Did you know your nails can reveal clues to your overall health? A touch of white here, a rosy tinge there, or some rippling or bumps may be a sign of disease in the body. Problems in the liver, lungs, and heart can show up in your nails. Healthy nails isn’t just good news for your manicure—unpleasant nail symptoms could also indicate bigger health problems. Keep reading to learn what secrets your nails might reveal.
The horizontal ridges are result of direct trauma to the nail or a more serious illness. This happens when your body is working overtime to combat an illness; it saves its energy for the important stuff. Your body has got better things to do than make nails. Horizontal lines across the nail plate can also be caused by a drug reaction, for example if the patient recently had chemotherapy.
This is usually a normal sign of aging. Just like wrinkles on your face, you also get lines on your nails as you age.
This can happen naturally with age. But if you often wear acrylic nails or paint your nails and are having this problem, try taking a break from the salon and give the nails a chance to recover. Another possible cause is smoking, which can stain nails and give them a yellowish hue. Yellow nail syndrome is often a sign of respiratory disease, such as chronic bronchitis. Yellow nail syndrome can also be related to swelling of the hands.
Many people believe that white spots on nails indicate a calcium deficiency, but those white spots are not very significant. They can appear as a result of minor physical injury, like whacking your finger against something, and aren’t generally related with calcium deficiency.
Nail clubbing occurs when the tips of the fingers enlarge and the nails curve around the fingertips, usually over the course of years. Nail clubbing is sometimes the result of low oxygen in the blood and could be a sign of various types of lung disease. It is also associated with inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, liver disease and AIDS.
Spoon nails are a sign of iron deficiency anemia or a liver condition known as hemochromatosis, in which your body absorbs too much iron from the food you eat. Spoon nails can also be associated with heart disease and hypothyroidism.
Dark stripes or a painful growth
If you have black discoloration on your nails (such as black streaks) or a painful growth on the nail, see your doctor immediately. Melanoma that comes from the nail unit is serious, and can sometimes cause black lines or stripes to appear on the nail. So if you see those changes happening on your nails, it’s important to see a doctor. And although melanoma is generally less common in Hispanic, Asian and black populations, those patients may actually be more likely to see dark stripes when the disease is present.
Dry, cracked, or brittle nails
This issue is a common one, and there are a few possible causes. Soft, brittle nails can occur from dryness on the nail plate. This could be from swimming, overuse of nail polish remover, frequent dishwashing without gloves, or just from living in a low-humidity environment. Other possible causes include chemicals (if you’re frequently exposed to cleaning products) or aging. However, if brittle nails are an ongoing problem, speak to your doctor. Sometimes, hypothyroidism (a condition where the thyroid works too slowly) causes this side effect too.
Source: Femina Venus
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