Unknown to many, the fingernails can reveal clues to overall health. There are warning signs you should be looking out for on your fingernails which could indicate underlying health problems.
From a touch of white here, a rosy tinge there, to some rippling or bumps may be a sign of disease in the body. Problems in the liver, lungs, and heart can show up in your nails.
There are a few simple signs to be aware of that could hint at issues including nutrient deficiencies and sinister illnesses.
Pale Nails Or Blue Colouring
Very pale nails can sometimes be a sign of serious illness, such as anemia, congestive heart failure, liver disease, or malnutrition. Healthy nails will usually show a natural pinky colour in the nail bed, but if these changes to become pale or blue it could suggest low blood circulation around the body which can be solved by increasing levels of exercise. A change in colour can also hint at a lack of iron in the body.
Nails with a bluish tint can mean the body isn’t getting enough oxygen. This could indicate a lung problem, such as emphysema. Some heart problems can be associated with bluish nails.
White Spots Or Lines
One of the most common changes to fingernails, the appearance of white spots usually points to a lack of zinc and calcium. To reverse the deficiency, focus on foods that contain the two vitamins such as dairy products and leafy green vegetables for calcium, and pumpkin seeds, oysters, poultry, and red meat for zinc. If the nails are mostly white with darker rims, this can indicate liver problems, such as hepatitis.
One of the most common causes of yellow nails is a fungal infection. As the infection worsens, the nail bed may retract, and nails may thicken and crumble. In rare cases, yellow nails can indicate a more serious condition such as severe thyroid disease, lung disease, diabetes, or psoriasis.
If the nail surface is rippled or pitted, this may be an early sign of psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis. Discoloration of the nail is common; the skin under the nail can seem reddish-brown.
Ridges And Vertical Lines
Nails forming ridges and vertical lines can be indicative of further deficiencies or issues associated with the gut when it is not absorbing or receiving enough nutrients. Ridges in the nails could be a sign of numerous nutrient deficiencies, such as protein, iron, zinc, or minerals. It is advised to look at your diet and what you eat daily to determine what your body might be lacking in a bid to reverse it.
Nails curving downwards are more common in older people and can indicate severe issues with lung conditions or disease. When the nails are clubbed or if they curve downwards, this can relate to breathing difficulties, lung conditions, or even cardiovascular issues. The nails often look enlarged at the ends of the fingers.
Dry, brittle nails that frequently crack or split have been linked to thyroid disease. Cracking or splitting combined with a yellowish hue is more likely due to a fungal infection.
Dark Lines Beneath The Nails
Dark lines beneath the nail should be investigated as soon as possible. They are sometimes caused by melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer.
Pitted nails is a less common condition, with tiny dots or pricks on the nail usually occurring “when there’s a kind of autoimmune condition taking place within the body. It is common among people who have psoriasis or alopecia, adding that some factors can be genetic but it’s worth getting them checked out by a specialist.
Puffy Nail Fold
If the skin around the nail appears red and puffy, this is known as inflammation of the nail fold. It may be the result of lupus or another connective tissue disorder. Infection can also cause redness and inflammation of the nail fold.