9 Ways Your Nails May Be Warning You About Your Health

Do you give those finger and toenails of yours a long, hard look while trimming, shaping or reapplying some fresh nail polish? If you never do, it’s time to start as paying closer attention to them may help you spot possible health problems promptly. Below are 9 ways your nails may be giving you clues about your health…

1. Frail & brittle nails

This is quite common and usually indicates a lack of vitamins or fungal nail infection. Prescribed supplements or antifungal pills usually helps in respective cases.

Brittle nails have also been linked to thyroid problems.

2. Gnawed Nails

While it’s normal for nails to appear this way if you usually bite them, the habit itself may be a sign of regular anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder which requires treatment. So, if you’ve been finding it hard to quit this bad habit, talk to your doctor.

3. Pale Nails

If your fingernail beds look pale, it may be a warning sign of anaemia (low red blood cell count) as a result of iron deficiency. This usually causes inadequate oxygen supply in the blood, making the skin and tissues, including those under the nails, become pale.

Pale nails may also indicate early diabetes or liver disease, which are both associated with impaired blood flow.

READ ALSO: 7 Signs Your Feet Can Tell You If You Have Serious Health Problems

4. White Nails

White nails present from birth may be inherited and bare no health implication. However, those that occur later in life may indicate serious conditions including liver cirrhosis, hepatitis, and kidney problems.

5. Yellow Nails

Yellow nails likely indicate a fungal infection which would easily resolve with prescribed antifungal pills. Left untreated, you may notice the nail beds retract or thicken as the infection gets worse.

Rarely, yellow nails may also be a warning sign of diabetes, thyroid or lung disease. See your doctor to rule these out if you notice these signs.

READ ALSO: 5 Ways Your Eyes May Be Warning You About Potential Health Problems

6. Onycholysis (separation from nail bed)

Nails that separate from the nail bed are often as a result of an injury or infection. It could also be a reaction to a drug you recently took or products like nail hardeners or adhesives.

An overactive thyroid gland or psoriasis (a condition whereby scaly patches appear on the skin) may also be responsible.

7. Bluish nails

If your nail beds are bluish, it could be a sign of poorly oxygenated blood which may indicate lung or circulatory system issues.

8. Dark line(s) beneath the nail

A linear brown or black streak extending from the cuticle to the tip of the nail should be investigated immediately to be sure it does not indicate a form of skin cancer.

9. Spoon nails

Nails that look scooped out are often a sign of iron deficiency. See a doctor. Getting an iron supplement prescription may be all you need to fix that and get your nails back in good shape.

In some cases, it may also be a warning sign you’ve got an underactive thyroid gland, and this also can be resolved.

Don’t know how to tell if you’ve got spoon nails? Try squeezing two drops of water from an eye dropper on the center of your nail. Does the water sit on top or slide off? If it sits, you’ve got spoon nails.

Note that some nail abnormalities may be harmless after all. So, don’t get apprehensive if you notice any of the above or other worrisome changes. See a dermatologist first to be sure if you should be worried or not.

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