9 Things Your Nails Reveal About Your Health

Sucharitha V

Updated At  14 Dec 22

If you start paying attention to your body, you will notice that it can tell you a lot about your health and internal state.

According to American Academy of Dermatology (AAD):


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


Nail abnormalities like vertical lines on nails, rippled nails, horizontal ridges in thumbnails , dark vertical lines on nails can indicate problems with nail and overall health in general. So do pay attention to the indicators and take action if necessary.


1- Brittle nails


1. Brittle nails (Onychoschizia)

Brittleness of the nails, means that the nails become cracked, chipped, or peeled. It commonly occurs due to aging. Some other reasons for brittle nails are Vitamin A, B or C deficiency, fungal infection or hypothyroidism.

It can also occur due to the use of nail polish remover, excessive hand washing, or swimming.

To prevent your nails from becoming brittle, load up on vegetables and fruits high in essential vitamins or taking biotin supplements.

Consult your doctor before you start taking the supplements.


2- Clubbing


2. Clubbing

If the tips of your nails appear larger or starts to curve downwards, and there is an increase in the tissue around the ends of your fingers, then it can indicate lung disease, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, AIDS or liver disease. Consult your doctor to take opinion and necessary action.


Pitting Nails


3. Pitting Nails

When there are depressions in the surface of your nails, it is known as pitting nails or rippled nails.

It is an indicator of a skin condition known as psoriasis. It can also indicate alopecia areata, sarcoidosis, connective tissue disorders or an autoimmune disease.


White spots


4. White spots (leukonychia)

White spots on your nails are most likely caused by injury on the base of your nails or excessive use of nail polish.

These white spots are temporary and will heal itself in some time.


Yellow nails


5. Yellow nails

If you have yellow nails, it is a sign of fungal infection. If your nails are crumbly and thick, along with being yellow then you should treat it for fungal infection. However sometimes, yellow nails can be due to old age, smoking or use if acrylic nail polish.

In severe cases it can be an indicator of diabetes, thyroid, psoriasis, or lung disease.


White nails with a pink strip


6. White nails with a pink strip (Terry’s nail)

If you have white nails with a narrow pink strip at the top of your nails, it is known as Terry’s nail.

It could indicate congestive heart failure, kidney disease, diabetes, or liver disease. However, this can also occur due to aging.


Vertical ridges


7. Vertical ridges on nails

If you notice vertical ridges on your nails, it is mostly an indicator of aging. In some cases, vertical ridges on nails may be due to vitamin B12 and magnesium deficiencies.

To prevent this from happening, consume a diet rich in Vitamin B12 and magnesium.


Horizontal ridges on nails


8. Horizontal ridges on nails

Horizontal ridges can occur due to trauma or a serious illness with a high fever such as, pneumonia.

Horizontal ridges, known as Beau's lines, may be due to psoriasis, uncontrolled diabetes, circulatory disease, or severe zinc deficiency.

Another type of horizontal line is known as Mees' lines, which are horizontal discolorations that may be due to arsenic poisoning, Hodgkin's disease, malaria, leprosy, or carbon monoxide poisoning.


9- Dark lines on nails


9. Dark lines on nails

If you have dark vertical lines on your nails, that are slightly painful, then it might indicate melanoma, which is a severe form of skin cancer. In this case, consult a doctor immediately.


Knowing about these indicators can help you prevent many serious illnesses. You can also care for your nails and your body by eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated and exercising.

If you notice any of the signs on your nails mentioned above, do consult your doctor.


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