Nails are considered as a purely aesthetic feature, and in US nearly $768 million are spent annually on nail polish. But, have you ever thought that your nails are far more than a platform for nail art and bright colors?
Well, actually the shape, color and texture of your natural nails act as a window into your body. Studies have proved that some nail symptoms can be the indicative of chronic diseases, including cancer.
There are certain signs that you should certainly not ignore. For instance, if you have thyroid, heart, lung or liver problems, you will notice the initial signs of the problem by examining your fingernails. Here’s what to look out for.
- Ridges or Ripples: Appearance of ridges doesn’t necessarily mean that there is something seriously wrong with you; yet, they can be an indication that you have a common skin disease called psoriasis, or that you are at a high risk of developing inflammatory arthritis in the upcoming future.
- White Marks: Most of the people will argue that white marks depict a calcium deficiency. However, this isn’t the case always. In actuality, the white marks more likely happen to occur if you have knocked your nails on a hard surface. Persistent white marks covering larger portions of the nails could indeed also suggest calcium, protein or zinc deficiency. If still not sure, it is good to visit your doctor and get some blood tests done.
- Yellowing: This yellow nail syndrome commonly occurs in people with lymphedema and serious pulmonary disease. This could also be a sign of a fungal infection, and if left ignored, could cause the shedding and thickening of the fingernails with time, leading to nail loss.
- Bluish Nails: The nails in this condition seem normal in color but the nail bed (the tissue that lies underneath the nail plate) turns blue. This is generally called as nail bed cyanosis. It is a sign of poorly oxygenated blood or more precisely unoxygenated hemoglobin.
- Parting from the Nailbed: This painful and nasty condition is known as onycholysis and usually occurs after an injury. It can also be the result of an allergic reaction to some product or due to thyroid problem.
- Splitting or Cracking: Fragile nails, onychoschizia and onychorrhexis are often the conditions of the elderly.
- Curving: If your nails appear to curve over the finger, resulting in a club-like appearance, it is generally the sign of low oxygen levels in the blood. This could be an indication of impending lung or heart problems.
While there might be nothing wrong with your health, however if you do notice that the nails of your fingers are less than perfect, consider it as a red flag. Paying attention to any changes in and on your body could lead to the timely detection of a more severe problem and thus ascertain that it is easy to treat.