Men and women alike try their best to keep their nails looking clean and healthy. However, nails aren’t just there for looks, but can also let you know a lot about your health. They can even be the key to catching serious illnesses before it’s too late.
Make sure you are constantly looking at your nails to find any changes, and if you see any pay close attention because it could be a warning sign about some sort of health-related problem. Would you like to know about the different warning signs nails can give you?
Healthy nails are usually a pinkish color with a little pinkish-white color close to the base of the nail. When nails become a paler color, or develop discolored patches, it can be a warning of a certain health problem you may not be aware of.
- Greenish colored nails: sign of a bacterial infection.
- Red stripes in the nail bed: this could potentially be a sign of a heart valve infection.
- Blue or purplish color: sign of low oxygen levels in the blood.
- Pale color: sign of a vitamin deficiency or anemia.
- White color: sign of liver problems.
Even though thick nails are seemingly stronger, an excessive thickening of the nail is not normal at all. When nails have a claw-like appearance, are thick, or difficult to trim, it could be a warning sign of certain medical conditions.
- If the nails were normal and begin to thicken, it can be an indication of some sort of lung problem.
- If the nails not only thicken, but also become rough, it is a clear sign of a fungal infection.
- If the nails are thick and *breaking apart*, you could be suffering from a thyroid problem or psoriasis.
- An unusual thickening of the nail could also be a sign of circulation problems.
Nails that seem to be brittle can definitely be a result of nail-biting, or hitting your nail against something that causes it to break. However, this is not always the case, and it can sometimes be an indication of a health problem.
- Split or broken nails can be a sign of a folic acid, vitamin C, or protein deficiency.
- Broken nails could reveal poor nutrition or potentially anemia.
- If your nails are broken and also have holes in them, it could be a sign that you suffer from psoriasis.
Concave nails, popularly known as “spoon nails”, are a very clear indication of some internal health problem. This type of nail is easily identifiable because instead of the normal outward curve nails usually grow in, your nail may grow with an inward curve.
- This could be a sign of anemia.
- You may suffer from a liver condition called hemochromatosis, which occurs when the body absorbs too much iron.
- Heart problems
The many layers of keratin that make up the nails give it its shiny appearance on the surface. Oftentimes when the surface of the nail begins to flake off, it is because it has been exposed to rough activity.
- This can be a result of being exposed to a very hot, cold, or dry environment.
- It could be a reaction to certain chemicals found in certain soaps or detergents.
Nails with holes in them
Holes in the nail can happen if something bumps up against it, or if you have the tendency to bite your nails. However, it can sometimes be a warning sign of a serious condition that shouldn’t be ignored.
- These types of nails are common when you have psoriasis.
- It can be a result of a connective tissue disorder.
- Alopecia areata.
- A zinc deficiency.
Nails with white spots
White spots on the nails are a common problem when you bump or mistreat your nails. Yet other times they can be a sign of health problems.
- You may have a zinc deficiency.
- You could suffer from anemia.
Nails with ridges
Nails should have a smooth surface with no lines to be seen by the naked eye. If lines form “ridges” of sorts, it can indicate some sort of health issue.
- It may be a sign of an iron deficiency.
- You may suffer from inflammatory arthritis
- It can be a sign of lupus.
Your nails may be a better indicator of your health than you might think. If you notice some sort of change, the best thing for you to do is go see a doctor to find out why and rule out any serious health problems.