Read Those Nail Signals!


Do you read the signals that your nails are giving you? Well, they can reveal clues to your overall health. Various colors, rippling or bumps might be a sign of disease in your body. The liver, lungs and heart can show up in your nails, so read further to see what those nails of yours might be revealing to you.

  • Pale Nails. Very pale nails might mean a sign of serious illness such as anemia, congestive heart failure, liver disease or malnutrition
    White Nails. Nails that are mostly white with darker rims, can indicate liver problems such as hepatitis.
  • Yellow Nails. A fungal infection is one of the most common causes of yellow nails, and as the infection worsens, the nail bed might retrack and your nails may thicken and crumble. More serious conditions could be severe thyroid disease, lung disease, diabetes or psoriasis.
  • Bluish Nails. If you have a bluish tint it could mean your body isn’t getting enough oxygen. You might even have a lung problem such as emphysema and even a possible heart problem.
  • Rippled Nails. An early sign of psoriasis, or inflammatory arthritis could show on the nails as being rippled or pitted. Usually the nail will be discolored and the skin under the nail might seem reddish-brown.
  • Cracked or Split Nails. If you have dry, brittle nails and they frequently crack or split, it could be a link to thyroid disease. Combined with a yellowish hue would more likely be due to a fungal infection.
  • Nail Fold. Inflammation of the nail fold shows the skin around the nail appearing red and puffy. This could be the result of lupus or another connective tissue disorder. Redness and inflammation of the nail fold could also be caused by infection.
  • Dark Lines Beneath the Nail. If you have dark lines beneath the nail you should see a professional as soon as possible. Sometimes these lines are caused by melanoma, which is the most dangerous type of skin cancer.
  • Gnawed Nails. Some people have the habit of biting their nails but might, in some cases, be a sign of persistent anxiety that could benefit from treatment. Picking or biting the nails has also been linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder. You should see a doctor if you are unable to stop.
  • Nails Are Only Part of the Puzzle. Even though these nail changes can be symptoms of many conditions, they are rarely the first sign. Many of these abnormalities are harmless and not everyone with white nails has hepatitis. Rule of thumb is, if you are concerned about the appearance of your nails, make an appointment to see a dermatologist and have it checked out.

We all want those long, strong, beautiful nails, so don’t overlook signs that might indicate something appearing on your nails that might just be a symptom of a genuine health concern. Be aware of all things your body is trying to tell you and keep safe, happy and healthy!
Dr Fredda Branyon

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