What Your Nails May Be Trying to Tell You about Your Health

Christina Dodd 

Fingernails are much more important than something to just something pretty, paint or file. Fingernails can be an essential indication of the state of our health. If you observe any variations in your fingernails recently, they may be trying to give you a hint about your health. Following are a few typical nail health care issues and what your nail health may be trying to tell you.

Yellow Nails

What Your Nails May Be Trying to Tell You about Your HealthSlight discoloring of the nails, especially if they are frequently painted or if fake nails are worn often, is not anything to fear. However, if your nails are noticeably yellow, you may have a respiratory issue. Yellowed nails have a tendency to be thicker than normal and grow at a much slower rate. In the most severe cases, the fingernail may lift itself from the nail bed, and the cuticle may be entirely gone.

It is always best to have your doctor look you over if you have any doubts about your health, and then he or she can check for any underlying health problems.

Pitted Nails

This type of nail malformation can be described as fingernails with small depressions or indentations. Although it is possible to create pits through injury or everyday use, it can also be a sign of psoriasis. Fingernail pitting can also be a result of an autoimmune disease, alopecia areata or chronic dermatitis. If you believe your nail health care problem of pitting is not caused by injury, you may want to consider seeing your physician at your earliest convenience.

Vertical Nail Ridges

This is one issue that raises concern for many people, but despite some information out there, vertical ridges on fingernails are completely normal. Vertical ridges would be lines that run top to bottom, or from tip of the finger down to the cuticle. Vertical ridges may become more noticeable as we age, and why many become more aware of the issue at a more advanced age.

Dark Banded Nails

This condition is also known as “Terry’s nails” and describes fingernails that have a darker band running across the top. This issue can be just a sign of aging, but it can also be an indication of serious disorders in a young person. Some of the illnesses that could produce a dark band in fingernails are malnutrition, liver disease, diabetes or congestive heart failure.

Horizontal Indentions

Horizontal indentations are abnormal, unless caused by an injury, and are a sign of illness or disease. These lines are also called “Beau’s lines”. Some of the conditions that could be indicated by horizontal lines are malnutrition, a number of circulatory diseases and more specifically peripheral artery disease, uncontrolled diabetes or they could be present with a high fever.

If you notice any of the above nail health care issues, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment with your family doctor or physician as soon as possible for a thorough check up.


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