Did you know there is more to your fingernails that just their shape. You might prefer a manicure that suits their length and general growth, but did you know your fingernails can be a definite indicator of certain illnesses? By keeping a close tab on your fingernails, you can become wary of several internal health problems which might otherwise take long before your family doctor can diagnose.
We tell you what you can learn about your health from the colour, length, and condition of your fingernails.
1. Nails that resemble little spoons
There is a peculiar condition known as ‘spoon nails’ when the edges curl up and can actually hold a little bit of water. Usually it has been observed that people with spoon nails suffer from conditions such as liver disease, unhealthy thyroid glands, and iron deficiency among others. Don’t forget it could also be a symptom of an impending heart attack.
2. Brittle, cracked up nails
While you might blame your brittle nails on a manicure job not-so-well done, and wonder if it had anything to do with the overuse of acrylic nails and lack of proper care for them. In truth, this at the outset doesn’t have much to do with nail care and maintenance, it is actually a condition you are prone to regardless. Usually those with fragile nails that break or crack easily harbour various vitamin deficiencies, and can also be construed as a sign of ageing.
3. Little craters on your nails
If there are tiny pinpricks through the surface of your fingernails, you need to be on your guard. This could well be a symptom of psoriasis, it could also be a sign of a kind of tissue disorder. In addition to that it is also an indicative of a weak immune system, and over time this condition can even lead to sudden thinning of hair, to complete balding.
4. Nails with a yellowish tint
If the tips of your fingernails are yellow usually the cause is smoking or a fungal infection. It is also a result of using dark coloured nail polishes. But if your entire fingernail has a yellow tinge and begins to thicken, it could also be read as an early symptom of chronic bronchitis among other respiratory disorders.
5. Does your nail have splinters?
Splinter like hemorrhages or blood clots that appear underneath your fingernails have several reasons behind them. It is an indicator of tissue disorder, or the result of a recent trauma you have experienced.
6. When you have clubbed nails, like an overturned spoon
This condition called nail clubbing happens when your fingertips swell up and cover your nails. It is an indicator of lung disease, or blood lacking in oxygen. Among other causes liver disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, or even AIDS, are some of them.
7. Are there gigantic half-moons on your nails?
A lot of people have little half moons at the base of their nails, and that is fairly normal, but if they are big enough to occupy the whole of your nail, an alarm bell must definitely go up. It is a definite symptom of renal failure that is usually a risk with people with high blood pressure or diabetes. Be careful, go see a doctor if the moon rises to cover ove two thirds of your nail bed. This phenomenon is scientifically referred to as Terry’s Nails. Research on this condition has associated it also with liver failure. Rush to your doctor immediately when you spot this.