Your nails tell you how healthy you are

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - Hindustan Times (Jaipur) - City - - Front Page - IANS

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:

DIS­COLOURA­TION

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).

UN­USUAL TEX­TURE

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.

LINES

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.

SPLIT/PEEL­ING NAILS

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.

PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK

Nail pol­ish could cause dis­col­oration of the nails

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