Secrets that your nails can tell
The nails are horny plates (a claw homologue) on the back surface of the ends of the fingers of the upper and lower extremities of most primates. Nails are derivatives of the epidermis. Onychology is the official science dealing with the diagnosis of the state of the nails.
Nails are often viewed as a purely aesthetic characteristic, and $ 768 million that buyers 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 manicure delicacies.
Everyone knows that the human body has many indicators of health, with proper monitoring of which you can save yourself from a lot of problems. Doctors refer your nails to one of such indicators.
The shape, structure and color of your natural nails are a kind of “window” into your body, and although some changes in nails may be harmless cosmetic defects, others may indicate chronic diseases, including cancer, notes the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
To begin, we are in a hurry to reassure you: vertical combs 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 an average of 3.5 millimeters per month, but this is affected by your diet, medication, injuries, chronic diseases and the aging process itself.
If you notice any significant changes with your nails, including swelling, discoloration, shape or thickness, contact your dermatologist immediately. This may not mean anything, but 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 those health problems with which they may be associated.
1. Fading and fading
According to Julia Zi, a dermatologist at the New York Medical Center, discoloration or pallor of the nails, which was not previously observed, may indicate problems with the nail plate.
"If such spots appear, this can serve as the primary signs of the development of melanoma of the nail plate," the doctor explains.
2. Yellowish shade
“If the nails have acquired a yellowish tint, this may indicate the presence of psoriasis,” the doctor notes.
Also, according to some experts, the yellow color of the nails indicates the emerging problems with the liver.
Your nails may turn yellow with age or due to the use of acrylic linings or nail polish.
Smoking cigarettes also paints the nails in a yellowish tint.
If your nails are thick, crumbling and yellow, a fungal infection may be the cause.
Less commonly, yellowing of the nails can be associated with thyroid disease, diabetes, psoriasis, or respiratory diseases (such as chronic bronchitis).
3. bluish tint
No less disturbing and this signal - the appearance of a bluish tint (cyanosis).
According to Dr. Andrea Weil from Harvard Medical School, this may indicate a low level of hemoglobin, problems with blood circulation and the respiratory system.
4. White spots
They can appear and disappear. Many 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.
Moreover, if horizontal white stripes began to appear on the nails, this indicates a kidney disease, warns Julia Zi. This state 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 by themselves.
Less commonly, white spots that do not disappear may 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 high fever (for example, scarlet fever or pneumonia).
John Anthony, MD, a 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 nails, "and stops their growth. "
Horizontal combs, also known as Bo transverse lines (another name for Bo Reil's furrow), can be caused by psoriasis, uncontrolled diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, or severe zinc deficiency.
Another type of horizontal striation, known as the Mies line, is characterized by horizontal color changes.
Mies lines can be caused by arsenic poisoning, Hodgkin's disease, malaria, leprosy, or carbon monoxide poisoning.
6. Cross "grooves"
According to the doctor, the presence of small depressions on the surface of the nail may indicate that a person is constantly under severe stress.
The second reason is a metabolic disorder.
And finally, the third - a nail injury.
7. Longitudinal lines
Most often, thin longitudinal lines on the nails are found in older people, due to this phenomenon age-related changes in the body.
However, sometimes the stripes can occur in young people.
In this case, the appearance of longitudinal lines may indicate that a person does not use enough liquid.
8. Dry, exfoliated, 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 systems and, in particular, be the first harbinger of diabetes.
Lifestyle factors 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 (such as cleaning products), or live in an area with very low humidity.
Cracking and splitting nails can also be caused by a fungal infection or a disease of the thyroid gland, especially hypothyroidism.
Nail brittleness is often caused by a deficiency in vitamins A and C or in vitamins of group B.
9. Thickening of terminal phalanges in the form of “drumsticks”
The fingers gradually increase, as if flattened out in the terminal phalanges, and the nails are bent down and flattened.
This symptom can be a sign of low oxygen in your blood associated with a lung disease.
It is also associated with liver and kidney diseases, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease and AIDS.
10. Vertical ridges
Such changes are usually considered a normal sign of aging, not causing concern.
Vertical relief 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. False-shaped nails (or koilony)
Nails curved 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 pits or dents, this may be the first sign of psoriasis.
Nail pigmentation is also caused by diseases of the connective tissue (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 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 pink stripes
If your nails are mostly white with a narrow pink stripe at the top, known as Terry's nails, this may 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.
This is what healthy nails should look like !
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