There are only a small number of people who know that fingernails can be related to diseases. As a matter of fact, fingernails can serve as an indicator for your current health condition and reveal the presence of some disease.
So, take some time and observe your fingernails. Place your hand at the same height as your nose and around one foot away and analyze each of the fingernails separately. Take special note of all the dips, curves, grooves and ridges. See whether they have the same width and thickness. Check whether some of them are broken. Another important thing is their color and the skin beneath and around this area.
Once you are finished try to remember if your nails looked like this in the past. If you notice some changes, this might be an indicator for some serious disease or health condition. Every change might suggest something else, so make sure to check the list of these eight health warnings your fingernails may be sending.
1. Thick nails
If your nails are unusually thick you should know that this is something abnormal. Having strong and relatively thick nails is always good, but if they are very thick (like claws or talons) you should be careful.
- Thick fingernails are often sign for the presence of fungal infection;
- Having thick nails is one of the signs of lung disease;
- Unusually thick fingernails can also be indicators of a blood circulation issue;
- Separated and thick nails may suggest thyroid disease and psoriasis development.
Nails that are thicker than usual are often an additional sign of some disease or health problem. Finally, in some cases people who start using some new medications can experience thickened nails.
2. Discolored nails
A nail that can be considered to be healthy should be pink and have a brighter pink color close to its base. In case your fingernails have a dull color or they are stripped with some other colors, chances are that you are suffering from some health problem that is difficult to detect.
- Nails who have pink and blue color suggest weak oxygen presence in the blood;
- Green nails are an indicator of bacterial infection in most cases;
- Very white nails may indicate hepatitis or some other liver disease or problem;
- Dull nails may signal a vitamin deficiency;
- Long red lines in the nails are often related to heart valve infections;
- Long darkish strips at the top of the nails are linked to aging process and congestive heart failure.
Start scrubbing your nails in order to check their natural color. You need to be sure what kind of color they have because as you can see every color is related to different problem.
3. Split nails
When we talk about split nails, we don’t think about nails that are affected by physical impact (nails shut in doors for example). We are talking about nails that appear to be flaking away in what looks like layers of nails. In some cases, over-washing your hands or using too much nail polish can result in split nails, but in some cases:
- Split nails suggest low amount of vitamin C, folic acid or protein in the system;
- This type of nails in a combination with a pitted nail base can indicate presence of psoriasis;
- Split nails may indicate malnutrition.
Take care of your diet and perform psoriasis test.
4. Spoon (concave) nails
Concave nails can be a symptom of different internal problems. Spoon nails are described as soft and curved up. Concave nails suggest the presence of:
- Anemia or iron deficiency;
- Heart disease;
- Hemochromatosis – a specific liver disease where the body retains too much iron.
As previously mentioned, fingernails and health problems are often related. If you are able to solve these problems, your nails should get their natural shape.
5. Pitted nails
Small holes or dips in your fingernails can appear because of many different things, but they can also be a symptom of some disease so make sure to check your health. Pitted nails are sometimes indicators of:
- An autoimmune disorder that leads to hair loss called alopecia areata;
- Zinc deficiency – a small pit in the middle of the nail;
- Connective tissue disorder.
Just make sure that you are not looking at natural dings and dents. We are talking about permanent pits.
Your fingernail and health challenges go hand in hand – for many people, clearing up their health issue results in their spoon nails returning back to normal.
6. Nails with ridges
Fingernails should have smooth surface with some very small and barely visible lines. However, if you notice ridges right away, then your health may be at problem. These are some of the typical health conditions related to ridges:
- Inflammatory arthritis;
- Lack of iron in the body;
Don’t ignore the ridges on your nails – check your health.
7. Brittle/dry nails
Don’t use cuticle oil or lotion all the time. If your fingernails are brittle or/and dry, you should definitely pay attention to the level of hormones.
- Fungus are one of the most common reasons for dry nails. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than 10% of Americans are suffering from fungus;
- Thyroid disease creates dry or brittle nails. They become prone to cracking.
Fungal issues and thyroid disease cannot be treated quickly, so don’t be disappointed if your nails continue to appear dry and brittle in the beginning of the treatment.
8. Clubbed fingernails
In case you notice chubby skin that looks like it is swollen around the fingernails or the skin is puffy around this area, people usually say that you have clubbed nails. Clubbed nails can be indicators of:
Of course, clubbed fingernails are not the only indicators of these serious diseases, but they can confirm your suspicion.
You should never underestimate the relevance of changes that happen in your fingernails. These changes might suggest that you have some hidden disease or health issue. Check your fingernails from time to time just in case.