Fingernails and disease don’t go together in most minds… but they should. Your fingernails can give you valuable health warnings and signal the presence of serious disease.
Take a good long look at your nails. Hold a hand level with your nose about a foot out from your face and scrutinize each one.
Look at the curves, dips, ridges, and grooves. Check out how thick or thin they are and if your nails are chipped or broken. Make a note of the color of the nail itself, the skin under it, and the skin around the nail.
Check your memory – have your nails always looked like this? Changes to your fingernails and disease onset are linked, so note any new developments. With this fresh view, compare what you see with this list of eight potential fingernail health warnings.
A healthy fingernail should be pink with a touch of pinkish white (moons) near the base. If your nails are a dull color or streaked with other colors, you may have a serious hidden health problem.
Scrub those nails clean and really look at your nail color! Given the “rainbow” of potential health challenges, you want to be sure you see what your fingers are saying.
Thick nails are not natural. You want your nails to be strong, but if they resemble talons or claws more than traditional nails watch out!
Thickening nails are a change that should tune you in to other health symptoms you may be ignoring. Also watch out for allergic reactions to new medications which can show up as suddenly thick nails!
Split nails aren’t just occasionally chipped or shut in doors. Instead, these nails seem to flake away in layers. Don’t blame frequent handwashing or nail polish for everything, especially since:
Watch what you eat and check the psoriasis connection to fight back and pay more attention to your health overall.
Spoon fingernails signal a number of internal issues. To be considered full spoons, nails will be soft and curve up, forming a dip that is often big enough to hold water. Spoon nails signal:
Your fingernail and health challenges go hand in hand – for many people, clearing up their health issue results in their spoon nails returning back to normal.
Small dips or holes in your nails can be a result of banging up your hands – or they could be a sign that you need to look more closely at your health. Nail pitting can signal:
Watch your hand to separate natural dents and dings from real, lasting pits. The first will clear up quickly, but pits linked to disease linger.
Nails should have smooth surfaces with almost imperceptible lines. Obvious ridge lines are a signal that something is up with your body. Some of the most common conditions associated with heavy ridge lines are:
Don’t just buff away your ridges – hear their warning!
You don’t need lotion or cuticle oil. If your nails are dry and brittle, you should check your hormone levels and bacterial health.
Both thyroid and fungal issues take time to treat, so you won’t see a difference in the look of your fingernails for a full growth cycle.
If you have plump skin that seems to swell around the nail, or if your nails seem to have puffed around your fingers, they are said to be “clubbed”. Clubbed nails can mean:
Your fingernails won’t be the only signs of these diseases, but they can provide confirmation or motivation to seek medical care.
Don’t ignore your hands or the health warnings they send. Fingernails and disease are more closely related than you think – check your nails often to protect your health!