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.
Very pale nails are sometimes linked to
aging. But they can also be a sign of serious illness, such as:
· Congestive heart failure
· Liver disease
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.
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
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.
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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