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Clubbing of the Nails Treatment & Management

  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
 
Updated: Jun 08, 2016
 

Medical Care

No specific treatment for clubbing is available. Treatment of the underlying pathological condition may decrease the clubbing or, potentially, reverse it if performed early enough. Once substantial chronic tissue changes, including increased collagen deposition, have occurred, reversal is unlikely. Treatment for related problems, such as pain, is symptomatic. One patient with pachydermoperiostosis responded to etoricoxib.[41]

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Surgical Care

No specific surgical procedures are performed for clubbing. Appropriate surgical treatment of underlying disease, such as tumor removal in patients with lung cancer, may improve or reverse clubbing, provided that permanent morphologic changes have not occurred.

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Consultations

Clubbing is a clinical sign of many pathological processes; therefore, consultation with specialists may be necessary to diagnose the underlying disease. Patients with primary hypertrophic osteoarthropathy should be evaluated for associated findings, possibly including myelofibrosis.[42, 43]

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Complications

Since clubbing is a clinical finding, no direct complications occur, except for cosmetic concerns. The complications of the underlying disease resulting in clubbing may be numerous considering the wide spectrum of diseases that are associated with clubbing. The discussion of these is beyond the scope of this article.

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Long-Term Monitoring

Further outpatient care should be guided by the specific primary disease, which is the cause of the clubbing. This should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH Professor and Head of Dermatology, Professor of Pathology, Pediatrics, Medicine, and Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School; Visiting Professor, Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, New York Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Coauthor(s)

Supriya Goyal, MD Consulting Dermatologist

Supriya Goyal, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Gregory M Richards, MD Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Gregory M Richards, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American College of Radiology, American Medical Association, American Roentgen Ray Society, American Society for Radiation Oncology, Radiological Society of North America, American Society of Clinical Oncology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

David F Butler, MD Section Chief of Dermatology, Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System; Professor of Dermatology, Texas A&M University College of Medicine; Founding Chair, Department of Dermatology, Scott and White Clinic

David F Butler, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Medical Association, Alpha Omega Alpha, Association of Military Dermatologists, American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for MOHS Surgery, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Warren R Heymann, MD Head, Division of Dermatology, Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Warren R Heymann, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Society of Dermatopathology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

William D James, MD Paul R Gross Professor of Dermatology, Vice-Chairman, Residency Program Director, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

William D James, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Richard K Scher, MD Adjunct Professor of Dermatology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine; Professor Emeritus of Dermatology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Richard K Scher, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, Association of Military Surgeons of the US, International Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Noah Worcester Dermatological Society, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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