Be Visually Aware – Nail Diseases and Disorders

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Human Services

    Course : Cosmetology I

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (2) The student combines academic skills with cosmetology requirements. The student is expected to:
      • (A) apply principles of biology, identifying living tissues, cells, and organisms to provide and select safe and effective personal care products and service
      • (C) examine and apply basic principles of human anatomy to determine areas of potential problems and provide customized personal care services
    • (3) The student applies the rules and regulations established by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. The student is expected to:
      • (A) review and implement emergency policies and procedures regarding health and safety
      • (B) research risks and potentially hazardous situations to maintain a clean record of safety when providing personal care services
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will

    • describe the difference between nail disorders and diseases
    • pronounce the nail diseases and disorders correctly
    • research the causes, signs or symptoms, and treatment of the nail diseases or disorders
  • Rationale


    Have you ever noticed that everyone’s hands and nails look different? Sometimes you may see different types of nail disorders. You can treat nail disorders. Nail diseases must be treated by a physician. As a manicurist, we must be aware of the nail problems our clients might bring to us. We must be able to identify the problem to give the client the very best service possible.

  • Duration of Lesson

    Five 45 minute class periods

  • Word Wall

    Blue nails: Nail bed has a tendacy to turn blue

    Bruised nails: A blood clot forms under the nail plate to form a bruise

    Corrugations: Wavy ridges in the nail plate

    Eggshell nails: A thin, white nail plate that is more flexible than normal

    Furrows: Depressions in the nail moving horizontally or vertically along the nail

    Hangnail: The dry cuticle splits around the nail

    Leukonychia: (loo-koh-NIK-ee-ah) White spots on the nail

    Melanonychia: (mel-uh-nuh-NIK-ee-uh) Darkening of the nail

    Onychatropia: (ahn-ih-kuh-TROH-fee-uh) Wasting away of the nail

    Onychauxis: (ahn-ih-KAHK-sis) Excessive thickening of the nail

    Onychophagy: (ahn-ih-koh-FAY-jee) Bitten nails

    Onychorrhexis: (ahn-ih-koh-REK-sis) Brittle nails with striations in the nail plate

    Pincer nail: Edges of the nail plate curl around to form the shape of a cone

    Plicatured nail: (plik-a-CHOORD) Folded nail

    Pterygium: (teh-RIJ-ee-um) Forward growth of the cuticle as it attaches to the nail plate

    Tile shaped nails: Increased crosswise curvature throughout the nail plate

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with LCD projector for PowerPoint™ presentation
    • computers with Internet access (be sure to follow school district guidelines)


    • cardstock (for flashcards)
    • index cards (for Quizlet™ review)
    • nail magazines
    • poster boards (cut in half)


    • disinfectant
    • glue
    • nail clippers
    • nail implements
      • application brush
      • metal pusher
      • nail brush
      • nippers
      • tweezers
      • wooden pusher
    • scissors

    • copies of handouts (see All Lesson Attachment tab)

  • Anticipatory Set

    Before class begins:

    Display as many of the materials and equipment from the Materials and Specialized Equipment Needed section as you have available. Allow students to view the items as they enter the classroom.

    Ask the following questions:

    • Do you recall seeing any nail disorders on someone?
    • What did you think was wrong?
    • Do you think nail disorders can be treated?
    • Would you work on a client’s nails if they showed signs of nail disorders?

    Discuss how many people have experienced a common nail disorder at some time in their lives. It is important that as a cosmetologist, they are able to recognize these disorders to assist their clients.

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Distribute handout Be Visually Aware – Nail Diseases and Disorders Notes (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so that students may take notes during slide presentation.

    Introduce PowerPoint™ Be Visually Aware – Nail Diseases and Disorders (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    Discuss the common nail diseases and disorders students may see while employed in a salon.

    View YouTube™ video:

    Note: video is only 3.50 minutes but repeats itself without voices.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • checking for understanding
    • providing assistance with note-taking
    • provide a copy of the slide presentation

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Distribute handout Nail Anatomy (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Students need to be able to identify parts of a healthy nail before they research diseases and disorders. Students may use a textbook or the internet to identify the parts of the nail.

    Distribute handout, Nail Disorder Terms and Pronounciation (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Review terms with the students and allow them to practice pronouncing each word.

    Divide the students into subgroups of three to work together to create sets of Nail Diseases and Disorders flash cards using Quizlet™.com.

    This program will also pronounce the terms correctly.

    Allow students to explore the website and practice pronouncing the terms as well as learning the definitions.

    Remind students that an assessment test will be given at the end of the lesson to assess their knowledge.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • peer tutoring
    • extended time

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Before class – print and separate the Nail Disorders and Diseases Flashcards (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Place the cards in a basket.

    Divide the class into subgroups of two. Allow one student to choose a disorder or disease for the two of them to research the following information:

    • causes
    • signs or symptoms
    • treatment

    Students will create a poster (1/2 size) with the diseases or disorder information and include an image of the nail. They may use nail magazine pictures to make the poster visually appealing.

    Distribute Rubric for Visual Display – Nail Diseases or Disorders (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so students will understand what is expected.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • listen to audio recordings
    • use visual aids such as pictures and flashcards

  • Lesson Closure

    Review lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Divide the class into two teams. Read the definition to one team member at a time to assess their knowledge of the terms. The team with the highest score wins.

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Allow students to access a Nail Disorders flashcard to review.

    Distribute Nail Diseases and Disorders Quiz (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    Students will present their poster to the class. Posters will be displayed in the classroom.

    Students will be assessed with appropriate rubric.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • oral test
    • reduce number of test items
    • praise participation

  • References/Resources



    • (2004). Milady standard cosmetology. Clifton Park, New York: Thompson Delmar Learning.
    • Frangie, C.M. (2012). Milady Standard Cosmetology. Clifton Park, NY: Cengage Learning



  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:

  • Recommended Strategies

    Reading Strategies

    Allow students to read the Nail Salon Workers Guide (see All Lesson Attachments tab) from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to find out how to stay healthy and safe while giving manicures and pedicures.

    Reading strategy:
    Encourage students to “visualize” as they read. Many students are visual learners and will benefit from making sketches or diagrams on scrap paper as they read. Providing students with graphic organizers to help them organize their thoughts is also helpful.

  • Quotes

    What this country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.
    -Will Rogers

    Luck consists largely of hanging on by your fingernails until things start to go your way.
    -Aaron Alston

    I just blow-dry my hair and put on mascara and lip gloss, and I’m ready to go. I really don’t get long nails. They’re so Edward Scissorhands.
    -Kelly Clarkson

    I’ve raised my girls in a sort of genderless fashion. I mean, I’ll take them to get their nails done – I actually love doing that – but I also play ball with them. As a result, my girls are tough and athletic and game for everything.
    -Harry Connick, Jr.

    No one likes getting their nails done more than I do.
    -Serena Williams

  • Multimedia/Visual Strategies


    • Be Visually Aware – Nail Diseases and Disorders
    • Presentation Notes – Be Visually Aware – Nail Diseases and Disorders


    Files for downloading:

  • Graphic Organizers/Handout

    Graphic Organizers:

    • Nail Anatomy
    • Nail Anatomy (Key)


    • Be Visually Aware – Nail Diseases and Disorders Notes
    • Nail Diseases and Disorders Quiz
    • Nail Diseases and Disorders Quiz (Key)
    • Nail Disorders Terms and Pronunciation
    • Nail Disorders and Disease Flashcards
    • Nail Salon Workers Guide
    • Rubric for Visual Display – Nail Disease or Disorder

    Files for downloading:

  • Writing Strategies

    Journal Entry

    • Manicures and pedicures are important because ….
    • Nail implements to do manicures and pedicures need to be disinfected because …..
    • Beautiful nails are a sign of ……
    • Nutrition plays a role in some nail disorders because ……
    • Nails are necessary because …….

    Writing strategies:

    • RAFT Writing Assignment
      • Role: Manicurist
      • Audience: Self
      • Format: Journal entry
      • Topic: The difference between nail diseases and disorders. Give two examples of a nail disorder.
  • Communication 90 Second Speech Topics

    • Why is it important to be visually aware of nail disorders?
    • Explain the difference in nail diseases and disorders, give an example.
    • A client comes in for a manicure. After examining her nails, you see she shows signs if nail biting. What would you tell her about her nail condition? Explain the treatment for this problem.
  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    If budget allows, distribute artificial nail tips to students. Have them create the nail disorders on each tip. They can use clay, paint, polish or any item to help them create the disorder. They must put these creations on a poster board with the name, definition and treatment.


    Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.

    The infographic below is related to this lesson. Allow students to view the image on a projector and lead a discussion concerning the information provided.

  • Family/Community Connection

    Invite the Printing, Welding, or Auto Body instructors and their classes to speak to your cosmetology students about the types of activities/work that is done in their career field. Ask them to bring/display and discuss types of harsh chemicals that are used in their classes and career field. Have them bring copies of the MSDS sheets for each chemical to share with your students.
    Cosmetology students can examine the hands of the instructors and students and make recommendations.
    Allow cosmetology students to give the instructor and students a manicure. All students can be asked to write a reflection about their experience.
    Prior to lesson, speak to your students about the conditions of hands and nails that they may encounter. The expectation is that they act in a professional manner at all times.
    Do not allow students to work on infected nails.

  • CTSO connection


    • Students must be members of SkillsUSA in order to compete in Quiz Bowl. Quiz Bowl is a competition which is based on the knowledge a student has about the theory of cosmetology. Preparing for this competition is like preparing for the State Board Exam.
  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to lesson. For additional information on service learning see:

    Project name: The Healing Touch
    Students brainstorm the procedures for a service-learning project involving senior citizens.
    Students follow procedures such as:

    • obtaining permission from campus officials
    • creating a list of local nursing homes or senior citizen centers
    • placing calls, asking and obtaining permission from the facility director to provide free services, such as manicures, to their clientele
    • scheduling the event
    • determining transportation to event
    • discussing the special needs/concerns of working on older clients: may have hearing problems, how to properly analyze their hands
    • purchasing products suited for older clients (for example: nail products)
    • reviewing infection control practices prior to event
    • reviewing “what if…” scenarios
    • displaying professionalism: setting up quietly, being attentive to the clients
    • cleaning up
    • writing a reflection on what they learned from the experience and how this knowledge will help them in the future

  • All Attachments