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What Do My Nails Say About My Health

Split Or Cracked Nails

5 Things Your Nails Can Say About Your Health

Nail brittleness is a common condition of the elderly. Typically, the cause remains undiscovered, partly because there are so many potential causes. Nail brittleness can result from drugs, a trauma to the nail, or a number of diseases or nutrient deficiencies. When brittle nails split, the name your dermatologist uses may depend on how they split. When nails begin to split horizontally, the condition is called onychoschizia. But when they split along the direction the nail grows, this is called onychorrhexis.

Preventing Brittle Nails

It may be difficult to treat your nails by the time they begin splitting and cracking. So, prevention may be your best bet. There are many potential ways to treat this condition. Potentially useful prevention methods include supplements. These may take the form of vitamin supplements , amino acids, or certain minerals such as zinc.

Pale Nails: What Do They Say About My Health

If youve had pale, white nails throughout your entire life, it most likely means nothingits just the way your nails look. However, if your nails become lighter over time or later in life, it may mean something bigger is happening throughout the rest of your body.

Pale nail beds have been linked to conditions such as:

  • Anemia
  • Liver disease

Puffy Nail Fold Infection

The skin around the edge of your nail, known as the nail fold, can be damaged by many things. When it gets puffy and swollen, doctors call it paronychia, which can be either chronic or acute. Acute paronychia usually develops from an infection. But if your nail bed is chronically puffy, you probably have a chemical irritation.

There are other reasons for puffy nail beds, too. People whose hands are frequently soaking in waterdishwashers, food handlers, and swimmers, to name a fewmay get it. People with diabetes are more vulnerable to it too, as are those who take certain HIV medications.

Prevention and Treatment

Your treatment options depend on how you developed this condition. Puffy nail beds may respond to certain pills or steroid creams. To know which one to use, consult your doctor. If you want to get rid of paronychia and stay rid of it, consider avoiding water and harsh chemicals on your hands. See if you can use waterproof rubber gloves, for instance. Avoid putting your fingers in your mouth . And when you wash your hands, follow up with a moisturizing lotion.

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What Does Your Fingernail Tell You About Your Health

It could be anything, ranging from the white spots to the bumps, the possibilities are quite extensive.

That aside, knowing these beforehand can help you get a better understanding of the precautions or the steps that you need to take to avoid the issue from getting out of hand.

Let us take a look at few of them.

The Problem: Yellow Nails

What Your Nails Say About Your Health

“This can happen naturally with age,” says Dr. Anthony. “But it’s also sometimes due to nail lacquers or acrylic nails.” If you often wear acrylic nails or paint your nails and are having this problem, try taking a break from the salon and give nails a chance to recover. Another possible cause: smoking, which can stain nails and give them a yellowish hue.

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Dark Lines Beneath The Nail

There are a number of reasons for the appearance of a linear brown or black streak extending from the cuticle to the tip of the nail. Since it is not possible to visualize the source of the color since it resides in the nail matrix below the nail fold, it is frequently a cause for anxiety in the patients and their doctors. A biopsy may be necessary to rule out skin cancer.

The Problem: Severely Bitten Nails

Nail-biting is a common habit, but if it’s excessivesay, constant biting or picking at the skin around the nailsit could be a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder. “Sometimes psychiatric medicine is required to treat OCD-related nail biting,” says Dr. Jaliman. “A bitter-tasting compound that’s polished onto the nails can help, too.”

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There’s Something Wrong With Your Lungs

If you’re worried there’s something wrong with your lungs, your nails could be your first step toward figuring it out. As researchers from York Hospital in Pennsylvania wrote in a paper in American Family Physician, clubbing of the nailsin which the tips of the fingers enlarge and the nails curve downward around the fingertips”often suggests pulmonary disease.” And for more helpful information delivered straight to your inbox, .

Changes In Nail Shape

What Your Nails Say About Your Health?

Ripples on nails or pitted nails may be caused by a skin disorder, psoriasis, eczema, or arthritis.

Nail clubbing is when a nail curves under at the tip of the finger. It could indicate heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, lung disease, liver disease, thyroid disease, or HIV/AIDS.

Puffy redness near the cuticle can indicate inflammation, a bacteria or yeast infection, Lupus, or other connective tissue disease.

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You Have A Skin Infection

Are your nail folds looking a little too puffy and red? If so, you may have an infection that needs treating. “The most common cause of nail fold inflammation is a skin infection from bacteria, viruses, or yeast,” according to Garrity. And for other things to look out for on your outer layer, check out 7 Signs Your Skin Is Trying to Tell You You Have Coronavirus.

Symptom: Brown Vertical Stripe On The Nail

This may be a sign of melanoma. While you may think the deadliest type of skin cancer always shows up as a mole or dark spot, it can actually start in the nail.

Only about 1 percent of all melanomas in Caucasians occur in the nail, but if youre African-American, 20 percent of melanomas start there, Rich said.

In more advanced cases, it can spread on to the cuticle area or the skin around the nail. Thats an ominous sign its means its growing and spreading, she noted.

Hormones and certain medications can also make pigmented bands in the nails, but be especially watchful for nail cancer symptoms, such as a brown or dark stripe that goes from the cuticle out to the free edge of the nail, especially one thats getting wider.

If you have brown fingernails and the discoloration is round, as opposed to linear, it could be another condition. For example, brown spots on nails, especially if they’re pitted, could be a sign of nail psoriasis.

Course of action: Get any brown pigmentation on your nail checked out by a dermatologist.

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What Are Healthy Nails

If you have healthy nails, the tips are white and the surface smooth with a subtle shine, Dana Stern, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical School, tells SELF. Nail beds are pink, she adds. Cuticles are intact and well moisturized. Hangnails are absent. When your nails start to appear off for reasons beyond having gone a long time without filing them down, or spending a weekend diving into yard work, it can be indicative of an internal health issue.

There are many issues that present in the nail, such as changes in color, shape, and structure, Dr. Stern says. Here are some of the most common nail problems that could have an underlying cause thats more than skin-deep.

What Fingernails Tell About Your Health 12 Possible Facts

What can fingernails say about your health?

Ever noticed something off about your fingernails? Maybe a splotchy white colour or a fading pale mark on the nail? If these are something you have been noticing, have you been wondering what fingernails tell about your health?

It is not necessarily the most common to realize the importance of the fingernails as a marker for your health condition. While you might consult a doctor when you are suffering from a fever, you might not do the same when you find a white spot on your nail. But, what if that white spot signify something worse with your health?

Here, we are going to looking into what fingernails tell about your health and how you can overcome these issues.

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Changes In Nail Shape And Texture

Pitted nails

An abnormal nail shape and nail surface can also signal a health issue. For example, nails that are dimpled or pitted like somebody took a pen and just pressed it in and it made an imprint, Flowers says can point to psoriasis, a chronic skin disease. Psoriasis can also cause the nails to loosen and separate from the nail bed, as can thyroid disease.

Nails that are dimpled or pitted can point to psoriasis.

Spoon nails

Soft nails that look almost as if the center of the nail bed has been scooped out can be a sign of an iron issue either your body isn’t getting enough or it’s storing too much, a condition known as hemochromatosis, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Clubbed nails

A nail that curves around an enlarged fingertip, known as clubbing, may suggest cardiovascular and pulmonary problems. It can also occur alongside gastrointestinal problems.

Clubbed nails may suggest cardiovascular and pulmonary problems.

Your Nails Have Small Dents In The Surface

This phenomenon is called pitting. When pitting shows up with no apparent pattern, its typically indicative of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis but can also be related to connective tissue disorders like Reiters syndrome . When pitting shows a regular pattern, it can be a sign of alopecia areata, a type of hair loss caused by an autoimmune response.1If what youre noticing isnt quite pitting but is instead deep lines or grooves in your nails, you might be dealing with a phenomenon known as Beau lines. Some lines on your nail can be normal, but Beau lines are noticeably deep and run width-wise on the nail, not vertically. These can appear after really intense stress to your nail makes it stop growing for some time2. Causes of this can include high fever, which is why there’s been concern about COVID nails, or what some experts think may be Beau lines manifesting after COVID-19 infection.

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Your Nails Are Concave Like Spoons

This is called koilonychia, and it can be a completely normal age-related change to your nails, Dr. Stern says. But it may also indicate iron-deficiency anemia or other disorders in which iron is not metabolized correctly, like hemochromatosis and Plummer-Vinson Syndrome, which happens after long-term, chronic iron-deficiency anemia3. Treating the iron issue can help to normalize the nails, Dr. Stern says. Anyone who suddenly develops spoon-shaped nails should have a workup by their physician.

S Of What Your Nails Say About Your Health

What Your Nails Say About Your Health

Did you know that your nails can be so much more than just a platform for nail art? They can tell a lot about your health condition if you just pay more attention to the changes that might occur.

For instance, the ordinary nail thickening or discoloration can indicate a certain health issue connected with your kidneys, liver, heart, blood, lungs, etc.

The shape, color, texture and even the growth rate of your nails can act as a window into your body. The growth rate depends on your diet, health condition, medications, and the aging process.

So, if you notice any discoloration, swelling, or changes in thickness or shape, its best to consult a dermatologist. Even though it might not be anything serious, its best to check in order to prevent an underlying health condition from worsening. Diabetics are one example of people who can notice nail problems.

Here are ten nail symptoms and the potential meaning behind them.

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Horizontal Grooves Or Gaps

Do you have a nail that shows one or more depressed bands or gaps that stretch horizontally around the nail? That describes Beau’s lines, which are the most common nail problem associated with systemic disease. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell which disease caused it just from the nail. These unsightly lines may form in response to extreme cold, nail trauma, heart attack, or many other extreme stresses like syphilis, mumps, and pneumonia.

Nail Shape Changes Linked To Health Conditions

A wide range of health issues can also cause changes in the shape of your nails. Conditions possibly associated with these changes include:

Spoon Nails The nails are soft and look scooped out, like they can hold a drop of liquid, according to the Mayo Clinic. This can have a variety of causes, including iron deficiency anemia, hemochromatosis , hypothyroidism, and heart disease.

Clubbed Nails or Clubbing The tips of the fingers get larger, and the nails curve around the fingertips, according to the Mayo Clinic. Nail clubbing is most often associated with cardiovascular or pulmonary disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure, explains Anderson. Less common causes include inflammatory bowel disease and cirrhosis.

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What Do Your Fingernails Say About Your Health


Have you ever taken a look at your fingernails? I mean a long hard look, noticing every crevice, ripple, and ridge. In fact, health professionals have long tied your health to the health of your cuticles.

According to WebMD:

“Just like the eyes are the window to the soul, so are the nails,” says Tamara Lior, MD, a dermatologist with Cleveland Clinic Florida. Lior says she once convinced a patient to have his lungs checked after noticing a bluish tint to his nails, a sign that he wasn’t getting enough oxygen. Sure enough, he had fluid in his lungs.

An article by holistic nutritionist highlighted what your cuticles say about your health down to the nitty gritty details.

Keep reading to learn what your fingernails say about your health.

Things Your Nails Say About You

What do your Nails Say about your Health (6)

Some serious problems might be hiding under your mani-pedi

Your body has a knack for letting you know when something has gone awry, and your nails are no exception. Their shape, texture, color, and overall condition can clue you in on what’s happening with your health. Here are 7 thingsfrom “Skip the salon this week” to “Go see your doctor, stat!”that your nails are trying to tell you:

1. Weak, Brittle, or SplittingWhat it looks like: You can break or bend your nails easily, peel them, or they constantly split.What it means:Brittle nails can be related to advancing age, or a sign that they’ve been overprocessed due to harsh manicures, acrylic nails, or gel wraps. You may also be deficient in vitamin A , vitamin C, or biotin, which is a B vitamin that can help strengthen nails and speed their growth.What to do about it: “Take a break! Give your nails time to breathe,” suggests Rebecca Baxt, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York. Lay off the salon for a few weeks, and if you’re a frequent washer, be sure to replenish the moisture in your hands with a rich nail conditioner. If that doesn’t help, it’s time to take a trip to the dermatologist to see if a vitamin deficiency is at play.

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Nail Texture Changes Linked To Health Conditions

Apart from the odd bump or small lines, nails are normally fairly smooth. But a texture change can occur when theres a problem elsewhere in the body. The following conditions can cause nail texture changes:

Beaus Lines Beau’s lines are indentations in the nails that run across the nail, according to the Mayo Clinic. Conditions associated with Beau’s lines include diabetes and peripheral vascular disease, as well as scarlet fever, measles, mumps, and pneumonia. Beau’s lines can also be a sign of zinc deficiency.

Pitting Small, pinpoint depressions can appear in the nails when theres a problem in nail plate layering. These depressions can be shallow or deep, and are more common on fingernails than toenails, Anderson says. Pitting is seen in approximately 68 percent of people with psoriasis and nail changes, according to an article published in 2017 in the journal Reumatologia. Pitting can also appear with alopecia areata, eczema, and the autoimmune disease lichen planus.

Extremely Soft Or Brittle Nails

Seeing a nail break down the middle is worse than heartbreak. Not only does it inflict unbearable pain, it also distorts the appearance of the nail in general.

Rough or brittle nails are often caused because of the repeated wetting followed by drying of the nails. On the other hand, the nails become extremely soft when it is exposed to heavy chemicals.

Even though they might not mean a lot about your health, it is likely that the consistent soft and brittle nails could indicate a possible nutrient deficiency, especially that of calcium.

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If Your Nails Are Blue Red Or Have Dark Lines

If your nails become blue, this is a sign that your body isnt getting enough oxygen. This can also be an indicator of lung or heart issues, excessive silver consumption, or simply a side effect of a medicine you are taking. The appearance of red streaks in nails can be caused by trauma, heart valve infection, blood vessel inflammation, among other things.

If you find dark, thick lines in your nails, pay attention and visit a doctor, because this can be a sign of melanoma, an intense skin cancer. There are instances where dark lines are normal, especially in people with darker skin tones, but its best to be vigilant in this case as it can be an indicator for serious illness.


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