10 Nail Symptoms and What They Mean for Your Health

The color, texture and shape of the nails is considered to be the window of the body health. Even though some nail signs are harmless you need to be aware that some are actually serious signs of disease like cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology stated: “Nails often reflect our general state of health. Changes in the nail, such as discoloration or thickening, can signify health problems including liver and kidney illness, heart and lung conditions, anemia, and diabetes.”

Also the growth of nails suggests the complete underlying of your health. The regular growth of nails during one month is 3.5 millimeters, but if you are using some medications or suffer injury the growth of the nails might be affected. On the other hand, lack of nutrients or aging can also affect the growth of the nails.

You should immediately consult dermatologist if you notice change in the shape of the nails, thickness, discoloration or swelling. Such changes might be completely harmless, but still there is room for doubt that it might be caused by diabetes.

Here are the 10 signs that might suggest your health is at danger:

  1. Yellow nails

If you notice that your nails are becoming yellow it might be due to aging, smoking or use of nail polish, but if they are yellow, crumbly and thick it is definitely a sign for fungal infection. Also it might be symptom for problems with your thyroid, respiratory system, diabetes and psoriasis.

  1. Dry, cracked or brittle nails

Such occurrence might happen if you are having a lifestyle which involves daily exposure to chemicals due to your work. Also it might be affected by humidity or keeping your hands in water for longer period of time. Apart from these reasons why you might have dry and cracked nails, you should know that it might be a symptom for fungal infection, thyroid diseases, and hypothyroidism. Also if your body is missing vitamin A and vitamin C it might result with cracked nails.

  1. Clubbing

This is actually enlargement of the fingertips accompanied by curved nail downwards. Such occurrence is a result of lack of oxygen in the blood or problems with the lungs. Also it might be a sign for heart disease, bowel disease, kidney diseases and AIDS.

  1. White spots

If you have white spots it is a sign of nail trauma and in most cases it is harmless and fades away after a while. On the other hand it might suggest that you have fungal infection.

  1. Horizontal ridges

John Anthony, dermatologists from Cleveland Center in Ohio stated: “This is usually the outcome of direct trauma to the nail or a more serious illness, in which case you’ll see it on more than one nail at a time … Your body is actually saying, ‘I’ve got better things to do than make nails’ and pauses their growth.”

If you have horizontal ridges called Beau’s lines you should know that it might be a result of uncontrolled diabetes, shortage of zinc, problems with circulation or psoriasis. Mees is another type of horizontal lines which can be caused by malaria, leprosy, poisoning by carbon monoxide and Hodgkin’s disease.

  1. Vertical ridges

These vertical ridges usually appear in older individuals and they are sign of aging. In some cases it might suggest that your body lack nutrients such as magnesium and vitamin B12.

  1. Nails in shape of spoon

Nails that are curved up at the edges suggest that your body lacks iron or you have heart disease.

  1. Pitting

If you have pits on the nails it is a symptom of psoriasis. According to specialists Chen “Typically, pitting occurs in around half of people with psoriasis and 80 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis”. On the other hand pits might suggest that you have alopecia areata, which is the illness that leads to hair loss.

  1. Discolorations

Dark discoloration and painful growth of nails require immediate attention by dermatologist because it might be due to developed melanoma.

  1. White nails

White nails with a strip of pink are symptom of having cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, liver illness or diabetes. You should seek immediate help by your doctor.

Here are some simple tips on how to care for your nails:

  1. Consume healthy diet that is high in protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
  2. Do not expose your nails to chemicals and longer period of time in water
  3. Avoid using nail polish
  4. Trim your nails regularly
  5. Put coconut oil on your nails in order to keep them moisturized.