What Your Nails Say About Your Health?

Cover Image - What your nails say about your health?

Nails can indicate more serious health issues

Your nails can reveal signs about your overall health. Pale, pitted, ridged or discolored nails are all usually a symptom of a bigger health problem. Liver, lung and heart problems, as well as vitamin and mineral deficiencies often show up in your nails. Knowing the warning signs displayed by your nails could save your life.

Cracked, brittle or split nails
One of the more commonly reported nail problems, rough, splitting, cracked or brittle nails can be linked to hypothyroidism or a deficiency in B vitamins, calcium, iron or fatty acids but are more often due to repeated wetting and drying of your fingernails or chemicals, such as detergents, cleaning fluids or nail treatments.

Dark lines underneath your nail
Dark lines beneath your nail should be checked immediately, as it can be a sign of melanoma. Black lines could also be a splinter haemorrhage most likely caused by trauma such as hitting your finger with a hammer.

Pitted nails
If the surface of your nail is rippled, pitted or has tiny dents, it may be an early sign of psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis. It could also be attributed to eczema or a range of other conditions.

Scattered white spots
Scattered white spots on your nail could be a sign of an allergic reaction, fungal infection or some other injury to your nail.

Puffy nail fold
If the skin around your nailbed seems puffy and red, you may have a connective skin disorder. It could also be caused by infection.

White or pale nails
Pale nails can be a sign of liver disease, anaemia, congestive heart failure or malnutrition. If your nailbed is very pale or if you have white nails with darker rims near the top, you might have a problem with your liver.

Yellow nails
If you haven’t recently been cooking with turmeric then chances are your yellow nails are a fungal infection. In more serious cases, yellow nails could mean thyroid disease, lung disease psoriasis or diabetes.

Blue nails
If your nails have a bluish tint, then you may not be getting enough oxygen, which could mean you have a lung problem or some type of heart problem.

Gnawed fingernails
It could be a sign of anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder, so you may benefit from seeing a doctor.

Changes to your nails may inform you of possible health conditions, but the keyword is ‘possible’. If you have any concerns about what your nails might be telling you, see your doctor.

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