What your nails can tell you about your health

Nails are exposed to all sorts of things. They can experience injury or even show us signs of something that may be amiss internally. many health conditions can influence the condition of our nails, showing clear indicators that some or other function is not quite right. When it comes to nail changes as a leave of disease, however, such indications are not normally the identical beginning sign .
however, there are some particularly distinctive changes that can occur within the nails that may be indicative of changes within the body, ranging from minor to more serious health issues, which you can either resolve on your own or have appropriately diagnosed and treated. Changes can involve the colour, shape or even texture of the nails – some of which are wholly harmless and not indications of disease, while others can be helpful in diagnosing a checkup condition requiring treatment .

We’ve listed some nail problems and what they could mean below:

Nail problem: Discolouration of the nail

1. Yellow

Close-up of yellow discolouration of the fingernails.
Characteristics & appearance

The healthiest color for nails to be is pink with a ashen lunula. sometimes when yellow stain occurs, the pinpoint plate thickens, and emergence tends to slow down. This is often referred to as yellow nail syndrome. The epidermis may besides detach ( a little ) from the nail down bed .

What could this problem indicate?
  • Natural aging process
  • Staining of nail lacquers (or nail polish) and acrylic applications
  • Staining from nicotine (cigarette smoking)
  • Staining from hair colouring chemicals and dyes
  • Injury to the nail bed
  • Infection – fungal or bacterial (nail beds may retract and thicken or crumble as infection worsens or goes untreated)
  • Side-effect from certain medications like antibiotics, anti-malarial drugs and some used for chemotherapy treatment
  • Melanoma (a cancerous / malignant condition)
  • Yellow nail syndrome can also sometimes be an indicator of chronic bronchitis and other respiratory diseases, or lymphedema (a condition which results in swelling)
  • Discolouration can also occur in people with lung disease, psoriasis, diabetes or thyroid dysfunction.
Should you seek a medical consultation?

Discolouration due to aging or staining isn’t normally problematic. Giving the nails a break from nail applications can help them to recover and return to their normal, healthy colour.

Injury, side-effects, aesculapian condition or infection causes which result in considerable discomfort should be assessed by a checkup repair. aside from yellow stain, other signs of a fungal infection include nails which thicken and begin to crumble .
bacterial infections typically begin in the folds of the pinpoint ( hide – known as paronychia ), resulting in inflammation and much the constitution of pus ( which is normally a yellow-green tinge ). Pain, swelling and red can besides occur around the carapace sphere .
Infections and melanoma will require medical treatment as soon as possible.
discussion for infections may involve oral medications ( antifungals and antibiotics ), function of medicated barrier creams and lotions, and maintaining sobriety of the affect areas deoxyadenosine monophosphate much as possible to help prevent diffuse of infection and inflammation .
The treatment of fungal infections may besides involve photodynamic or laser therapy or an excommunication of the moved complete plate ( complete avulsion / surgical removal ) .

2. White spots

Close-up of white spots on a thumbnail.
Characteristics & appearance

many believe that the exploitation of a white temporary hookup or position on the nail down is an indication of a calcium insufficiency – more much than not, this international relations and security network ’ t actually the case. (4)
White discolouration is referred to as leukonychia.

What could this problem indicate?
  • It is more likely that a small spot has developed due to a minor contact injury.
Should you seek a medical consultation?

Small spots are not normally something significant to worry about and will generally fade or grow out on their own. In this exemplify, no medical attention is necessary. Should a touch not fade or grow out, it could indicate a fungal infection. If other symptoms are deliver a aesculapian consult may be needed .

3. Pale / White

Close-up of white fingernail discolouration
Characteristics & appearance

extensive white discolouration on one or more nails can indicate a potentially serious medical condition .
Nails that develop white discoloration about all over the plate with iniquity rims can indicate austere liver dysfunction. discoloration of the fingers or toes may accompany this smash change – a yellow hue of the surrounding bark may be indicative of jaundice .
If the nails begin to lighten ( i.e. will have a white stain ) from the epidermis to the topple and develop a pink, crimson or embrown band of stain near the tap, this circumstance may be referred to as Lindsay half and half nails .

What could this problem indicate?
  • Anaemia
  • Malnutrition
  • Liver disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Lindsay half and half nails may indicate problems with internal swelling or anaemia, and renal dysfunction / disease
Should you seek a medical consultation?

checkup attention is required a soon as possible for allow test and diagnosis .

4. White with a pink band / strip

Pink bands or stripes in nails
Characteristics & appearance

White stain that is accompanied by a specialize pink plunder or band is known as Terry’s nails. Reduced vascular provide to the nail down bed is thought to cause the complete change

What could this problem indicate?
  • Natural aging process
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Diabetes
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland)
Should you seek a medical consultation?

If no other signs or symptoms develop, Terry’s nails may be part of a harmless aging process. Accompanied by other problems and discomforts, this transfer must be evaluated by a medical doctor ampere soon as potential .

5. Blue

Close-up of blue discolouration of the toes and toenails.
Characteristics & appearance

blue stain may occur due to the cold but is most frequently as a result of a lack of oxygen reaching the nail structure .

What could this problem indicate?
  • Lung dysfunction (e.g. emphysema)
  • Heart dysfunction
Should you seek a medical consultation?

Chronic blasphemous nails should constantly be evaluated by a medical repair deoxyadenosine monophosphate soon as possible to either diagnose or convention out a potentially serious condition .

Nail problem: Lifted nail plate

Close-up of a lifted nail plate (fingernails)
Characteristics & appearance

The nail loosens / separates from the nail bed ( lifts ). This is known as onycholysis. The rise part is no longer translucent and becomes white or opaque, sometimes with a undertone of jaundiced or green discoloration .

What could this problem indicate?
  • Excessive cleaning under the nails (leading to injury)
  • Use of nail polish or lacquer containing chemical compounds like formalin which tend to harden the nails
  • Nail adhesive products
  • Removing artificial nail products in a harsh or rough manner
  • Fungal infection (nail plate separation may be accompanied by nail thickening and crumbling, discolouration or discharge)
  • Psoriasis
  • Thyroid dysfunction
Should you seek a medical consultation?

In the lawsuit of conditions affecting the bark, like a fungal infection or psoriasis, lifting of the nail plate will likely be one of several physical indications requiring medical diagnosis. In this case, a reference should be arranged deoxyadenosine monophosphate soon as potential .
A medical reference is besides necessary for other physical conditions like debatable thyroid gland gland function .

Nail problem: Thickened nails

Close-up of a thickened toenail.
Characteristics & appearance

deepening of the nail plate more commonly affects the toenails than the fingernails .

What could this problem indicate?
  • Natural aging process
  • General neglect
  • Poor circulation
  • Wearing of poorly-fitted shoes
  • Problems with gait (i.e. pattern of walking)
  • Injury
  • Fungal infection
  • Arthritis
  • Psoriasis
Should you seek a medical consultation?

Discomfort, pain or other accompanying symptoms should be evaluated by a medical doctor, specially if the underlying cause may be arthritis, psoriasis or a fungal infection .

Nail problem:  Nails with ridges

Close-up of vertical ridges and white spots on thumbnails.
Characteristics & appearance

The formation of ridges on the nail plate can run vertically or horizontally ( distance or width wise ). Ridges which affect more than one collar at a meter are associated more so with illnesses than an injury .
horizontal ridges are known as Beau’s lines or Mees’ lines. The latter are typically characterised by horizontal discolorations on the nail plate .

What could this problem indicate?
  • Associated with natural aging changes (applicable to vertical ridges)
  • Injury or trauma to the nail root or nail bed
  • Excessive cuticle “grooming”
  • Circulatory problems
  • Zinc deficiency
  • Deficiencies in magnesium or vitamin B12
  • Related to fever-causing illnesses (e.g. scarlet fever, measles, mumps or pneumonia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Eczema
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Lichen planus (inflammatory condition)
  • Psoriasis
  • Diabetes (uncontrolled)
  • Mees’ lines can be caused by arsenic or carbon monoxide poisoning, malaria, leprosy or Hodgkin’s disease
  • Side-effect of recent chemotherapy treatment
Should you seek a medical consultation?

Vertical ridges which develop as function of the aging march are normally considered harmless ( about like ‘ nail wrinkles ’ ), even if they become more outstanding over time .

Nail problem: Split, brittle, cracked and dry nails

Close-up of a split or broken toenail.
Characteristics & appearance

The nail plate splits from the nail bed ( partially or wholly ). This is sometimes known as onychorrhexis or onychoschizia. The split helping can besides begin to grow away from the smash bed. Dryness of the pinpoint can result in splitting and cracking .

What could this problem indicate?
  • Excessive use of nail polish / lacquer and removal agents
  • Hands or feet that are wet for long periods and exposed to soap and other washing detergents and cleaning products
  • Residing in a low-humidity environment
  • Repetitive mild trauma, such as using the fingernail as a ‘tool’ or habitual picking between the teeth
  • With aging changes, dryness can also occur during the senior years
  • Nutrient deficiencies (vitamin A, C and biotin)
  • Thyroid dysfunction – hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
  • Fungal infection
Should you seek a medical consultation?

Non-condition causes can be alleviated with the use of highly moisturising lotions. Like the skin, nails are quite absorbent material – regular humidify can besides help to prevent dryness over meter, reducing the gamble of cracking and splitting.

Infections and other underlying medical conditions must be diagnosed and treated by a medical doctor as soon as possible.

Nail problem: D eformations ( unusual shapes )

Close-up of nail deformation affecting the toenail.
Characteristics & appearance

Nails can take on an unusual or unnatural shape. One such shape deformation is known as “spoon nails” (koilonychia) – the nail plate softens and becomes concave, taking on a scooped-out appearance ( i.e. forming a depression ). The ‘scoop’ may be big adequate to hold a little liquid .

What could this problem indicate?
  • Injury or trauma to the nail plate and nail bed can result in nail thickening and ridging. This can result in abnormal growth and normal shape distortion.
  • Iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia (nails may also become pale in colour)
  • Hemochromatosis (excess iron in the body that is absorbed mostly from ingested food)
  • Heart disease
  • Hypothyroidism
Should you seek a medical consultation?

The development of unusual nail shapes must be assessed by a medical doctor. “ Spoon nails ” are most frequently associated with cast-iron irregularities which can be managed with medications and supplements .
Those who experience irregular increase of the nails may besides benefit from regular pare and shaping – enlisting the services of a chiropodist may be utilitarian in keeping irregularly shaped nails groomed .

Nail problem: Ingrown nails

Close-up of an ingrown toenail.
Characteristics & appearance

The large toe is particularly prone to ingrown nails, which can be quite painful. (5)

What could this problem indicate?
  • Nail injury (e.g. stubbing a toe)
  • A naturally sharp curving nail – nails which grow sharply into the sides, digging into the adjacent skin.
  • Trimming nails incorrectly (e.g. rounded edges)
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight and press onto the toes
Should you seek a medical consultation?

If the ingrown nail is very painful, a podiatrist will be able to assist. If severe, the ingrowing section of the nail can be removed while under light sedation ( local anesthetic ) to help alleviate pain during the short routine .

Nail problem:  Bitten nails

Close-up of bitten fingernails.
Characteristics & appearance

bite of the nails is predominantly associated with habit. such habits are sometimes linked with anxiety related medical conditions. Individuals with a bite habit are sometimes prone to picking at the nails, ampere well as the bark fold surrounding the smash .
Nail bite is sanely common during childhood, which typically peaks during adolescent years. For some the habit may resolve on its own ( either gradually or abruptly ) as a person enters adulthood. For others, the habit may continue, much as a result of another underlying issue requiring medical interposition .

What could this problem indicate?
  • Habitual behaviour (sometimes stimulated by triggers such as boredom)
  • Persistent anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Should you seek a medical consultation?

Those with nail biting and picking habits which are associated with anxious behaviour can benefit from medical intervention. Medications can be prescribed for diagnose anxiety-associated conditions, which can in turn help to alleviate the behavioral substance abuse .
A habit that does not necessarily give any other clinical symptoms of a disorder can sometimes be addressed with the practice of nail varnishes or polishes containing bitterness compounds that are off-putting to a ‘ biter ’. Habitual biters can benefit from regular manicures – keeping smash well-trimmed and light .
Nail biting and picking can make a person vulnerable to skin infections like paronychia – wherein microorganisms like bacteria can enter the injure hide areas more easily causing infection. Signs of infection can include inflammation, swelling and fire ( pus ) around the nail .

Nail problem:  Pitting

 Nail Pitting - dents in nails
Characteristics & appearance

Depressions or dents in the nails are generally referred to as ‘ pitting ’. More than one indent in the nail is most often associated with the scaly skin condition, psoriasis. Rippling of the nail may accompany dents, american samoa well as some stain – often a red-brown hue .

What could this problem indicate?
  • Psoriasis
  • Reiter’s syndrome (also known as reactive arthritis – inflammatory disorder)
  • Alopecia areata
Should you seek a medical consultation?

It is best not to ignore the development of dents in the nails. A medical professional will assess all symptoms along with pitted nails and test as appropriate in order to make a diagnosis. Whatever the underlying campaign, applicable discussion procedures can help to provide control of this symptom .

Nail problem:  Clubbing

Close-up of fingers / fingernails affected by clubbing.
Characteristics & appearance

The tips of the fingers and toes can become swollen (enlarged). The nail plates then also enlarge and begin to curve downward around the well up fingers or toes. This swerve may be measured at around 180 degrees or more. (6) This round procedure is normally gradual, taking identify over the naturally of a few years .

What could this problem indicate?
  • Low blood oxygen levels
  • Lung dysfunction
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Liver disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • AIDS
Should you seek a medical consultation?

A checkup diagnosis is required in order for appropriate treatment to be implemented for all applicable symptoms, including that of club .

Nail problem: Lunula abnormalities

Close-up of thumbnail without a normal lunula.
Characteristics & appearance

Discolouration, shape changes or a total lack of presence of the lunula ( the white area at the nucleotide of the fingernail ) may sometimes occur, for versatile reasons .

What could this problem indicate?
  • A lunula which takes on the shape of a pyramid may indicate injury to the nail, which can include excessive manicuring.
  • Pale blue discolouration may signal diabetes
  • Pink / reddish discolouration may indicate cardiovascular problems or collagen vascular disease.
  • A lack of a lunula can sometimes occur as part of the aging process – if no other abnormalities develop, it may not be something to worry about.
  • A lack of a lunula with other nail abnormalities may indicate problems with malnutrition or anaemia.
Should you seek a medical consultation?

Discolouration of the crescent-shaped structure should be assessed by a medical doctor to either diagnose or rule out potentially debatable or serious conditions. Appropriate testing will be determined according to the overall symptoms a patient presents with .
A lack of a lunula that is accompanied by any other types of nail changes should be evaluated by a medical professional.

Nail problem:  Puffy / inflamed breeze through close up

Close-up of young child's hand and fingernail affected by Paronychia.
Characteristics & appearance

The skin surrounding the nail fold can become inflamed, resulting in swelling, inflammation and discomfort / pain .

What could this problem indicate?
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Lupus
  • Infection
Should you seek a medical consultation?

A medical evaluation may be helpful in either diagnosing an applicable condition, managing this symptom or ruling out other clinical possibilities. It is advisable to seek checkup consultation in order to resolve the offspring .

Nail problem: Dark stripes / a growth

Close-up of toenail affected by a dark streak / stripe (discolouration)
Characteristics & appearance

The exploitation of lines, stripes or streaks that are a dark colour ( brown, sometimes black ) can often be afflictive. These can sometimes be accompanied by the development of a hide growth / nodule nearby to or beneath the smash plate. Growths may besides be a dark color and afflictive .
Streaks / lines may develop gradually, affecting one complete at a meter ( broadly ) .

What could this problem indicate?
  • Melanoma (skin cancer)
Should you seek a medical consultation?

A prompt medical consultation is necessary. Streaks and growths which develop on ( and close to ) the nail are considered unplayful and must be evaluated by a medical doctor adenine soon as detected .
Malignant cells which develop beneath the nail are likely to be diagnosed as subungual melanoma ( following a punch biopsy ) – often accompanied by early nail changes including nail face-lift, cracking or divide of the breeze through plate and a blackening of the skin alongside the nail down. Diagnosis and treatment are necessity as malignity can spread .

4. DrWeil.com. 11 February 2005. Worried About White Spots On Fingernails ? : hypertext transfer protocol : //www.drweil.com/health-wellness/balanced-living/healthy-living/worried-about-white-spots-on-fingernails/ [ Accessed 11.09.2018 ]
5. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 28 June 2018. ingrowing toenail : overview : hypertext transfer protocol : //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513138/ [ Accessed 11.09.2018 ]
6. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 1990. clinical Methods : The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition. chapter 44 – clubbing : hypertext transfer protocol : //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK366/ [ Accessed 11.09.2018 ]

source : https://nailcenter.us
Category : Nail tips

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