A lot of people think that nails are just something that can be used as a plain canvas for doing nail art. However, nails have a specific function in our body and can tell a lot about our health.
The changes that occur on the nails can indicate issues such as an injury or fungi. They can also indicate more serious issues and health problems such as cancer.
Therefore, if you notice that your nails are changing colour, shape, thickness, or they start to swell, you should visit a dermatologist.
10 Things Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health
1. Yellow Nails
Different causes such as smoking, aging, acrylic nails and nail polish can make your nails yellow. If the nails are yellow, thick and crumbly, the cause is probably a fungal infection. Other conditions such as diabetes, psoriasis, thyroid disease, and respiratory disease can cause yellow nails.
2. Dry, Cracked or Brittle Nails
Many lifestyle factors such as low humidity, regular use of nail polish remover, or having the hands in water very often can cause brittle nails. Other cause for brittle nails can be lack of vitamins A and C.
Cracking and splitting nails can be caused by hypothyroidism and fungal infection.
If your nails are curved downwards and are enlarged, it can mean that you have low amount of oxygen in your blood or you have a lung disease. Clubbing can also indicate that you have heart disease, liver or kidney disease, or even AIDS.
4. White Spots
If you have smaller and white spots on the nails, it probably means that they are a result of nail trauma. You shouldn’t worry about them because they will fade out on their own.
5. Horizontal Ridges
Horizontal ridges can be caused by nail trauma, or more serious issues such as high fever. Other causes can be circulatory disease, severe zinc deficiency, or uncontrolled psoriasis or diabetes. Also, arsenic poisoning, malaria, carbon monoxide poisoning, or leprosy can be linked with horizontal ridges and discolorations.
6. White Nails with a Strip of Pink
If you have nails that have a narrow pink strip at the top, it might mean that you have liver disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure, or kidney failure. Aging can also cause this condition, therefore, see a dermatologist to check the nail for you.
7. Dark Discolorations
If your nails have black streaks and painful growths on them, you should go to a doctor, because it can mean that you have melanoma.
8. Vertical Ridges
Vertical ridges most likely occur at older people, but also if you have vitamin B12 and magnesium deficiency.
9. Spoon Nails
If your nails are curved upwards, it means that your body lacks iron, or you suffer from hypothyroidism or heart disease.
Pitting in nails is the most common sign of psoriasis. Also, it can be caused by a hair loss disease called alopecia.