Our eyes can be the windows of the soul, but your nails can be the window to your general health. It turns out that having strong nails is not only beneficial for your manicure. Certain nail symptoms may be a greater indication of health problems.
According to John Anthony, MD, a dermatologist at the Clevland Clinic in Ohio and Debra Jaliman, MD, a dermatologist based in New York and author of Skin Rules there are certain symptoms in the nails that you should not ignore.
Below you will find the most common health warning signs that your nails will show you.
Yellow Nails: According to WebMD, yellow nails are one of the most common warning signs your nails can give. They add that one of the most common causes of yellow nails is a fungal infection. But in rare cases, they also say it may indicate a more serious condition, such as diabetes, thyroid disease or lung disease. Dr. Anthony adds that yellow nails can also be a cause of smoking, which can stain the nails. So you may want to quit if you notice that your nails are constantly yellow, he adds.
Broken or brittle nails: According to Dr. Jailman, cracked or brittle nails may be a sign that the nail is extremely dry. WebMD adds that broken or brittle nails have been linked to thyroid disease. Dr. Jailman explains that hypothyroidism sometimes causes this side effect as well. Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid is not producing enough hormones.
Boned nails: According to MedicineNet the sting of the nails is caused by the defective development of the layers of the nail plate, and is common for those suffering from psoriasis. They add that nail bites can affect up to 50% of people suffering from this condition. Dr. Jailman suggests that if you experience bites or dents in the nails, you should talk to your doctor.
Ribbed nails: Dr. Anthony explains that the reason why people will see horizontal ridges on their nails is that there could be a direct trauma to the nail, or it could also be a cause of a more serious illness , in which case you will see it in more than one nail. He adds that the reason why this happens is that his body is working overtime to try to fight the disease, so he is saving his energy for the rest of the body that needs it most. In basic terms, your body says "nails are not important enough to get energy."
Bleyed or dark lines below: WebMD mentions that discoloration or a dark line on the nail is sometimes caused by melanoma; which is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Dr. Anthony explains it by saying that the melanoma that comes from the nail is extremely serious and can also cause a black line or a line on the nail. Then, if you notice this, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Nail Biting: According to Medical Daily the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM) classifies nail biting as one of the symptoms of the disorder obsessive compulsive. However, this does not mean that everyone who bites their nails has this disorder, but Dr. Jailman explains that when this habit becomes excessive, you should consult your doctor.
Bluish Nails: WebMD explains that when your nails become bluish, it is a sign that the body may not be getting enough oxygen. The possible causes could be pulmonary and cardiac problems. If you notice that this happens continuously, you should consult your doctor.
White spots: There is a myth that white spots on the nails mean calcium deficiency. But Dr. Anthony explains that this is not usually the case. He adds that white spots are not very significant since they are often the result of a trauma, like hitting a finger with something.
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