Secrets Your Nails Can Tell
Nails are horn plates (claw homolog) on the back of the fingertips of the upper and lower extremities of most primates. Nails are derivatives of the epidermis. Onychology is the official science involved in diagnosing the condition of nails.
Nails are often considered a purely aesthetic characteristic, and the $ 768 million that consumers spend annually on nail polish in the US alone can confirm this. But your nails are much more than a platform for a variety of delights of masters of manicure.
Everyone knows that the human body has many health indicators, with proper monitoring of which you can rid yourself of a lot of problems. Doctors refer your nails to one of these indicators.
The shape, structure, and color of your natural nails is a kind of “window” into your body, and although some changes in nails can be harmless cosmetic defects, others can indicate chronic diseases, including cancer, says the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
To begin with, we hasten to reassure you: vertical crests 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 is affected by your nutrition, medication, injuries, chronic diseases and the aging process itself.
If you notice any significant changes with your nails, including swelling, discoloration, shape or thickness, consult a dermatologist immediately. This may not mean anything, however, perhaps the reason for these changes is a certain state of your health (for example, nail problems are more common in people with diabetes).
Below are 10 symptoms of nail changes and the health problems with which they may be associated.
1. Fading and fading
According to the dermatologist of the New York Medical Center, Julia Zi, discoloration or pallor of nails, which was not previously observed, may indicate problems with the nail plate.
“If such spots appear, this may be the primary signs of development of melanoma of the nail plate,” the doctor explains.
2. Yellowish tint
“If the nails become yellowish, this may indicate the presence of psoriasis,” the doctor notes.
Also, according to some experts, the yellow color of the nails indicates emerging problems with the liver.
Your nails may turn yellow with age or due to the use of acrylic pads or nail polish.
Cigarette smoking also stains nails in a yellowish tint.
If your nails are thick, crumbly, and yellow, a fungal infection may be causing this.
Less commonly, yellowness of nails may be associated with thyroid disease, diabetes, psoriasis, or respiratory diseases (such as chronic bronchitis).
3. Bluish tint
No less disturbing is this signal - the appearance of a bluish tint (cyanosis).
According to Dr. Andrea Weil of Harvard Medical School, this may indicate low hemoglobin levels, problems with blood circulation and the respiratory system.
4. White spots
They can either appear or disappear. Many prefer not to attach importance to this, but in vain.
Small white spots of various shapes indicate a lack of zinc or calcium in the body.
At the same time, if horizontal white stripes began to appear on the nails, this indicates kidney disease, Julia Zi warns. This condition has a separate name - leukonychia.
Small white spots on the nails usually appear as a result of a nail injury. They do not cause concern and will gradually disappear on their own.
Less commonly, white spots that do not disappear can be caused by a fungal infection.
5. Horizontal ridges and stripes
Horizontal ridges and stripes can be caused by trauma or a serious illness accompanied by fever (such as scarlet fever or pneumonia).
John Anthony, MD, dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, explained it this way:
“This is usually the result of a direct nail injury 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 doing nails, ”and stops their growth. "
Horizontal ridges, also known as Bo transverse lines (another name for the Bo Reyl furrow), can also be caused by psoriasis, uncontrolled diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or severe zinc deficiency.
Another type of horizontal striation, known as the Misa lines, 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 may indicate that a person is constantly experiencing severe stress.
The second reason is metabolic disorder.
And finally, the third is a nail injury.
7. Longitudinal lines
Most often, thin longitudinal lines on the nails are found in older people, this phenomenon is caused by age-related changes in the body.
However, sometimes strips can occur in young people.
In this case, the appearance of longitudinal lines may indicate that the person is not drinking enough fluid.
8. Dry, exfoliating, cracked, or brittle nails
There are several reasons for this - among the most common doctors note a 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 nail polish remover, are exposed to chemicals (such as cleaning products), 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.
The fragility of nails is often caused by a deficiency of vitamins A and C or vitamins of group B.
9. Thickening of the terminal phalanges of the fingers in the form of "drum sticks"
The fingers gradually increase, as if they are flattened in the terminal phalanges, and the nails bend down and flatten.
This symptom may be a sign of low oxygen levels in your bloodstream associated with lung disease.
It can also be associated with 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 a concern.
Vertical embossed stripes may become more noticeable with age.
However, in some cases, the nail ridges indicate a lack of nutrients, including vitamin B 12 and magnesium.
11. Spoon-shaped nails (or koilonychia)
Nails bent around the edges so that they look like a spoon can be a sign of iron deficiency anemia, hemochromatosis (excessive absorption of iron), heart disease, or hypothyroidism.
12. Pitting corrosion
If your nails have multiple fossae or dents, this may be the first sign of psoriasis.
Nail pigmentation is also caused by connective tissue diseases (including Reiter's syndrome), focal alopecia, or an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.
13. Dark spots
Black streaks or painful growths on your nail guarantee you an immediate visit to your doctor, as they can be caused by melanoma - the most dangerous, often fatal form of skin cancer.
14. White nails with pink stripes
If your nails are mostly white with a narrow pink stripe at the top, known as Terry nails, this could be a sign of liver disease, congestive heart failure, kidney failure, or diabetes.
True, sometimes Terry's nails are just the result of the body's natural aging.
Here's what healthy nails should look like !
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