Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Filter by Categories
15th National Conference of the IAOMFP, Chennai, 2006
Abstract
Abstracts from current literature
Acne in India: Guidelines for management - IAA Consensus Document
Addendum
Announcement
Art & Psychiatry
Article
Articles
Association Activities
Association Notes
Award Article
Book Review
Brief Report
Case Analysis
Case Letter
Case Letters
Case Notes
Case Report
Case Reports
Clinical and Laboratory Investigations
Clinical Article
Clinical Studies
Clinical Study
Commentary
Conference Oration
Conference Summary
Continuing Medical Education
Correspondence
Corrigendum
Cosmetic Dermatology
Cosmetology
Current Best Evidence
Current View
Derma Quest
Dermato Surgery
Dermatopathology
Dermatosurgery Specials
Dispensing Pearl
Do you know?
Drug Dialogues
e-IJDVL
Editor Speaks
Editorial
Editorial Remarks
Editorial Report
Editorial Report - 2007
Editorial report for 2004-2005
Errata
Erratum
Focus
Fourth All India Conference Programme
From Our Book Shelf
From the Desk of Chief Editor
General
Get Set for Net
Get set for the net
Guest Article
Guest Editorial
History
How I Manage?
IADVL Announcement
IADVL Announcements
IJDVL Awards
IJDVL AWARDS 2015
IJDVL Awards 2018
IJDVL Awards 2019
IJDVL Awards 2020
IJDVL International Awards 2018
Images in Clinical Practice
In Memorium
Inaugural Address
Index
Knowledge From World Contemporaries
Leprosy Section
Letter in Response to Previous Publication
Letter to Editor
Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor - Case Letter
Letter to the Editor - Letter in Response to Published Article
LETTER TO THE EDITOR - LETTERS IN RESPONSE TO PUBLISHED ARTICLES
Letter to the Editor - Observation Letter
Letter to the Editor - Study Letter
Letter to the Editor - Therapy Letter
Letter to the Editor: Articles in Response to Previously Published Articles
Letters in Response to Previous Publication
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor - Letter in Response to Previously Published Articles
Letters to the Editor: Case Letters
Letters to the Editor: Letters in Response to Previously Published Articles
Medicolegal Window
Messages
Miscellaneous Letter
Musings
Net Case
Net case report
Net Image
Net Letter
Net Quiz
Net Study
New Preparations
News
News & Views
Obituary
Observation Letter
Observation Letters
Oration
Original Article
ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTION
Original Contributions
Pattern of Skin Diseases
Pearls
Pediatric Dermatology
Pediatric Rounds
Perspective
Presedential Address
Presidential Address
Presidents Remarks
Quiz
Recommendations
Regret
Report
Report of chief editor
Report of Hon : Treasurer IADVL
Report of Hon. General Secretary IADVL
Research Methdology
Research Methodology
Resident page
Resident's Page
Resident’s Page
Residents' Corner
Residents' Corner
Residents' Page
Retraction
Review
Review Article
Review Articles
Revision Corner
Self Assessment Programme
SEMINAR
Seminar: Chronic Arsenicosis in India
Seminar: HIV Infection
Short Communication
Short Communications
Short Report
Special Article
Specialty Interface
Studies
Study Letter
Supplement-Photoprotection
Supplement-Psoriasis
Symposium - Contact Dermatitis
Symposium - Lasers
Symposium - Pediatric Dermatoses
Symposium - Psoriasis
Symposium - Vesicobullous Disorders
SYMPOSIUM - VITILIGO
Symposium Aesthetic Surgery
Symposium Dermatopathology
Symposium-Hair Disorders
Symposium-Nails Part I
Symposium-Nails-Part II
Tables
Technology
Therapeutic Guidelines
Therapeutic Guidelines - IADVL
Therapeutics
Therapy
Therapy Letter
View Point
Viewpoint
What’s new in Dermatology
Original Article
2002:68:3;131-132
PMID: 17656907

High altitude and nail growth

M PS Sawhney
 Department of Dermatology and STD, Command Hospital (SC), Pune-411 040, India

Correspondence Address:
M PS Sawhney
Department of Dermatology and STD, Command Hospital (SC), Pune-411 040
India
How to cite this article:
Sawhney M P. High altitude and nail growth. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2002;68:131-132
Copyright: (C)2002 Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology

Abstract

Linear nail growth studies were carried out in 22 highlanders Ladakhi (3445m) and 6 lowlander male troops, in 4 during their fresh induction into high altitude (3445m) and in 2 during their stay in plains while on leave from high altitude. The average age of highlander Ladakhis was 21.82 years (range 16-36 years) and lowlanders was 34 years (range 29 - 40 years). There was significant decrease in nail growth in age matched (average age 34.25) highlander
Ladakhis (93.11 /day, SD 7.24, P< 0.05) and in freshly inducted lowlanders (88.71/ day, SD 10.7, P<0.05) in contrast to average nail growth in plains (1191/day, SD 1.41) Although the average nail growth in highlander Ladakhis (99.34/day, SD 13.91) was more than the low landers inducted into high altitude (88.7s /day, SD 1 o.7) the difference was not found statistically significant (P> 0.05). However it does suggest some degree of acclimatization in highlanders. Hypoxic conditions and extreme cold conditions both appear to be factors responsible for decreased nail growth in high altitude areas.
Keywords: Nail growth, High altitude

Introduction

Linear nail growth in health and disease has been studied by a number of investigators. Various physiological and pathological factors affecting the nail growth have been recently reviewed by Baran and Dawber.[1] The effect of high altitude in. hypoxic conditions on nail growth has not been studied earlier to the best of our knowledge. Hence we undertook a study of nail growth at an altitude of 3445m at Leh (Ladakh).

Materials and Methods

A total of 22 healthy highlander Ladakhis and 6 lowlander troops stationed at Leh (3445m) were included in this study. All were males. Average age of highlander Ladakhis was 21.82 years (range 16 - 36 years) and of lowlanders was 34 years (range 29 - 40 years). A T- shaped cut was made on the nail plate of right index finger in each subject with a blade, 3 - 4 mm away from the proximal nail fold (PNF). Initial reading and the subsequent reading after 2 to 3 months were taken by using a Vernier Caliper with PNF as reference point.[2] In four of the lowlanders the rate of nail growth was recorded soon after fresh induction into high altitude. In two of the lowlanders the rate of nail growth was calculated for their stay in plains by taking the readings before they left the high altitude on leave and soon after their return to Leh.

Results

The rate of nail growth per day in highlanders was found to be 99.3u/day (SD 13.9u). The similar nail growth in fresh inductee lowlanders was found to be 88.7u/day (SD 10.7u/ day). Although the nail growth was found to be slower in the lowlanders inducted into high altitude, the difference was not found significant (P>0.05). Furthermore in the age matched highlanders i.e. during fourth decade with average age 34.25, years as compared to average age of 34.75 years in the lowlanders, the difference was still less significant i.e. 93.Iu/ day to 88.7u/ day.

The rate of nail growth in lowlanders during their stay in plains was found to be 11 9u/day (SD 1.4 lu), which was significantly higher than the rate of growth in lowlander inductees in high altitude (88.7u/day, SD 10.7u, P< 0.05) and also significantly higher than age matched highlander Ladakhis (93.1 u/day, SD 7.2u, P< 0.05).

Discussion

Partial pressure of oxygen at Leh (Ladakh) is only 103mm of Hg i.e. 65% of the sealevel.[3] Thus the prevailing hypoxic conditions are likely to impair the rapidly dividing cells and decrease tissue growth as has been proved by our study on nail growth. There was a significant decrease in the nail growth in high altitude as compared to the rate of nail growth seen in plains. It was further seen that rate of nail growth in highlander Ladakhis was more than lowlanders inducted into high altitude, though statistically not found significant, it does suggest degree of acclimatization in highlanders. Cold climate has been reported to decrease nail growth.[1],[5] In high altitude area both the factors of hypoxia and extreme cold climate exist. How much they contribute to decrease in nail growth in high altitude cannot be commented in the absence of studies of nail growth in purely hypoxic conditions.

References
1.
Dawber RPR, Baran R. Structure, embryology, comparative anatomy and physiology of the nail, In: Diseases of the Nails and Their Management, Edited by Baron R and Dawber RPR, 2nd edn, Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford 1994;1-34.
[Google Scholar]
2.
Dawber RPR. The effect of methotrexate, corticosteroid and azathioprine on fingernail growth in psoriasis. Br J Dermatol 1970;87:680-683.
[Google Scholar]
3.
Heath D, William DR. Physical factors at high altitudes, In: Man at High Altitude, 2nd edn, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh 1981;5-12.
[Google Scholar]
4.
Donovan KM. Antarctic environment and nail growth. Br J Dermatol 1977;96:507-510.
[Google Scholar]
5.
Roberts DF, Sanford MR. A possible climate effect on nail growth. J Appl Physiol 1958;13:135-137.
[Google Scholar]
Show Sections