Nails not only add to the beauty of your hands and feet but also serve in conveying your health conditions or issues. They are not just plain scratching tools on our body; nails can reflect your health in their own language.
If you feel getting regular manicures/pedicures ensure beautiful and healthy nails, then I am afraid to say that you are wrong. Your nails may be trying to communicate with you with their breaking/spooning/pitting/etc. and you may be conveniently ignoring them till now. But after reading this article, you will start listening to your nails and be more wary of your health.
Dry, cracked or brittle nails.
There may be various causes of dry and brittle nails like overexposure to chemicals (as in cleaning agents), overuse of nail paint remover, dishwashing without gloves, ageing, or even living in low humidity conditions. However, if you notice your nails to be too brittle and without any of these factors mentioned above, then it is possible that you are suffering from hypothyroidism or a fungal infection.
Thick nails which don’t look natural and resemble claws are not considered strong or healthy. They, in fact, may be signalling you of a possible lung disease. Thick nails which are separated may be a sign of thyroid condition or psoriasis. Such type of nails may also be pointing towards a circulation problem or fungal infection.
Nail clubbing occurs when the ends of your fingers swell, resulting in curved, rounded or puffed up nails. They may be a symptom of a kidney or liver disorder, an inflammatory bowel condition or an even serious condition like AIDS.
Dark vertical bands on nails.
Pigmented vertical bands are quite common in dark-skinned people and may be simply harmless moles lying in the nail bed. However, if you notice new bands or bands changing colors, it may be a sign of a malignant melanoma, a type of skin cancer.
Horizontal ridges on nails.
They may be caused due to trauma to the nails, but if you find them on more than one finger, it may be a trigger to a more serious health condition. If you are trying to recover from a serious illness, then your body may be utilising all its energy in fighting the disease instead of focussing on nails. In short, it is a way of your body drawing a line and pausing the nail growth when it has more important things to focus on.
Another probable cause of horizontal ridges may be a drug reaction, especially if you have had a recent chemotherapy.
Healthy fingernails are pink with a hint of pinkish white half-moons at the base. Any other color or lack of color may signal a hidden health problem.
While dull nails mean a vitamin deficiency, green nails point towards a bacterial infection. White ones may be a sign of liver disease and red streaks on nail bed may be a heart valve infection warning. Nails with a tinge of blue may be a result of low oxygen levels in your blood.
Spoon-shaped nails i.e. concave nails that are curved enough to hold a water drop without making it run off are a sign of iron deficiency. They may also be a sign of hemochromatosis (a liver condition where the body absorbs too much iron) or a heart disease. Hypothyroidism is another of those conditions that may cause your nails to be spoon-shaped.
Mini holes or dips/dents in your nails may have resulted from the banging of your hands and will fade on their own. However, if they tend to be permanent, then it may be a sign of psoriasis or connective tissue disorder. They may also be a sign of alopecia areata (an autoimmune disorder that results in hair loss). If the pits seem to have formed a line across the nail in the middle portion, it may signal zinc deficiency.
Severely bitten nails.
Many people have a habit of biting nails, but excessive nail biting and constantly picking at the skin around the nails may be a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Sometimes, a psychiatric help is recommended in such cases while in other cases, a coat of a bitter tasting compound on the nails may help get rid of OCD.
Vertical ridges on nails.
Vertical ridges on nails are just a result of ageing, but they may also mean a possible thyroid disorder, stress, hormonal changes or diabetes.
Yellow nails usually occur with aging. However, in people who are young, they may be caused due to nail lacquers or acrylic nails. Regularly wearing acrylic nails or painting your nails with nail paints- especially dark shades– may result in staining your nails. Smoking is another of those factors that may render a yellowish tinge to the nails.
White spots on nails
Though usually considered to be a sign of calcium deficiency, white spots on nails can be caused due to a traumatic nail injury. An aggressive cuticle trim or a banged finger may result in white spots on nails. However, such spots fade away on their own when the nails grow, but if they continue to sit there, they may be trying to draw your attention towards a possible fungal infection.
No half moon on nails.
No half moon on the nails is a symptom of a thyroid disorder. Hypothyroidism is the cause behind no half moons and can further lead to mood swings, depression, hair loss, and weight gain.