Secrets that your nails can tell
Nails are horny plates (homolog of claws) on the back surface of the ends of the fingers of the upper and lower extremities of most primates. Nails are derived from the epidermis. Onychology is the official science dealing with the diagnosis of the nail condition.
Nails are often treated as a purely aesthetic characteristic, and the $ 768 million that consumers spend annually on nail polish only in the US can confirm this. But your nails - it's much more than a playground for a variety of fashions masters of manicure.
Everyone knows that the human body has many indicators of health, if properly monitored, one can get rid of a lot of problems. To one of such indicators doctors include your nails .
The shape, texture and color of your natural nails is a kind of "window" in your body, and although some nail changes can be harmless cosmetic defects, others may indicate chronic diseases, including cancer, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) notes.
For a start, we hasten to reassure you: vertical ridges or white spots on your nails are usually safe.
However, nail changes, such as discoloration or thickening, may indicate health problems, including liver and kidney disease, cardiopulmonary disorders, anemia and diabetes.
Even the growth rate of your nails can give an idea of your overall health. Healthy nails grow by an average of 3.5 millimeters per month, but this affects your nutrition, medication, trauma, chronic diseases and the very process of aging.
If you notice any significant changes with your nails, including swelling, discoloration, shape or thickness, contact your dermatologist immediately. This may mean nothing, however, perhaps the reason for these changes is a certain state of your health (for example, problems with nails are more common in people with diabetes).
Below are 10 symptoms of nail change and those health problems with which they may be related.
1. Fading and fading
According to the dermatologist of the medical center of New York, Julia Zi, the discoloration or pallor of the nails, which had not previously been observed, may indicate problems with the nail plate.
"If such spots appear, it can serve as primary signs of melanoma development in the nail plate," the doctor explains.
2. Yellowish shade
"If the nails have acquired a yellowish shade, this may indicate the presence of psoriasis," the doctor notes.
Also, according to a number of experts, the yellow color of the nails speaks of the emerging problems with the liver.
Your nails can turn yellow with age or because of the use of acrylic lining or nail polish.
Smoking cigarettes also stains the nails in a yellowish tinge.
If your nails are thick, crumbling and yellow, the cause of this can be a fungal infection.
Less often the yellowness of the nails can be associated with thyroid disease, diabetes, psoriasis or respiratory diseases (such as chronic bronchitis).
3. Bluish hue
No less anxious, and this signal - the appearance of a bluish hue (cyanosis).
According to Dr. Andrea Weil of Harvard Medical School, this may indicate a low level of hemoglobin, problems with blood circulation and respiratory system.
4. White spots
They can then appear, then disappear. Many people prefer not to attach importance to this, but in vain.
Small white spots of different shapes indicate a lack of zinc or calcium in the body.
At the same time, if horizontal white stripes appear on the nails, it indicates a kidney disease, warns Julia Zi. This state has a separate name - leukonichia.
Small white spots on the nails usually appear as a result of a nail injury. They do not cause concern and will gradually disappear by themselves.
Rarely, white spots that do not disappear can be caused by a fungal infection.
5. Horizontal ridges and strips
Horizontal ridges and streaks can be caused by trauma or a serious illness accompanied by fever (for example, scarlet fever or pneumonia).
John Anthony, MD, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, explained this:
"This is usually the result of a direct injury to the nail or a more serious illness, but in the latter case you will see a sign on more than one nail ... Your body literally says," I have more important things to do than to make nails, "and stops their growth ".
Horizontal ridges, also known as transverse lines of Bo (another name for Bo Reil's furrow), can also be caused by psoriasis, uncontrolled diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, or severe shortage of zinc.
Another type of horizontal striation, known as the Misa line, is characterized by horizontal color changes.
Misa lines can be caused by arsenic poisoning, Hodgkin's disease, malaria, leprosy or carbon monoxide poisoning.
6. Transverse grooves
According to the doctor, the presence of small depressions on the surface of the nail can indicate that a person is constantly experiencing great stress.
The second reason is a metabolic disorder.
And, finally, the third one is nail trauma.
7. Longitudinal lines
Most often, thin longitudinal lines on the nails occur in the elderly, this phenomenon is due to age-related changes in the body.
However, sometimes, striae can occur in young people.
In this case, the appearance of longitudinal lines may indicate that a person does not consume enough fluid.
8. Dry, exfoliating, cracked or brittle nails
There are several reasons for this - among the most common doctors note the lack of vitamins A, E, D, as well as iron and zinc.
In addition, brittle and exfoliating nails can indicate problems in the endocrine and cardiovascular system and, in particular, be the first harbinger of diabetes.
Lifestyle factors can play an important role here (for example, if your hands are often in the water - washing dishes, swimming, etc.).
This is possible if you regularly use a nail polish remover, are exposed to chemicals (for example, cleaning agents) or live in areas with very low humidity.
Cracking and splitting of nails can also be caused by a fungal infection or thyroid disease, especially hypothyroidism.
Fragility of nails is often caused by a deficiency of vitamins A and C or B vitamins.
9. Thickening of the terminal phalanges of the fingers in the form of "drumsticks"
The fingers gradually increase, as if flattened in the terminal phalanges, and the nails curl down and flatten.
This symptom may be a sign of a low level of oxygen in your blood, associated with lung disease.
It also happens due to liver and kidney disease, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease and AIDS.
10. Vertical ridges
Such changes are usually considered a normal sign of aging, not worrying.
Vertical relief strips can become more visible with age.
However, in some cases, the nail ridges speak of a lack of nutrients, including vitamin B 12 and magnesium.
11. Spoon-shaped nails (or coilonichia)
Nails, curved around the edges so that they look like a spoon, can be a sign of iron deficiency anemia, hemochromatosis (excess iron absorption), heart disease or hypothyroidism.
12. Pitting corrosion
If your nails have multiple pits or dents, this may be the first sign of psoriasis.
Pigmentation of the nails is also caused by connective tissue diseases (including Reiter's syndrome), focal alopecia or autoimmune disease, which causes hair loss.
13. Dark spots
Black streaks or painful growths on your nail will guarantee you an immediate visit to your doctor, as they can be caused by melanoma - the most dangerous, often deadly form of skin cancer.
14. White nails with stripes of pink color
If your nails are mostly white with a narrow pink strip at the top, known as Terry's nails - this can be a sign of liver disease, congestive heart failure, kidney failure, or diabetes.
True, sometimes Terry's nails are just the result of the natural aging of the body.
That's how healthy nails should look !
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