It is famously said that our eyes are the window to our soul. Likewise, we can safely say that our fingernails can be the window to our overall health. Though fingernails can reveal a lot of things related to our health, sadly most of us don’t give a second thought about them. All we think of when it comes to fingernails is how often should we cut them and what color should be used to paint them the next time. Fingernails not only protect our fingertips and help in enhancing beauty but also say a lot more about the health condition of our body.
John Anthony, MD and Debra Jaliman, MD, are of the view that fingernails reveal some of the symptoms which should not be ignored by a normal human being. Jessica Weiser, Dermatologist at New York Dermatology Group, says that nail matrix which is the site of nail growth that hides a few millimeters below the cuticle can reveal a lot about our health as it is affected by an individual’s general state of health. She adds that illness, fever, surgery, trauma, life stressors, nutritional deficiencies and other related health problems have different effects on the nails and their growth too.
We have brought you this piece of information to clue you into everything that your fingernails are trying to tell you. Below are the most common health warning signs that your fingernails will show you.
- Yellowish Nails
According to WebMD, yellow nails are a sign that you might be affected by fungal infection. Nails turning yellow are the most common warning sign fingernails can give to you. Apart from fungal infection, in rare cases, yellow fingernails can also be a signal of more serious health problems like diabetes, lung disease or even thyroid disease. Dr. Anthony an expert in the field, says that if you are a habitual smoker, then it could also turn your nails into yellow color. Hence he is of the opinion that if your nails are constantly yellowish, then it is a good time for you to stop smoking.
- Brittle or cracked nails
Cracked or brittle nail can be a sign that your nail plate is extremely dry, says, Dr. Jailman. WebMD, states that cracked or brittle nails might reveal the symptom of thyroid disease. It is found that hyperthyroidism can sometimes lead to this side effect of nails cracking. For those who are unaware of hyperthyroidism, it is a health condition where thyroids are not producing enough hormones that are required for normal functioning of the body.
- Pitted Nails
MedicineNet makes it very clear that nail pitting is common among those who are suffering from psoriasis. This condition if nail pitting is caused by defective development of layers of the nail plate. It is found out through various studies that nail pitting can affect up to 50% of the people who are suffering from psoriasis. Experts suggest you to immediately consult your doctor if you experience any pitting or dents in your nails.
- Puffy Nail Fold
Experts believe that puffy nail fold can be caused by lupus or another connective tissue disorder. This is known as inflammation of the nail fold. Infection can also cause redness and inflammation of the nail fold.
- Discolored Nails
Melanoma can be the cause for discoloration or appearance of a dark line on the nails, mentions WebMD. Experts are of the opinion that as soon as you notice black line or stripe on the nail, you should immediately consult your doctor as melanoma that comes from your nail can be extremely serious.
- Bitten Nails
The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) reports that nail-biting can be a sign that you are suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Yes, this does not mean that each and everyone who bites the nails are suffering from this disorder but one should see that this habit does not become excessive. Dr. Jailman explains that one has to make sure that nail-biting of his/her does not become excessive in the event of which the person will have to immediately visit the doctor.
- Bluish Nails
Bluish nails are a clear sign that your body may not be receiving the required oxygen. It is possible that the possible causes could be lung problems and also heart problems. It is recommended that you visit a doctor if you notice that your nails turn bluish constantly.
- Dark Lines Beneath The Nails
Dark lines beneath the nails are the dangerous ones and they should be investigated as soon as possible. They are sometimes caused by melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer.
Along with revealing symptoms like melanoma, nutrient deficiency, nails can also reveal iron deficiency or anemia, renal failure or liver disease, heart condition, pulmonary problems and so on. It is recommended that you have a close look at your nails and take the required precaution and steps to see to it that you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Do pass this informative article to your loved ones to make them understand their health conditions better.