Monday, January 2, 2012



Nails and Health: Read the Signs

Did you know your nails can reveal clues to
your overall health? A touch of white here, a rosy tinge there, or some
rippling or bumps may be a sign of disease in the body. Problems in the
liver, lungs, and heart can show up in your nails. Keep reading to
learn what secrets your nails might reveal.

Pale Nails

Very pale nails are sometimes linked to
aging. But they can also be a sign of serious illness, such as:

· Anemia

· Congestive heart failure

· Diabetes
· Liver disease

· Malnutrition

White Nails

If the nails are mostly white with darker rims, this can indicate liver
problems, such as hepatitis. In this image, you can see the fingers are
also jaundiced, another sign of liver trouble.

Yellow Nails

One of the most common causes of yellow nails is a fungal
infection. As the infection worsens, the nail bed may retract, and
nails may thicken and crumble. In rare cases, yellow nails can indicate
a more serious condition such as severe thyroid disease or psoriasis

Bluish Nails

Nails with a bluish tint can mean the body isnt getting
enough oxygen. This could indicate an infection in the lungs, such as

Rippled Nails

If the nail surface is rippled or pitted, this may be an
early sign of psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis. Psoriasis is a skin
condition that starts in the nails 10% of the time.

Cracked or Split Nails

Dry, brittle nails that frequently crack
or split have been linked to thyroid disease. Cracking or splitting
combined with a yellowish hue is more likely due to a fungal infection


Puffy Nail Fold

If the skin around the nail appears red
and puffy, this is known as inflammation of the nail fold. It may be
the result of lupus or another connective tissue disorder.

Dark Lines Beneath the Nail

Dark lines beneath the nail should be
investigated as soon as possible. They are sometimes caused by
melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer.

Gnawed Nails

Biting your nails may be nothing more than
an old habit, but in some cases its a sign of persistent anxiety that
could benefit from treatment. Nail biting or picking has also been
linked to obsessive-compulsiv e disorder. If you cant stop, its worth
discussing with your doctor.

Nails Are Only Part of the Puzzle

Though nail changes accompany many
conditions, these changes are rarely the first sign. And many nail
abnormalities are harmless -- not everyone with white nails has
hepatitis. If youre concerned about the appearance of your nails, see
a skin doctor dermatologist or a Physician.


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