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Signs that your nails will show about you and your health


Nails Show the status of your health: Know the signs

Pale Fingernails
Often very pale nails may be a sign of extreme illness, such as:

  • Congestive cardiac insufficiency
  • Disease of the Liver
  • Misnutrition

Nails in White
This may suggest liver issues, such as hepatitis, if they are predominantly white with darker rims.

Cuticles in Yellow
A fungal infection is one of the most common causes of yellow nails. The nail bed may retract as the infection aggravates, and nails may thicken and crumble. In rare cases, a more serious illness, such as extreme thyroid disease, lung disease, diabetes or psoriasis, may be demonstrated by yellow nails.

Nails Bluish
Nails with a bluish tint suggest that there is not enough oxygen in the body and can demonstrate emphysema. Some issues with the heart are also associated with bluish nails.

Nails Rippled
If it is rippled or pitted, this may be an early sign of inflammatory arthritis or psoriasis. Nail discoloration is normal and reddish-brown will appear on the skin under the nail.

Cracked or Split
Thyroid disorder has been associated with dry, brittle nails that often break or split. Because of a fungal infection, cracking or fracturing combined with a yellowish hue is more likely.

Nail Fold Puffy
Lupus or another connective tissue disease can be a symptom of damaged nails.

Dark Lines Under a Nail
Melanoma, the most severe form of skin cancer, can be shown by dark lines below the nail. Get medical attention immediately.

Nail Gnawed
Typically, nail biting is associated to obsessive-compulsive disorder. For help, call your doctor.

Fingernails and toenails, they're not just for decoration. They protect your fingers and toes and help you pick up tiny things, like splinters or that piece of spinach stuck between your teeth after lunch. And they can also tell you a lot about your health. Nails are collections of dead cells that grow from a root called a Matrix hidden just beneath your cuticle, the lighter crescent shaped area at the base. The matrix constantly makes new cells called Plate Cells, and each layer pushes the old, dead plate cells out of the cuticle. When nails start to grow differently or even change color, it usually means that there is something wrong with the matrix or with the surrounding tissue. So by working backward, you can often figure out what's doing the interfering, and in the process maybe learn something about what's going on in your own body. Beau's Lines, for example, are horizontal ripples on the surface of the

nail. They look like little waves, and they form when the matrix stops producing new cells for a while. When the matrix starts making new cells again, they push the nail out as usual, but there is an indentation marking the spot where it stopped, kind of like a tree ring. And there's a reason why the matrix would've hit the pause button. Probably, it wasn't getting enough nutrients from the blood stream. Usually, that means the person has an infection or some other kind of serious illness. That's why people who have high fevers for a while, often develop Beau's lines a month or two after- -wards. Pitted nails are another potential matrix issue, where the nails surfaces have indentations that look like very small pot holes. The pits are linked to skin disorders, like Psoriasis and Eczema, which can cause inflammation of the matrix. An inflamed matrix produced new plate cells unevenly, so you end up with depressions on the nail surface. Nails can also change color, something you've probably noticed if you've studied your nails on a cold day, and realized they were blue. Generally, that means that your extremities aren't receiving enough oxygen. Blood with low oxygen is darker and reflects light differently through your skin making your nails look blueish. It could just be your body reacting to cold by constricting your blood vessels, but a person whose blood isn't receiving enough oxygen could have a respiratory illness, like asthma or emphysema. Blue nails can also be a sign of Raynaud's Disease. A disorder marked by spasms in a person's blood vessels that narrow them. The narrowing reduces blood flow to the extremities, so they get blue nails. Now blue nails, it not actually the nail changing color, it's the bed underneath it. But nails can also turn yellow, and that's actually the nail changing color, this can happen for a lot of different reasons. In most cases, it's cause by a fungal infection known as Onychomycosis. Yeast or mold sets up shop within the actual nail plate, turning it yellow. It doesn't smell to good either. Other times, the yellow nails means something more serious, like Yellow Nail Syndrome, which doesn't sound super serious, but it happens when the matrix does produce new plate cells but very slowly, so they pile up and create a thicker yellow-ish nail plate. But like Beau's Lines, Yellow Nail Syndrome is caused by something else. It could be a chronic respiratory disease, which would reduce the nail's oxygen supply and slow growth. Or it could be sign of an issue with the Lymphatic system, which distributes protein rich fluid throughout the body. Usually, that issue is cancer or aids. A black or brown streak in a nail can also be super serious, or nothing at all. In some people that streak can signal Subungual Melanoma, a form of skin cancer that affects the nail bed, which is the skin underneath the nail plate. Melanoma often changes the color of the skin, including the skin under nails. But the streak also might be harmless, if you have a darker complexion it's completely normal. So it could be something, or it could be nothing. Which is why of you're worried about the color or the look of your nails, here's a tip. Don't get all your medical advice from the internet! These changes can mean more than one thing, so talk to a real doctor before jumping to any conclusions.

If you are suffering from an illness, your nails will show. If the condition continues, seek medical assistance. To learn more about what your nails tell you, watch this video.

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