Underneath the acrylic gel or polish, your nails are a great way to gauge your overall health. When your body is working optimally, your nails will look great, but when there begins to be a problem internally or externally, your nails may start to show some signs of distress.
This is because your body will focus its energy and natural healing properties on the vital organs and extremities. The same can be said for your hair, but today, we will focus solely on your nails and what they are trying to tell you about your overall health.
First and foremost, it is important you understand the anatomy of your nail. This way you can identify the areas we are referencing.
Pale nails are when you have a tinge of white or off-white at the center of the nail bed. This can be a sign of anemia, congestive heart failure, or the onset of liver disease or an overall lack of nutrients.
When your nailbeds are white, matching the typical white color of the nail tip, you may wish to get checked for what could be a more serious case of liver disease such as hepatitis.
Yellow nails can vary from a host of things. What could be a simple symptom of a fungal infection could also be as extreme as thyroid disease, lung disease, diabetes or psoriasis. For this reason, it is best to get further evaluated to identify the cause and any recommended treatments.
Purple tint. This can also show up as a bluish color and typically resembles a lack of oxygen. In more serious cases, this could be a sign of lung trouble, like emphysema.
Inflated or swollen areas under the cuticle or lunula could be due to something as simple as temporary irritation or something much more concerning like connective tissue disorders. This is especially likely if it affects all cuticle areas versus just an isolated finger.
Black or brown lines or spots should be looked at immediately as they have been reported as a common occurrence in those with melanoma – the most dangerous skin cancer known.
Cracked or brittle nails can be as benign as some malnutrition or as alarming as thyroid issues.
There are many OTC meds that promise to help clear up fungus and strengthen the weakest of nails, but ultimately, if you suspect there’s more to your nail health than just a simple diagnosis, it is best to consult with a doctor or dermatologist.