The Positive Side of Medicine

9 Ways Your Fingernail Indicates Your Health Problems

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Out bodies produce outward clues when we are ill. You may want to take a trip to the doctor if you notice any of the following nail abnormalities:

1. Pale Nails

Pale nail beds may mean that you are suffering from malnutrition or early congestive heart failure. Your nails may be pale due to a lack of blood flow to the area. This lack of blood flow can mean that you have developed diabetes. Dr Rekha K. Agarwal, MD. specializes in diabetes mellitus, and she believes that early detection can help a patient control his or her diabetes.

2.White Nails 

If it looks like you are wearing white nail polish, you may be suffering from severe anemia. This can be result of an iron deficiency or internal bleeding. The December 2015 issue of Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease published the results of a large-scale German study which found that people with chronic anemia are at a higher risk of developing a cognitive impairment.

3. Yellow Nails

Yellow nails can be a symptom of a fungal infection known as Candidal paronychia. If yellow nails are left untreated, the nail and the nail bed will eventually crumble. Yellow nails may also be a symptom of thyroid disease, and a 2011 study published in The Canadian Respiratory Journal linked yellow nails to edema and chronic cough.

RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Interesting Facts About Nails

4. Bluish Nails

Bluish nails are a sign that you your body is not receiving an adequate amount of oxygen. Dr. Andrew Weil, an American physician and author, explains that in some cases, blue nails may also be a symptom of Raynaud’s disease. Those with Reynaud’s disease experience painful nerve spasms.

5. Rippled Nails

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Rippled nails are a symptom of autoimmune diseases such as arthritis or psoriasis. A 2003 study published in Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery: Incorporating Medical and Surgical Dermatology further studied the link between nail ridges and psoriasis. The study involved 106 patients and confirmed the link.

6. Nail Cracks and Split Nails

Brittle nails can denote malnutrition. They may also be a symptom of thyroid disease or a fungal infection of the nail. The US National Library of Medicine warns that brittle nails can mean that you may suffer from hypothyroidism. Splitting or Cracking together with yellowish hue is caused because of fungal infections and can be cured using over-the-counter medicines or home remedies, though severe cases will require a prescription.

7. Puffy Nail Folds

According to Jessica R. Berman, MD., swollen or puffy skin around your fingernails may mean that you may be suffer from systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus causes inflammation in many areas of the body. This inflammation can redden the tissue around your nails, causing the puffy appearance in the nail fold.

8. Dark Lines

If you notice dark lines beneath your nails, you must contact a healthcare professional. This is a common symptom a deadly form of skin cancer known as melanoma. Dr. Ph Abimelec explains that while only 1% of melanomas are found under the nail, this form of cancer is particularly deadly. This cancer is more common in individuals with dark skin.

9. Nail Biting

Dermatologist Flor A. Mayoral, MD spoke at a engagement at the American Academy of Dermatology’s SKIN academy and explained that nails with a bitten or gnawed appearance indicates that an individual is stressed. If you find yourself biting your nails often, ask yourself how stress is affecting your daily life.

Often, your nails are the first indication of a serious illness. Pay attention to the condition of your nails. If you notice any changes, make an appointment with a healthcare professional to discuss what your nail abnormality may mean.

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