What Do Your Nails Say About Your Health? Come Find Out.

what your nails say about your health

The human body is a complex, interconnected machine.

That's why when we fall sick or get a disease in a certain part of our body, the effects of it always show up somewhere else too.

The same is the case with our fingernails.

In this guide, I am going to show you how you can identify if you are suffering from any health problem just by looking at your finger and toenails.

So let's find out what your nails say about your health.

#1 Spoon-like Concave Nails

This condition is also called Koilonychia, and is a sign of severe iron deficiency anemia.

In this condition, the nails become really soft and brittle because of which they chip off easily and can be folded into a spoon-like shape.

#2 Club-like Nails

This condition is also called Clubbing because your fingers start resembling fat, bulbous clubs, and the nails naturally enlarge with them and become extremely convex.

It is seen in many diseases and disorders. But mainly in lung diseases, like tuberculosis, emphysema, and bronchiectasis, and in heart problems, like congenital cyanotic heart disease and subacute bacterial endocarditis.

Image source - Desherinka

#3 Yellow Nails

Painters often have colored nails. And so do Indians who add a lot of turmeric in their food (and eat with their hands).

But if you aren't either, then the yellowing of your nails can be a sign of multiple diseases. The most common of which is a fungal infection of the nails.

Other conditions include jaundice, severe thyroid disease, uncontrolled diabetes, psoriasis, and lung disease.

Image source

#4 Blue Nails

Bluish discoloration of your nails is a sign of cyanosis, which means your blood is not adequately oxygenated.

This is usually a manifestation of severe lung or heart disease that disrupts the oxygen cycle in your body.

Image Source - med-health

#5 Green Nails

Greenish discoloration of nails is again a sign of fungal infection. But can also be because of dye, paint, or contact with corroded copper objects.

Image source

#6 Black Nails

There are two reasons why your nails might be black.

One, you sustained an injury in the area because of ill-fitting shoes or an accident, and that caused a large blood clot to accumulate under your nail (a.k.a subungual hematoma).

Or you have a growing melanoma under your nail, which is a kind of skin cancer.

Image source

#7 White Nails

This condition is also called Leukonychia. And there are 3 types of it.

The most common type is also called leukonychia partialis, wherein white spots are seen on the fingernails (which are also called milk spots). And contrary to popular belief, it is not caused by calcium deficiency in your body.

The real reason is injury to the nail bed and the newly growing nail caused by nail biting or trauma.

But whitening of your nail can also be a sign of a medical crisis.

For example, in kidney failure, your entire nail goes white (a.k.a leukonychia totalis). While in arsenic or lead poisoning, or zinc and vitamin deficiencies, horizontal white bands are seen on your nail (a.k.a leukonychia striata).

Image source - deepspacedave / Shutterstock

#8 Horizontal Indents and Grooves

Deep horizontal grooves on your nails, close to the nail bed are also called Beau's lines. And while they can be caused by injury, they can also be the sign of various diseases, like fungal infection, myocardial infarction (heart attack), liver cirrhosis, mumps, measles, and diabetes.

Other causes include hypocalcemia (a.k.a calcium deficiency) and malnutrition.

Image source - Medscape

#9 Brittle Nails

Brittle nails are also called Onychorrhexis in medical verse. And it is usually caused by excessive use of soap and water or nail polish remover.

But they can also be a sign of various diseases, like hypothyroidism, anemia, bulimia, and anorexia.

Image source - NCBI

#10 Split Nails

Onycholysis is the term used to describe the painless detachment of nails from the nail bed either from the tip or from the sides. And while it usually happens to fingernails, it can also at times happen to toe nails.

This condition is caused by a few diseases, like psoriasis, fungal infection, and thyrotoxicosis. But can also be caused by trauma.

Image source

#11 Pincer Nails

This kind of deformative nail overgrowth is usually seen in old age wherein the sides of the nail start to fold over and grow towards each other, which pinches the nail bed like a crab's pincer.

But it can also be caused by ill-fitting shoes, excessive pedicures, malnutrition, diabetes, and liver diseases.

Image source

#12 Crumbling Nails

Severely disfigured and crumbly nails are a classic sign of fungal infection, and this is called Onychomycosis.

The infection affects all parts of the nail: matrix, bed, and plate. And is painful.

Image source - James Heilman, MD

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And we would love to hear your thoughts in the comments' section below.

Which out of these do you feel is the grossest nail of them all?

Let us know below.

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    Read more about: nails health
    Story first published: Saturday, September 16, 2017, 13:30 [IST]
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