People need to pay closer attention to the shape, color and the texture of their nails since they actually indicate certain health conditions which may cause further complications.
Moreover, the growth of your nails is also an indicator of certain problems, because healthy nails grow up to 3.5 millimeters on a monthly basis, but factors like medications, trauma, nutritional status, and aging process have a huge effect on their growth.
If you notice some changes in your nails, make sure to consult your dermatologists immediately in order to prevent some serious health conditions.
10 Nail Symptoms and What They Mean for Your Health
- Yellow Nails
Smoking, aging and using nail polish are some of the factors that trigger yellow nails. On the other hand, if the yellow color is accompanied with thickening and crumbling of the nails, is means that you are probably dealing with psoriasis, diabetes, thyroid disease, respiratory disease, etc.
- Dry, Cracked or Brittle Nails
If you notice your nails are dry, cracked and brittle, it means that you are possibly dealing with fungal infections or thyroid disease like hypothyroidism. Brittle nails may result from deficiency in biotin or vitamins A and C.
This happens due to low oxygen in the blood, but also due to lung or heart disease, kidney disease, AIDS or inflammatory bowel disease.
- White Spots
Even though white spots are not dangerous, In some cases they indicate a fungal infection.
- Horizontal Ridges
John Anthony, M.D., a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio says: “This is typically the result of direct trauma to the nail or a more serious illness, in which case you’ll see it on more than one nail at a time … Your body is literally saying, ‘I’ve got better things to do than make nails’ and pauses their growth.”
Moreover, horizontal ridges can also indicate psoriasis, circulatory disease, zinc deficiency, and diabetes. These lines are known as Beau’s lines, while Mees’ lines are caused by arsenic or carbon monoxide poisoning, Hodgkin’s disease, malaria and leprosy.
- Vertical Ridges
These ridges usually affect older people since they are a sign of aging. However, in some cases they are a symptom of nutrient deficiency like deficiency in vitamin B12 or magnesium.
- Spoon Nails
If you notice that your nails curve upwards at the edges resembling a spoon, you should consult a doctor since it is an indicator of iron deficiency, heart disease or hypothyroidism.
Psoriasis causes the appearance of multiple pits on the nails. Chen explains: “Typically, pitting occurs in around half of people with psoriasis and 80 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis”. Besides that, pitting can be also a result of connective tissue disorders or alopecia areata, the disease that causes hair loss.
- Dark Discolorations
Make sure to consult your doctor immediately if you notice black streaks and painful growth on the nail since it may be due to melanoma.
- White Nails with a Strip of Pink
If you notice your nails are white in color with a strip of pink, it means that you are probably dealing with liver disease, diabetes, kidney or heart failure.
Simple Nail Care Tips
- Make sure to eat a balanced, whole-food diet ( high in protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals)
- Avoid excessive exposure to water and chemicals.
- Stop using nail polish and artificial nails.
- Keep the nails trimmed relatively short.
- Keep your nails moisturized at all times by rubbing some coconut oil onto them.