12 Things Your Nails Can Reveal About Your Health

12 Things Your Nails Can Reveal About Your Health

People commonly see their nails as aesthetic. People spend $768 million annually on average on nail polish in the US alone. Your nails have a far more value than the nail art and bright colors. The shape, color and texture of your nails is a window into your body health. According to American Academy of Dermatology, some nail symptoms indicate chronic diseases including cancer.

The growth rate of nails gives clues on your health status. Healthy nails grow by 3.5 mm on average per month. However, your nutritional status, trauma, medication, ageing process and chronic diseases influence the nail growth.

Red nails

If your nails go from the pink shade too dark red, it means you may have a heart disease.  If the redness extends to your nail cuticle and sides, it means you may be having autoimmune disease Lupus. There are many other explanations for the redeeming of your nails. However, it is best to consult your doctor to run more tests on you.

Unusual white nails

Commonly known as Terry’s nails. This kind of nail has three possible explanations. First, it means you have a fungal nail infection that is accompanied by dark or reddened fingertips. Secondly, it means the blood supply is interrupted, and your nails have started detaching from the nail bed. Thirdly, it is a result of chemotherapy. White nails may indicate that you have a severe illness like iron deficiency, liver cirrhosis, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, organ failure or anaemia.

Nails coming off the nail bed

If the nails detach from the nail bed without pressure or trauma, it means you have a hormonal imbalance. Similarly, it means yo have a hyperthyroidism condition. Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland releases too many hormones into your body system. See a doctor for prescriptions to reverse the conditions.

Dark verticle stripes

People always ignore the stripes on their fingernails because they are not painful. However, some stripes indicate serious illnesses. If you have dark vertical stripes commonly known as linear melanonychia, you could be having Subungal Melanoma. This is an aggressive form of skin cancer which only affects the nail bed.

Blue nails

If your nails change to purple tinge or blue, you may have hypoxia or lack oxygen. It is triggered by poor circulation to your ears, feet and hands. Impaired circulation is reversible and does not pose a serious health issue.

Depressions or dents on the nails

If you see dents on the surface of your nails, you may be having Psoriasis, eczema or reactive arthritis. Reactive arthritis is a type of arthritis where the immune system attacks your joints. More than half of psoriasis patients have nail dents. Consult your dermatologist for treatment.

Discolored nails

Naturally, nails should have a healthy pink color. If you notice the nail colors are changing, take note. If the color turns brown, it indicates a thyroid disease or malnourishment. Green color indicates jaundice, lymphoma, tuberculosis, sinusitis or severe fungal infection. If you are under anti-malarial prescription, your nails can turn grey.

Spoon nails

Commonly known as koilonychia. The condition causes the nails to be excessively soft and scoop out just like a spoon. The symptom indicates a liver condition, where too much iron is being released into your system. Spoon nails is a common indicator of hypothyroidism. There are other conditions associated with spoon nails like heart disease, impaired blood flow and anaemia.

Brittle nails

Commonly characterized by crumbling nails. It indicates vitamin deficiency with vitamin B7 being the culprit. You can reverse the condition with over the counter multi-vitamin supplements. Brittle nails also indicate thyroid disorders, fungal nail infections and nail psoriasis.

White stripes

White nail stripes indicate a presence of cancerous growth. You have an imbalanced diet, and you lack proteins. You can resolve it by increasing your intake of protein-rich foods like nuts, fish, lean meat and quinoa.

Curved nails

It is also known as nail clubbing. It involves unnaturally nail bed and curving around your fingertips. This condition can take years to form and is because of lack of oxygen. Do not ignore the symptom as it also indicates serious diseases like liver disease, irritable bowel syndrome, lung problems, cardiovascular concerns and AIDS.


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