10 Nail Symptoms and What They Mean for Your Health

10 Nail Symptoms and What They Mean for Your Health


Did you understand that the color, texture, and shape of the nails are all a window into the body? Although some nail signs are harmless, others may suggest chronic disease, even cancer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology,

” Nails often reflect our general state of health. Changes in the nail, such as discoloration or thickening, can signal health problems consisting of liver and kidney illness, heart and lung conditions, anemia, and diabetes.”

Even the growth of your nails may signify your underlying health. Healthy nails grow up to 3.5 millimeters on a monthly basis, however elements like medications, injury, dietary status, and aging process have a big effect on their development.

In case you notice any changes in your nails, such as changes fit and density, discoloration, or swelling, consult a skin specialist as soon as possible. Although the change may be harmless, often something as serious as diabetes might be the cause.

10 Nail Signs and What They Mean for Your Health

1. Yellow Nails

There are many reasons why your nails may yellow, such as aging, smoking cigarettes, and usage of nail polish and acrylic nails. If they are yellow, crumbly, and thick, it is most likely that a fungal infection is the underlying cause. Although hardly ever, conditions like thyroid illness, diabetes, breathing disease, and psoriasis could likewise be to blame.

2. Dry, Cracked or Brittle Nails

Lifestyle factors play a substantial function in this case, such as if you are exposed to chemicals, live in an area with low humidity, have your hands in water very typically, or usage nails polish remover on a routine basis.

Fungal infection and thyroid illness, especially hypothyroidism, might also be the reasons for breaking and splitting. Brittle nails might arise from deficiency in biotin or vitamins A and C.

3. Clubbing

Clubbing is explained as augmentation of the fingertips, accompanied with the nail ending up being curved downward. It can be related to low oxygen in the blood and lung disease along with heart disease, inflammatory bowel illness, kidney illness, and AIDS.

4. White Spots

White spots on the nails are normally sign of nail trauma. They are typically not a big deal, and tend to disappear or grow out in a while by themselves. In some instances, they might show a fungal infection.

5. Horizontal Ridges

According to John Anthony, M.D., a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio “This is usually the outcome of direct injury to the nail or a more major illness, where case you’ll see it on more than one nail at a time … Your body is actually saying, ‘I’ve got better things to do than make nails’ and pauses their development.”

Likewise understood as Beau’s lines, horizontal ridges might likewise be outcome of unchecked diabetes, zinc shortage, circulatory disease, or psoriasis. On the other hand, another type of horizontal line called Mees ‘lines might be because of malaria, leprosy, carbon monoxide poisoning, arsenic poisoning, and Hodgkin’s disease.

6. Vertical Ridges

Vertical ridges are most typical in older individuals, as they are indication of aging and are not a cause for issue. In many cases, vertical ridges may be a sign of nutrient shortage like shortage in magnesium and vitamin B12.

7. Spoon Nails

If the nails curve up at the edges, resembling a spoon, it is extremely likely that you are deficient in iron or struggle with cardiovascular disease or hypothyroidism.

8. Pitting

Having several pits on the nails is generally an indication of psoriasis. “Normally, pitting takes place in around half of individuals with psoriasis and 80 percent of individuals with psoriatic arthritis,” Chen states. Nail pitting may be also brought on by connective tissue disorders or alopecia areata, the illness that causes hair loss.

9. Dark Discolorations

If you see black streaks and unpleasant development on the nail, speak with a doctor immediately as they might be because of cancer malignancy.

10. White Nails with a Strip of Pink

If your nails are white with a strip of pink, it may show congestive heart failure, diabetes, kidney failure, or liver disease.

Basic Nail Care Tips

Consume a balanced, whole-food diet (high in protein, anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals).
Protect the nails from extreme exposure to water or chemicals.
Reduce making use of nail polish and artificial nails.
Keep the nails cut reasonably short.
Rub some coconut oil onto the nails on a routine basis to keep them hydrated.