What your fingernail tells about your health

          People rarely think this important but, any change in the appearance of your nails can give a lot of clues to your overall health. The changes are different for different health problems. And all these changes can indicate serious health problems and help you detect the problems on time.

          It is always good news having a strong and healthy nail. Here I give you the detail information on the types of changes to nails and various health problems that are related to them. So that you can prevent some of your health problems before they get serious.

1. Changes on lunulae or moon:

          The changes in the shape, size and colour on the lunula of nails indicate the presence of disease. In fact, if your lunula becomes black or grey, you need to consult a doctor immediately.

As per the rule, a normal and healthy lunula should be half-moon shaped, ivory and clear. Little finger normally shows almost unnoticeable lunulae and changes to it may occur because of the improper functioning of the kidney, small intestine and heart. Similar to this, the disappearance of lunulae from ring finger, middle finger, index finger and thump nails reflect the work of reproductive system, brain, cardiovascular system, high blood pressure, intestine, pancreas, lungs and spleen.

          The lunula of your thump should show up about one-fifth of the nail. The visibility is also different base on the level of physical activity people perform daily. People who do a lot of physical activities show larger lunula and those who perform less show less. However, if a person who performs very less physical activities show large lunula then, the person may have the problem of high-level stress.

2. White Dots or milk spots On Nails:

          White dots or milk spots are often found in the central portion of the nail plate. These white spots are not always harmful but, sometime you may need to take a checkup of your health because conditions like arsenic poisoning, kidney failure or respiratory problems can result in the development of such spots on your nail.

          Other situations like a bacterial or fungal infection, extreme cold contact also can develop milk spots on your nails. Normally these white spots or milk spots vanish over time.

3. Cracked or Split Nails:

          Nail cracking or splitting is the sign of low intake of vitamin C, calcium, folic acid and certain proteins in your diet. Brittleness and splitting of fingernails can also result from fungal infection and thyroid disease.

4. White Nails:

          The normal colour of your nail bed is slightly pink. Instead, if the nails become white with darker rims, this may indicate liver problems, such as hepatitis. White nail with a strip of pink at the top indicates the congestive heart failure, kidney failure and diabetes.

5. Pale nails:

          Pale nails can sometimes be a sign of other serious illnesses such as anaemia, congestive heart failure, liver disease and malnutrition.

6. Bluish Nails:

          Cyanosis is the medical term for Blue fingernails and this can result from various disorders so it is better to check out. Sometimes, very cold temperatures can temporarily slow the flow of blood through the skin resulting in a bluish colour to nails, this should go away once you warm up. Bluish nails also show up as a sign of Raynaud’s disease.

7. Yellow Nails Syndrome:

          In this, the nails usually get thicken and slow down the new growth of nails resulting in the detach of nails from the nail bed. The most common causes of yellow nails are fungal infection.

          Diseases which include respiratory disease, such as chronic bronchitis often show yellow nails. Yellow nail syndrome may also relate to swelling of the hands. In rare cases, yellow nails can indicate a more serious condition including severe thyroid disease, lung disease, diabetes or psoriasis.

8. Nail Pitting:

          Neil pitting is the small hole or ice pick-like depressions in the nails. It may indicate skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis. Nail pitting may be an early sign of connective tissue disorders such as inflammatory arthritis which is a disease that affects your joints.

9. Green Nails:

          Green nails are the result of a pseudomonal infection which is usually caused by the environment. This type of infection usually occurs in people whose immune system is already weak. The infection results in the appearance of  green colour on the nails.

10. Nail Ridges:

          Nail ridges are either horizontal or vertical. Vertical nail ridges signify nutrition issues, moisture loss or nutrient absorption issues. On the other side, horizontal ridges in the nail are often associated with diabetes, liver diseases or other chronic diseases.

          Like wrinkles on the skin, vertical ridges on nails are the sign of ageing. But, if you have this vertical ridges on your nails at a young age then this shows that you are suffering from vitamins and magnesium deficiency.

11. Dark Lines Beneath the Nail:

          It is common to have streaks of melanin pigment down your fingernails if you have dark skin. But, it is always better to do a health checkup because it may indicate subungual melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer.

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