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What Your Nails say about Your Health

Updated at: Aug 26, 2013
Skin Care
Written by: Shreya LallPublished at: Nov 09, 2011
What Your Nails say about Your Health

Nails are more than a lifeless part of our body, they can indicate health problems.

It is said that eyes are windows to the soul; similarly, the nails say a lot about your health. Let us consider the numerous points elucidating what your nails say about your health.

nails tell about health

If you take a good look at your fingernails, you may notice minor variations in their texture and colour, such as a touch of white, a rosy tinge, sometimes rippling or bumps within the surface of the nail. Even though you may not pay much heed to these imperfections, to a trained eye, they can provide various valuable clues about your overall health condition.

While sometimes these may be warning signs for hepatitis, they may indicate some kind of heart disease at other times. Again, thin and concave, raised ridges point towards an iron deficiency. Patients who are suffering from lupus often get quirky, angular blood vessels in the nail folds.

 It has also been observed that psoriasis starts in the nails up to 10 per cent of the times and then causes splitting and pitting of the nail bed. If a person has dry, brittle nails, that may crack and break easily, it can be a sign of a disease as common as the thyroid disease. Again, while, pale nail beds signify a low red blood cell count, thus pointing at anemia.

These are listed below:

  • Yellowish, thickened, slow-growing nails indicate that the body has been affected by a lung disease, such as emphysema.
  • If a person has yellowish nails with a slight red blush at the base, it implies that the person might have diabetes.
  • Sometimes, white nails are indicators of liver diseases like hepatitis.
  • Researchers have often proven that often, the associated condition with red nail beds is linked to diseases of the heart.
  • Kidney diseases may be diagnosed, sometimes, if the person has half white and half pink nails.
  • At times, people see a painless increase in the tissue around the ends of their fingers, even inversion of the nails, often known as clubbing, indicating some kind of a lung disease.
  • An often seen condition of the nails is, when there are dark lines beneath the nails. This implies a disease known as melanoma.

Tips for Strong and Healthy Nails

To strengthen your nails, avoid infections, and improve their appearance, try the following tips:

  • Keep your nails clean and dry.
  • Avoid nail-biting or picking.
  • Apply moisturiser to your nails and cuticles every day. Creams with urea, phospholipids, or lactic acid can help prevent cracking.
  • File your nails in one direction and round the tip slightly, rather than filing to a point.
  • Don't remove the cuticles or clean too deeply under your nails, which can lead to infection.
  • Don't dig out ingrown toenails. See a dermatologist if they become bothersome.
  • Avoid nail polish removers that contain acetone or formaldehyde.
  • Bring your own instruments, if you get frequent manicures.
  • If you have artificial nails, check regularly for green discoloration, which is a sign of bacterial infection.
  • Eat a balanced diet and take vitamins containing biotin.

Thus, in order to keep yourself wary of the various diseases, it is important to know about the easiest indicators of these diseases. One must thus have an idea about what the nails are saying about your health.


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