ROUTE TO SHINY HEALTHY NAILS

What do they in­di­cate?

Woman's Era - - Contents - Pushpa Bha­tia

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 sud­den changes in your nails it would be wise to con­sult a doc­tor. Here is what to watch out for:

Dis­col­oration: Bar­ring a few oc­ca­sional white spots, which nearly mean in­jury to the nail bed, white or yel­low spots on the nails are char­ac­ter­is­tic of a con­di­tion known as Terry’s nails, which could be a warm­ing sign for liver dis­ease, kid­ney fail­ure or a heart con­di­tion.

Yel­low­ing of the nails may in­di­cate a fun­gal in­fec­tions, pso­ri­a­sis or a thy­roid-re­lated dis­ease, white-green nails are of­ten in peo­ple who work in damp en­vi­ron­ments or have a loose nailbed nails go­ing blue could be your body’s re­ac­tions to cold tem­per­a­ture or low oxy­gen lev­els in your red blood cells and are sign of breath­ing prob­lems.

Dis­col­oration is also caused by nail pol­ish which con­tains formalde­hyde, a preser­va­tive that has been iden­ti­fied as a hu­man car­cino­gen by the in­ter­na­tional agency for re­search on can­cer.

Smok­ing makes your nails dis­coloured and they tend to look yel­low­ish, white nails show that the per­son is anaemic.

Un­usual tex­ture: If you have ever no­ticed a thick curl­ing over­growth in your nails it could ei­ther be a side­ef­fect of dis­eases such as pso­ri­a­sis or hys­trix or lack of care. Low lev­els of pro­tein, zinc and iron cause ver­ti­cal ridges. If you have low thy­roid lev­els sup­ple­men­tary with thy­rox­ine would help con­sum­ing co­rian­der juice reg­u­larly (made from 100 gms of co­rian­der leaves) and adding lime juice to all your veg­eta­bles and sal­ads could help pre­vent an iron de­fi­ciency. Eggs, fish, most lentils and nuts such as al­monds, wal­nuts, sprouts will give you suf­fi­cient pro­tein and zinc.

While ver­ti­cal nail ridges are mostly harm­less hor­i­zon­tal ridges (known as bean’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.

ONYCHOSCHISIS IS A CON­DI­TION TRIG­GERED BY AN IRON DE­FI­CIENCY, CHAR­AC­TERISED BY FIN­GER NAILS SEPERATING FROM THE NAIL BED AND ALONG WITH THE RIDGING OF THE NAILPLATE, IT IS CALLED BRIT­TLE NAIL SYN­DROME. BEWARE OF IT BE­CAUSE IT CAN LEAD TO IN­JURY IN­FEC­TION OR DRUG RE­AC­TIONS.

Split/peel­ing nails: Onychoschisis is a con­di­tion trig­gered by an iron de­fi­ciency, char­ac­terised by fin­ger nails seperating from the nail bed and along with the ridging of the nailplate, it is called brit­tle nail syn­drome. Beware of it be­cause it can lead to in­jury, in­fec­tion or drug re­ac­tions.

A low dose of thy­roid hor­mone un­der med­i­cal su­per­vi­sion could be use­ful in cor­rect­ing brit­tle nails if they sup­per from hy­pothy­roidism.

Dry nails: Nails tend to get dry when ex­posed to wa­ter. So to lock in the nat­u­ral mois­ture of the nails, sim­ply mas­sage your nails with any good qual­ity oil ev­ery day. It pre­vents your nails from get­ting dry and brit­tle. You can ap­ply luke­warm oil and leave it overnight. It soft­ens the nails and cu­ti­cles.

Prac­tise good nail hygeine and keep fin­ger nails dry and clean. Avoid us­ing chem­i­cals on your nails. Sim­ply mas­sage your nails with any good qual­ity oil ev­ery day.

Poor growth: Some­times we hear complaints like “my nails just don’t grow” or “my nails grow very slowly.” Remember that nails grow slowly in the cold sea­sons and faster when it gets warmer. Nails grow about 0.6 to 1.3 mil­lime­tres in a week. In­suf­fi­cient amount of pro­teins or vi­ta­min A can slow down the rate of nail growth. Tak­ing some al­lo­pathic med­i­ca­tions can also do the same. Hang­nails: Some­times you have dried skin tags at the sides of the nails called hang­nails. This hap­pens be­cause the skin around the nails has dried out. It could be due to a vi­ta­min C de­fi­ciency or an un­der­sup­ply of folic acid and pro­tein in your diet. You could sup­ple­ment with green leafy veg­eta­bles as they are rich in pota­toes.

Use pro­tec­tion: Remember to wear a pair of mit­tens or gloves (rub­ber, vinyl or plas­tic gloves) while clean­ing dishes in hot, soapy wa­ter or do­ing gar­den­ing.

Con­sider your diet: Add vi­ta­mins and sup­ple­ments like bi­otin, vi­ta­min E and fish oil to your daily reg­i­men. One of the most com­mon items that has all these in­gre­di­ents is yo­ghurt.

Also eat foods rich in pro­tein like beans, fish and nuts.

Al­ways mois­turise: Use a mix of al­mond and av­o­cado oils to keep cu­ti­cles and nails hy­drated be­fore you go to sleep. If these oils are not avail­able then you can use any nu­tri­ent-rich oil. In a pinch you can even use a dab of lip balm.

Remember your nails, hair and skin are re­flec­tions of what’s inside you. You must lis­ten to it. We

Ex­pe­ri­ence is sim­ply the name we give our mis­takes.

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