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Your Nails Are Health Indicators



By Diane Hanson

Do yourself a huge favor, and look closely at your unpolished fingernails under a good light. Did you know that your nails can be indicators of possible health problems?

Many diseases and conditions manifest themselves on the nails, and if you know how to read these signs, you could be warned in advance about a health condition you were unaware of.


Nails Signs of Disease

1. Complete nail loss is possibly due to trauma.


2. Loose nail plate can be caused by injury, nail psoriasis, fungal or bacterial infections, medicines, chemotherapy, thyroid disease,

Raynaud’s phenomenon or lupus.


3. Wasting away of nails or nail loses luster and becomes smaller may be a sign of injury or disease.


4. Thickened nail plate can indicate poor circulation, fungal infection or a mild, persistent trauma to the nail.


5. Pitted nails sometimes with yellow to brown "oil" spots may be a sign of eczema or psoriasis, or a hair loss condition.


6. Very soft nails are likely to be caused by contact with strong alkali. It may be also associated with malnutrition, endocrine problems or chronic arthritis.


7. Spoon-shaped nails may indicate an iron deficiency or a thyroid disease.


8. Club-like nails growing around swollen finger ends are indicative of chronic respiratory or heart problems, or cirrhosis of the liver.


9. Horizontal ridges on fingernails may suggest an injury, infection or a nutrition deficiency.


10. Longitudinal ridges could be signs of aging, poor absorption of vitamins and minerals, thyroid disease, or kidney failure.


11. Split, brittle fingernails may be due to nail dryness, nails in contact with irritating substances such as detergents, chemicals or polish remover; or a silica deficiency.


12. Infected nails (red, tender, swollen, pus) may be signs of a bacterial or yeast infection.


13. Overlarge moons on nails may show an overactive thyroid, genetics, or a self-induced trauma (habit tic).


14. No moons on fingernail may suggest an underactive thyroid.



Discolored Nails Health Indicators

1. Colorless nails may indicate anemia.


2. Red or deep pink nails can indicate a tendency to poor peripheral circulation.


3. Blue nails may show that the blood may not be receiving adequate oxygen due to respiratory disorders, cardiovascular problems, or lupus erythermatosus.


4. Yellow nails could indicate fungus, diabetes, psoriasis, use of tetracycline, or heredity.


5. White, crumbly, soft nails may be a result of a fungus infection.


6. Half white/half pink nails may indicate fungal infection or, more seriously, kidney disease.


7. Small white patches on fingernails are usually a sign of injury to the nail matrix.


8. Purple or black nails are usually caused by trauma, or may also be a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency. A brown or black streak that begins at the base of the nail and extends to its tip could be a diagnostic clue to a potentially dangerous melanoma.



If you happen to spot any of these signs on your fingernails, don't panic. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice. Don't wait, nail that health problem now.



nails health problems

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