If you are like most people, you spend so much time painting, buffing, shaping and trimming your nails–or if you are lucky, pay someone else to do it–but you may not spend any time at all observing your nails when they are bare. This means you may be missing a lot: odd colors, stripes, missing spots or other telltale signs that something is going on with your body that is not exactly good news. Visiting the spa is not a substitute for seeing a physician, if you have any health concerns – consult a licensed physician immediately.
Your Nails Can Alert You of Health Issues
We pay close attention to our clients’ nails. Our Bellezza signature manicure service and popular signature pedicure service puts the focus on you and your nails, leaving your nails looking beautiful and adding to your peace of mind. Set aside some time for luxury that could benefit your health by calling or by setting up an appointment online. For some useful information on nail health, keep reading the article below!
Regarding the brightness of your nails, the issue may not be black and white. If the beds of your fingernails look a bit ghostly, you may be suffering from a low red blood cell count, which is a disorder referred to by your doctor as anemia. Some medical professionals with a focus on integrative and holistic medicine, as well as family medicine, states that anemia results from low iron levels, which ultimately leads to too little oxygen in the blood. This causes tissues and skin to feature a pale hue, and this is particularly obvious under your nails. To combat this, boost your levels of iron with red meat, beans, green leafy vegetables and other good sources of iron.
Certain diseases, such as liver disorders or diabetes are a bit more serious and pale nails could also be an indication of these conditions. However, many physicians state that dietary changes are often all that is necessary to control diabetes if it is caught early. For example, you should avoid refined carbohydrates and sugar in lieu of vegetables, whole grains and fiber containing foods. This is because these limit circulatory damage and help stabilize blood sugar levels. If you suspect you may have liver disease, it is time to schedule an appointment as soon as possible with your physician.
Thickening or Yellowing
Yellow nails are definitely gross, and do not look very pretty. However, this is your body’s way of telling you that you may have a fungal infection. Nails that are thick or feature a yellow tone may be a sign that fungal infection has affected the entire nail bed. Some doctors believe that topical medicines often do little or no good, as the infection is underneath the nail plate and such remedies will not effectively reach the problem area. Fortunately, your physician can recommend oral medication that will reach the entire infected nail and clear up the infection.
Even if you are someone who is diligent about checking your skin for moles or other lesions that look questionable, you may not ever give thought to checking your nail beds. However, this is a place where dangerous melanomas may often go unnoticed. Black or dark brown vertical lines on the bed of the nail are not something to be ignored, Argarwal warns. This is because they are often a classic sign of melanoma, the latter of which is a cancer that must be detected and treated early in order to avoid it spreading to other parts of your body.
Take nail polish and artificial nails off on a regular basis so you can examine your nails. Then, feel free to go indulge in that manicure. This is because sunlight is unable to penetrate through nail polish, and therefore any colored shade creates an adequate barrier from the sun’s rays. This is also a good idea because the smooth surface of your nails makes it difficult for the absorption of sunscreen, and therefore such products do not help much with regard to protecting your nails.
Grooving and Pitting
Small cracks and depressions in your nails are also referred to as “pitting” and often go hand-in-hand with an inflammatory disease called psoriasis, which causes red or scaly patches of skin on different parts of your body. People who suffer from psoriasis often develop cell clusters that disrupt the nails’ normal smooth growth by accumulating along the nail bed. Once the cells are sloughed off, depressed areas or grooves are left behind on the nail’s surface. Typically, a physical exam is all that is necessary to receive a diagnosis, and your doctor will probably suggest an oral, topical or injected medication to remedy the problem.
Lifted, Thin, or Brittle Nails
If you are like most people, you get aggravated when you break a nail. This happens to everyone, but if your tips seem particularly brittle and easily crack, you may have a thyroid disorder. This butterfly shaped gland in your neck regulates growth, energy and metabolism, and too little of its hormone can make your nails and hair brittle. Your nail plate may also separate the bed in a noticeable way, which is referred to as “lifted nails,” and is due to the celebrated cell turnover that disturbed the natural growth pattern of the nail. If you have these symptoms, you may have a malfunctioning thyroid gland and should see your doctor for a blood test from which a definitive diagnosis can be made.
Stripped nails are only a good thing if they are something you did on purpose. However, white lines that horizontally span the entire nail or several sets of lines crossing the nail are called Muehrcke’s lines and may indicate a protein deficiency, liver abnormalities or kidney disease. Some health professionals agree that these lines are believed to be the result of a disrupted blood flow to the nail bed due to the underlying condition. Serious streaks or white marks, on the other hand, are probably merely the result of trauma to the bottom of the nail. These may last a few weeks or a few months, but will typically disappear without treatment.
Aagr blue face clearly indicates that you are not breathing too well, but you may not be aware that blue nails can mean the same thing–your fingertips are not getting enough oxygen. There are many reasons for this, including certain blood vessel disorders or poor circulation. It may also be the result of a vascular problem referred to as Raynaud’s Disease or a respiratory condition.