Are Your Nails Trying To Tell You Something?
22 July 2021
Your nails aren't merely ornamental additions to your appearance. If you know how to listen to them, they tell you much more than whether you need a manicure. They’re packed with valuable details about your health and wellness. They can reveal if you have an infection, a serious medical issue, or even how well you’re eating. Researchers have discovered that nails are mirrors of the internal constitution and nutritional status of your body.
Whether they're lined, chipped, or discolored, every small feature can reveal information about how well your body is functioning. If you take the time to pay more attention to your nails, it could give you an early warning of a serious problem that needs your attention. So, here's a quick guide to interpret what your nails are saying about your health!
Weak and Brittle Nails
Frail nails are one of the most prevalent complaints, and they often occur for a variety of reasons. They may be attributed to idiosyncratic eating habits, malnutrition, nutritional inadequacies, or the result of polishing your nails too frequently. Weak nails may also be a sign of a health issue, such as hypothyroidism or anemia. Nails, like skin, require moisture and should not be subjected to harsh chemicals or frequent wet and dry circumstances. So, the next time your nails break too readily, consume multivitamin supplements to strengthen the nails. Add some high-nutrient foods to your diet, such as green leafy vegetables, fruits, sprouts, lentils, nuts, and so on. Also, avoid using nail polish removers or other chemical-based products on your nails as often as possible.
Pale Or White Nails
Healthy nails are usually a light pink color and do not break readily. Pale nails can indicate anemia, a disorder caused by a lack of iron in the body. This implies your body doesn't have enough red blood cells, which means your organs aren't getting enough oxygen, which might affect your general health. Iron-rich meals, such as green leafy vegetables, can assist to alleviate this deficit. Pale nails may also be indicative of more serious diseases such as congestive heart failure or liver illness in rare circumstances.
Spoon nails are defined as nails that dip down in the middle and curve upward at the ridges. This usually indicates a problem with iron -- either too little or too much. Iron deficiency anemia can be addressed with iron supplements and by consuming more foods with vitamin C to help your body absorb iron from food. This warning sign, however, can also be associated with heart disease, hypothyroidism, or a liver condition known as hemochromatosis, in which your body absorbs too much iron from the food you eat. Having said that, it is important to remember that not everyone with liver disease will develop white nails, and not everyone with white nails has liver disease.
A noticeable yellowing of the nails is usually indicative of a fungal infection called onychomycosis, and it happens more in adults than children. Tea tree oil is an effective treatment for this infection, but you can also use over-the-counter antifungal creams and keep your nails dry. Overuse of nail polish can also cause yellowing nails, so take a break from painting your nails for a bit. Occasionally, yellow nails run in families, suggesting a genetic link. In very rare cases, this condition occurs in patients with serious lung disease and lymphedema.
Also known as Beau's Lines, they are deep horizontal indentations that usually run straight across the nail. These are suggestive of psoriasis, uncontrolled diabetes, circulatory disorders, or severe zinc insufficiency. These ridges can be caused by stress or trauma to the nail. Horizontal ridges are often a sign of a systemic illness, prolonged exposure to certain environmental factors, or an underlying condition like psoriasis or a thyroid problem that requires diagnosis and treatment.
Nail clubbing a syndrome in which the tips of the fingers grow longer and the nails curve around the fingertips instead of extending straight past them. It is sometimes the result of low oxygen in the blood and could be an indication of various types of lung disease. Other causes may be inflammatory bowel disease or and liver disease. Although clubbing does not create any health issues in itself, it is recommended that you consult your doctor, if you observe the warning sign.
This is when your nails have pits or dents. This is commonly a symptom of psoriasis, a skin disease that creates itchy, painful patches of skin with silvery scales. Pitting of the nails can also be caused by health issues such as connective tissue disorders or alopecia areata. If the pitting is minor, you may not need treatment, but it's best to see your doctor to check for any medical interventions if required.
Now that we know that nails can provide information about your health, you should start paying more attention to the appearance of your nails. Unhealthy nails, trauma to the nails, and other factors can not only detract the appearance of your nails, but they can also be a sign that your body is in need of medical assistance. As a result, if you notice anything amiss about the health of your nails, you should visit a dermatologist for the correct diagnosis and treatm