6 Things That Show the Relationship Between Your Nails and Health

Written by Pliro
Feb 9, 2017 Last updated: Feb 9, 2017

We often miss out on the seemingly trivial details when looking at the big picture. By and large, we consider major health issues to stem from commonplace diseases and symptoms. However, we need to remember that it is not always just about the lungs or heart or liver. It may be about the hands, the fingers or even the nails. Yes, nails play an important part in determining the status of your health. Here are a few things that highlight the relationship between your nails and health.

Dry or Brittle Nails

Nails become dry or brittle due to various reasons. Dryness can occur when nails are exposed to chemicals, such as those found in detergents, nail polish removers, or chlorine in swimming pools. Sometimes, dryness on the nail plate is also an indication of aging. Moreover, brittle nails may even be a sign of a thyroid disorder, whereby the nail plate separates itself from the nail bed. Shea butter, glycerin or hydrating lotions are recommended to prevent dryness in nails and if the problem persists then a doctor should be seen.

Pitted Nails

Pitting or grooving occurs in the form of small cracks or depressions in the nail bed. This is usually linked with psoriasis, which is a disease that leads to red patches or scales on the entire body. Cells cluster along the nail bed and disrupt the growth of a normal nail. As a result, these cells leave behind grooves or depressions on the surface. This condition can be treated by taking oral or injected medication as well as a light therapy for the finger tips.

Yellowing Nails

Wearing too much nail polish is the most common reason for yellowing nails. This is because the colored coating prevents moisture from penetrating the nail or skin. Smoking may also be a cause of yellow nails since it stains the nails and gives them a yellow hue. Furthermore, according to Shape, Dr Agarwal says that “Thickened nails, with or without a yellow-ish tone, are characteristic of fungal infections that generally traverse the entire nail bed”.

White Lines or Spots

White spots are considered to be the cause of a calcium deficiency, but not in a serious way. They may even be the cause of trauma or hitting something against the nails. However, white stripes are supposed to be a far more serious matter. They may be an indication of kidney diseases, liver disease or lack of calcium or proteins. This is usually because white stripes are said to be caused by a blood supply problem to the nail bed.

Blue Nails

Blue nails, like a blue face, indicate a lack of oxygen to the fingertips and nails. This is most commonly associated to a rare disorder of the blood vessels called Raynaud’s disease. In other words, a respiratory disease or vascular problem could be caused due to slower blood circulation, especially in cold temperatures. To avoid this, it is best to wear gloves or mittens when it starts to get cold. Taking extremely cold baths may also result in cold blue nails. It is usually temporary, but should be looked at by a physician if the problem persists.

Black Lines

Black lines or stripes appear due to a condition known as melanoma. Melanoma is one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancers. It occurs when the ultraviolet rays of the sun penetrate the skin, causing painful growths inside the nail beds. Nail polish, in this case, is a good idea since it prevents sunlight from penetrating directly through the nails. It is also a good idea to layer yourself with sunscreen with a high SPF.

All in all, discoloration of any sort on the nails should be looked at first and foremost. You should also be able to tell if your nail gets chipped off easily or if your fingertips seem dry. Nails might seem like the last thing one should fuss about when it comes to health. On the contrary, it is important to give them a look every once in a while, to be sure that no major health issue is approaching. It makes us realize how important each and every element of our body is and how no tiny detail should be overlooked.