What Your Nails Have to Say About Your Health?
Want to know whether you have an overall healthy body? Checkout your fingernails. Fingernails can clue you on a whole lot of things about your health.
The nails on your fingers are the key to detecting complications in your inner organs, skin problems and indicates telltale signs of diseases. Fingernails can easily reflect stress , moles or melanoma , arthritis ,
psoriasis, kidney and liver diseases, Darier disease, and more. Look carefully at your nails and the parts around them for any common nail problems. Check them regularly so that you can easily detect any changes. Bumps, ripples, tinges of discolouration on the nails are all clues that something is wrong. Read on to know more about nail health and how to keep them clean and healthy.
What Regular Nails Look Like?
- Uniformity in nail texture and colour
- Groove free and smooth surface
- Joined to the skin
- Presence of white ‘lunula’ before the cuticle
If you notice anything that suddenly looks different, do not ignore it. Visit your doctor as soon as possible.
Indications of Bad Nail Health
Pale nails indicate that your body is not functioning as it should and indicate serious illnesses. It can be a sign of the following:
- Liver disease
- Blockage and heart failure
- Low blood cell count
White rimmed nails
White rimmed nails are a clear indication of liver disorders. It can also be a combination of jaundice and hepatitis.
If you see yellow nails, it means your body is suffering from a fungal infection. If the infection spreads and worsens, the nails can detach from its bed, crack and ooze with pus. A fungal infection can also cause it to thicken and become harder. Yellow nails are cues that you have psoriasis, lung and thyroid disorders, or diabetes.
Blue tinted nails
Nails that look blue are a sign that your body lacks sufficient oxygen. It can also mean that your respiratory tract is congested or that you have bronchitis, emphysema, or lung disease. It can also be due to a heart problem or blockage in some cases.
Pitted or rippled nails
In case you see that the surface of your nails has apples on them, it is an early symptom of inflammatory arthritis. Apart from this, it is also an indication of psoriasis and is accompanied by a reddish-brown discolouration.
Easily breakable and chipped nails
If you have fingernails that break, crack, or chip easily, it is a symptom of thyroid abnormalities. You will also find that your nails take on a yellowish hue coupled with fungal infections.
Red and puffy nails
Look at the skin around your nails, and if it is red and swollen with a puffy appearance, it means an inflammation of the connective tissues. It can result from infection, lupus, and other such disorders.
Dark lines across your nail surface
If the nail surface is strewn with dark black lines, you should immediately book an appointment with your doctor. The lines can be due to a severe illness caused by melanoma or skin cancer.
Most of us think that gnawed nails are a common nail problem and nothing more than a bad habit of biting nails. It is commonly found in children, teenagers, and some adults. However, there is more to it! Gnawed nails are an indication of inherent persistent anxiety as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder.
How Does it Happen?
Fingernails and toenails become dry, brittle, and crack easily due to nail problems, ageing, poor nutrition, and an unhealthy lifestyle. However, you are one step ahead to excellent nail health with the right care and attention.
Tips for Clean and Healthy Nails
Here are some tips to keep nails clean:
- Wear gloves
When travelling or going out in the sun, it is essential to wear gloves to protect your hands and nails. The harsh weather conditions can easily damage your nails and leave them exposed to excess moisture.
Remember to wear rubber gloves when washing utensils and household appliances as the chemicals can damage your nails. Rubber gloves lined with cotton can easily absorb the excess sweat.
- Take biotin supplements
Regular consumption of biotin supplements can strengthen the nail structure. Also, make sure that you take in sufficient vitamins daily to keep your nails nourished from within. However, it is vital to get your doctor’s approval about the supplements and check if they interfere with any medications you may already be taking.
- Do not use artificial nails
Artificial nails come with adhesive glues that can damage your natural ones. Artificial nails stick fast to the surface and wear out the cuticle. The chemicals leave them more prone to breakage. Avoid fake nails and other accessories in your beauty regime if you have weak nails.
- Pack up on proteins
Proteins are the foundation of human life, and they are considered the building blocks. Proteins heal and repair worn out tissues. Keratin helps in the growth and health of nails. Include sufficient proteins in your daily diet from chicken, eggs, dairy products, beans, legumes, nuts, fish, and other such foods.
- Regularly trim your nails
Never let your nails grow long. Just like your hair, nails require regular trimming and filing. Long nails are more prone to damage, cracks, chips, and snags. They can be very painful and tend to cause the buildup of bacterial and fungal infections. Use sharp clippers to keep your nails short, cutting them in a slight curve, taking the shape of your fingertips.
- Moisturise with lotion
Soak your fingers and toes in the water for a few minutes. Apply and massage lotion onto the cuticles, corners, and the surrounding nail area. Use lotions that come with lanolin and alpha-hydroxy acids that repair and heal damaged nails.
Summing it Up
Even with proper nail care and attention, if the problem doesn’t resolve by itself, get it evaluated by a doctor or dermatologist. If you have cause for concern due to any pain, inflammation, swelling, or redness in your nails or around the area, book your appointment with a doctor as soon as possible.