Your nails tell you how healthy you are
Nails aren’t just a great site for body art. They offer a protective outer layer for your fingers and toes, and are even indicators to any underlying health problems. If you notice any sudden changes in your nails, it would be wise to consult a doctor. Here’s what to watch out for:
Barring a few, occasional white spots which merely mean injury to the nail bed, white or yellow spots on the nails are characteristics of a condition known as Terry’s nails, which could be a warning sign for liver disease, kidney failure, or a heart condition. Yellowing of the nails, says WEBMD, may indicate a fungal infection, psoriasis, or a thyroid-related disease. While green nails are often found in people who work in damp environments or have a loose nail bed, nails going blue could be your body’s reaction to cold temperatures or low oxygen levels in your red blood cells. Discoloration is also caused by nail polish, which contains formaldehyde, a preservative that has been identified as a human carcinogen by The International Agencyfor Research on Cancer (IARC).
If you have ever noticed a thick, curling overgrowth in your nails, it could either be a side-effect of diseases such as psoriasis or hystrix, or lack of care. While vertical nail ridges are mostly harmless, horizontal ridges (known as Beau’s lines) could indicate injury to the nail, nutritional deficiency, infection, or high fever. Watch out for rounded nails, which could indicate intestinal disorders, problems with the endocrine system, or even lung cancer.
White lines across the width of the nail bed (known as Muehrcke’s lines) are associated with renal failure and sickle cell anaemia. Lines that grow out along with the nail are associated with arsenic or thallium poisoning. Dark stripes running down the nail can be an indication of skin cancer, says NHS.
Onychoschisis is a condition triggered by an iron deficiency. Characterised by fingernails separating from the nail bed and along with the ridging of the nail plate, it is called brittle nail syndrome. Beware of it, because it can lead to injury, infection, or drug reactions.
Nail polish could cause discoloration of the nails