sample of skin or nail tissue may be taken for further examination. This can help confirm the presence of specific skin conditions or infections.
  • Blood Tests: To rule out underlying health issues or nutritional deficiencies, your dermatologist might recommend blood tests.
  • Imaging Studies: In rare cases, imaging studies like X-rays may be needed to assess structural abnormalities of the nails or hair follicles.

Hair & Nail Disorder Treatment Options

Some of the surgical options include:

  • Nail Surgery
  • Hair Transplant
  • Excision and Biopsy
  • Cryosurgery
  • Laser Therapy

Some of the non-surgical options include:

  • Topical Medications
  • Oral Medications
  • Light Therapy
  • Over-the-Counter Treatments
  • Lifestyle and Skincare Changes

Types Of Hair & Nail Disorders


Caused by various factors, including genetics, hormonal changes, or autoimmune diseases like alopecia areata.


Also known as nail fungus, this condition occurs when fungi infect the nails, causing discolouration, thickening, and brittleness.


This autoimmune skin condition can cause red, scaly patches to form on the scalp and nails, leading to hair loss or nail changes like pitting, thickening, or separation from the nail bed.

Ingrown nails

This painful condition occurs when the edge of a nail grows into the surrounding skin, causing inflammation, redness, and sometimes infection.

Tinea capitis

A fungal infection that affects the scalp, causing hair loss, itching, and scaling.


A psychological condition in which an individual compulsively pulls out their own hair, resulting in noticeable hair loss and damage.

Nail dystrophy

This term encompasses various nail abnormalities, including ridges, discolouration, and brittleness, which can be caused by aging, underlying health conditions, or trauma.

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Risk Factors

Several factors can increase the risk of developing hair and nail disorders, including:

  • Genetic predisposition: A family history of hair, nail, or skin conditions may increase your susceptibility to similar disorders.
  • Personal or family history of allergies, asthma, or hay fever: These conditions may be associated with a higher risk of developing certain skin disorders that can affect hair and nails.
  • Age: Some hair and nail disorders are more prevalent at specific age groups, such as fungal nail infections in older adults or hair loss during middle age.
  • Exposure to environmental factors: Frequent contact with irritants, allergens, or harsh chemicals can damage hair and nails or trigger skin conditions.
  • Poor hygiene or improper care: Inadequate hair and nail care practices can lead to infections, damage, or other disorders.
  • Underlying health conditions: Certain systemic diseases, such as diabetes or thyroid disorders, can contribute to hair and nail problems.
  • Nutritional deficiencies: Lack of essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, can lead to weakened hair and nails, making them more susceptible to damage or disorders.

Can I Use Medisave For My Treatment?

Yes, you can use funds from your Medisave account for certain treatment options. Reach out to us today to learn more about payment options.

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Billing & Insurance

Private and Corporate Insurance

You can use your Integrated Shield Plans to pay for certain procedures. Speak to us to learn more, and you’ll be surprised at how affordable private healthcare can be. 

Why Choose Us

Modern & Patient-Centred Dermatological Care

We are dedicated to your skin health and well-being. Our results-oriented approach is suitable for a wide range of hair, skin and nail conditions. Consult our MOH-accredited dermatologist for a personalised treatment plan.


Personalised Treatment Plans


Results-Oriented Approach


Focused Aftercare For All


Honest & Ethical Practices

Dr. Lee Hwee Chyen

Medical Director & Consultant Dermatologist

MBBS (S'pore) MRCP (UK) FAMS (Dermatology)

Special Interests In:
  • Paediatric Dermatology
  • Women’s Dermatology
  • Procedural Dermatology & Lasers

Dr. Lee Hwee Chyen is an accredited Adult & Paediatric dermatologist managing a wide range of skin, hair and nail conditions. The clinic provides services for medical, surgical, cosmetic, women’s and paediatric dermatology.

  • MBBS (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
  • MRCP (Royal College of Physicians, United Kingdom)
  • Specialist Accreditation Board, Dermatology (Singapore)
  • FAMS (Academy of Medicine of Singapore, Singapore)
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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Most hair and nail disorders are not contagious and cannot be transmitted from one person to another. However, some fungal or bacterial infections can spread through direct contact or shared personal items.

    While some conditions can be resolved with proper treatment, others may be chronic and require ongoing management. Treatment typically focuses on addressing the underlying cause, alleviating symptoms, and preventing further damage or complications.

    In some cases, hair and nail disorders may indicate an underlying health condition, such as hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, or autoimmune diseases.

    Yes, certain medications can cause hair loss, nail discolouration, or other hair and nail disorders as side effects.

    The duration of improvement depends on the type of disorder and the chosen treatment. Some conditions may show significant improvement within a few weeks, while others may take months to show noticeable results. It’s essential to follow your dermatologist’s recommendations and be patient with the treatment process.