The texture, shape and color of your nails can tell a lot about your health. Some of the signs that your nails are giving you might indicate a dangerous health issue, some disease, and in some situations cancer!
The American Academy of Dermatology reported:
“Through our nails we can sometimes see the general state of our health. Certain changes which are unpleasant and fast that happen to our nails, such as discoloration or thickening may signal some serious health issues, like kidney or liver diseases, diabetes, heart or lung conditions as well.”
A healthy person’s nails will grow from 3 to 3.5 millimeters each month, besides this you also need to know that the growing process is affected also by many factors, such as trauma, medication, age, nutritional status, etc.
If you notice any quick chance in your nails or in their shape you should visit a dermatologist right away, or if you notice a thickening, discoloration or swellings. They might be alerting you of some dangerous health issue, but also this might be a harmless sign.
Therefore we prepared a list of the 10 most common nail symptoms, and what they mean:
1. White Spots
Mostly white spots on your nails may occur due to trauma and stress, or they may be developed because of a fungal infections.
2. Dry, Brittle or Cracked Nails
Mostly if you are exposed to chemicals, or if you live in a low humidity area, you use too much nail polisher or your hands are too often in water, you may see a cracking or splits in your nails.
There are also some other things that may cause the nail splitting or cracking, such as thyroid diseases, fungal infections, biotin deficiency, Vitamin A and C deficiency as well.
3. Yellow Nails
Using nail polish too often, smoking and aging may cause your nails to get a yellow color. Also if they become crumbly and thick, then you are very likely to be suffering from a fungal infection. There are some other causes that may cause your nails to appear yellow, such as thyroid diseases, respiratory diseases, diabetes and sometimes psoriasis as well.
4. White Nails with a Strip of Pink
You might e suffering from a heart failure, kidney failure, liver disease, a heart failure if your nails get a white color and have some pink strips on them.
You might be suffering from low oxygen supplies in your lungs and your blood, if you are having enlarged fingertips and the nails are growing downwards. Also this may indicate a heart disease, kidney issue, an inflammatory bowel disease, and sometimes even AIDS.
Psoriasis may be indicated by multiple pits on your nails. Chen reported: “Mostly pitting occurs in people who are dealing with psoriasis, or 80% of the people who are dealing with psoriatic arthritis”. Also this might be indicating an alopecia areata or a connective tissue disorder.
7. Horizontal Ridges
A dermatologist from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, Dr. John Anthony M.D. reported:
“Mostly this symptom occurs if you are constantly under stress or trauma, but sometimes it can be triggered by more serious illnesses which might be very harmful, and you can recognize that if it occurs on more nails.
Also your body might be sending you signals that it has better things to do rather than make your nails look good, which reduces their growth as well.”
Beau’s lines are the horizontal ridges that appear on our nails, which mostly occur due to zinc deficiency, diabetes, psoriasis and some circulatory diseases. There is another type of horizontal lines called Mee’s lines, which are indicating leprosy, arsenic poisoning, carbon monoxide poisoning, Hodkin’s disease and sometimes malaria.
8. Vertical Ridges
Mostly this symptom occurs in elderly people, which is caused because of the aging process, and sometimes vertical ridges may be developed due to vitamin B12 or magnesium deficiency.
9. Dark Discolorations
If you see any dark discolorations, and there are some dark streaks, you should visit a dermatologist because you need to check if that symptom indicates melanoma.
10. Spoon Nails
If you nails are curved upwards on the edge, then you are surely in lack of iron, or you are dealing with hypothyroidism or a heart disease.
Best Nail Care Tips
- Avoid artificial nails and nail polishers
- Go on a diet that is rich with nutrients and that is well balanced
- Keep your nails trimmed and short
- Avoid exposing your nails to chemicals or too much water
- To supply your nails with the needed amounts of nutrients, and keep them strong and hydrated, rub a little bit of coconut oil on them