What Your Nails Are Saying About Your Health

Fingernails and diseases don’t usually go together in most minds, but they should.Your fingernails can give you valuable health warnings and can signal the presence of serious diseases.

Take a good, hard, long look at your nails. Hold a hand level with your nose about a foot out from your face and scrutinize each one.

Examine the curves, dips, ridges, and grooves. Check out if your nails are chipped or broken, and how thick or thin they are.Make a note of the color of the nail itself, the skin under it, and the skin around the nail.

Try to remember – have your nails always looked like this? You should note every change on your nails, because changes to your fingernails and disease onset are linked. With this fresh view, compare what you see with this list of eight potential fingernail health warnings.

Discolored Nails

A healthy fingernail should be pink with a touch of pinkish white (moons) near the base. You may have a serious hidden health problem, if your nails are a dull color or streaked with other colors.

  • Green nails are a sign of bacterial infection;
  • Red streaks in your nail bed are a warning of a heart valve infection;
  • Blueish nails signal low oxygen levels in your blood;
  • Dull nails mean a vitamin deficiency;
  • White nails may signal liver disease, such as hepatitis;
  • Dark stripes at the top (Terry’s nails) are associated with aging and congestive heart failure.

Scrub your nails and take a really good look at them. Given the “rainbow” of potential health challenges, you want to be sure you see what your fingers are saying.

Thick Nails

They’re not natural. Some of you want your nails to be strong. But if they resemble talons or claws, watch out. Thickened nails that are otherwise normal can signal lung disease. Thick nails with a roughtexture can signal a fungal infection. Thick and separated nails may mean thyroid disease or psoriasis.A symptom of a circulation problems can be unusual thickness. Thickening nails are a change that should tune you in to other health symptoms you may be ignoring. You also need to watch out for allergic reactions to new medications (which can show up as suddenly thick nails).

Split Nails

Split nails aren’t just the result of being chipped or shut in doors. These nails seem to flake away in layers. And don’t be quick to blame the frequent hand wash or nail polish you use because:

  • Split nails can be a result from folic acid, Vitamin C, and protein deficiencies;
  • Split nails combined with a pitted nail bed (base) can signal psoriasis, which begins in nails 10% of the time according to WebMD -Split nails may result from chronic malnutrition.