Healthy fingernails should be pink with a touch of pinkish-white (moons) near the base. If your nails are dull-looking colour, or streaked with other colours, you may have a hidden health problem.
Our nails tell us a lot – they aren’t the only warning system of course, but can be helpful.
- Green nails usually indicates a bacterial infection
- Red streaks in the nail bed could be a warning sign of a heart valve infection
- Blue nails are an indication that your blood oxygen levels are low
- Dull nails generally indicate a vitamin deficiency
- White nails could be a signal of liver disease such as hepatitis
- Dark stripes at the top of the nails are often associated with ageing and possible congestive heart failure
Here are some more signs to look for:
Very thick nails:
- Are not normal – they should be strong, but they should not be too thick.
Unusually thick nails could signal:
- Lung disease
- If also rough-textured as well as thick, might can point to a fungal infection
- Thyroid disease or psoriasis especially if separated
- A circulation problem
- Allergy if they just suddenly get thick.
Are when they seem to flake away in layers, they could be due to:
- A deficiency in folate, Vitamin C and protein
- Psoriasis, especially if combined with a pitted nail bed (base)
- Chronic malnutrition
Concave (spoon) nails:
Are nails which are soft and curve upwards forming a dip that is often big enough to hold water, and may signal a number of internal issues:
- Iron deficiency anaemia
- Hemachromatosis, a liver disorder where your body absorbs and stores too much iron
- Heart disease
Very often as your health challenge is sorted out, your nails will return to normal in time
- A connective tissue disorder
- Alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder which causes sections of hair loss
- Zinc deficiency (if the pit forms a line across the middle of your nail)
On nails are not natural, and may indicate:
- Iron deficiency
- Hypothyroidism or other thyroid issues
- Inflammatory arthritis
- Lupus (red lines at the base of your nails)
Dry, brittle nails:
mean you should check your hormone levels and your gut flora could be dysregulated as a result of antibiotics or other medications, trauma etc:
- Thyroid disease tends to lead to brittle, dry fingernails that crack and split easily
- Fungus can make nails dry and unattractive
are when your skin swells around the nail, or if the nails seem to have puffed around your fingers, they are then called “clubbed” and may mean:
- Lung disease of some sort, especially if you already have trouble breathing
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Liver disease of some kind
If you are concerned, your nail signs could motivate you to see help.
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Originally published on https://www.facebook.com/SallyAnnCreedSA/ in 2020.