These 9 things your nails tell about your health

Reading your health from your nails? That doesn’t exactly sound like the most logical place to examine your health. Yet it turns out that your nails can give a lot of signs when it comes to your health. Or rather: the problem with it. These 9 things your nails tell about your health.

Surprisingly enough, your nails can indeed reveal something about your health. How do you do that? To find out, it is first important to know how a healthy nail actually looks like.

Your nails and your health

Dana Sterm, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology, says, “Healthy fingernails have white tips and a smooth finish with a subtle sheen.” In addition, your nail beds should be flesh colored, cuticles intact and well moisturized.

If your nail color, shape or structure looks different, you may be looking at the status of your fingernail. indication can give a deeper problem of you overall healthsays Stern. Unless you’ve been scrubbing the house all weekend or working with your hands a lot, of course, then your nails may look a bit more battered than usual.

These nail problems say something about your health

So pay close attention to the health of your nails, because the following nail problems can also say something about your overall health:

1. Dents in your nail

Does the surface of your nails have small dents? These are called pits. If these appear for no apparent reason, it could indicate an autoimmune disease or condition where your body mistakenly attacks healthy cells, leading to inflammation.

2. A hollow nail

If you have a hollow nail, a bit like a spoon, it’s called ‘koilonychia’. It can be a normal (age-related) change in your nails, but it can also indicate iron deficiency anemia or another condition where there is not enough iron in your body.

3. White nails

If the lower part of your nail (close to the cuticle) is white, and the part that is still attached to the nail bed is pink, then those are ‘half-and-half nails’ or ‘Lindsay called nails. The cause of this is often still unclear, says Stern. It can be genetic or a symptom of a more serious problem, such as chronic kidney disease.

4. Brown and black stripes

A dark brown or black stripe or pigment spots around your nail often indicate benign moles or pigment spots.

5. Yellow nails

You usually get yellow nails from (a lot of) smoking and by using a lot of nail polish. So no stress! However, there is also such a thing as ‘yellow nail syndrome’, a rare condition. Your nails are then thick and have a yellow to green tint.

6. Your nails turn blue

Blue nails can mean that there is not enough oxygen in the bloodstream. This can happen with all kinds of medical conditions such as pneumonia, but also with poisoning.

7. Nails turn green

If your nails turn green, you may have a bacterial infection under your nail.

8. Nails detach from the nail bed

If your nails separate from the nail bed, this is likely a sign of onycholysis. In principle, this does not hurt and is more common if you have long nails. It is seen as a trauma to the nail, for example when you have filed your nails too much or exposed your nails a lot to chemicals during a manicure.

9. Ridges in the middle of your nail

If you get ridges in the middle of your nail, this can also indicate a ‘nail trauma’. For example, because you pick at your cuticles. You accidentally traumatize the cells in the cuticle, making the nail grow out less smoothly.

Do your nails look different from normal nails? Then it is best not to ignore those signs, but to go to the doctor to investigate whether there are other underlying problems.

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These 9 things your nails tell about your health

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